Copyright (c) 2002 Journal of Land, Resources, & Environmental Law
Journal of Land, Resources, & Environmental Law
ARTICLE: Environmental and Natural Resources Provisions in State Constitutions*
22 J. Land Resources & Envtl. L. 73
The following is a survey of substantive state constitutional provisions relating explicitly to the environment or natural resources. 1 The survey is intended to assist both practitioners and academics in their study of state constitutions as independent sources of law relating to environmental and natural resource issues.
Most state constitutions contain provisions expressly addressing natural resources and the environment. 2 In total, our research has uncovered 207 state constitutional provisions relating to natural resources and the environment in 46 state constitutions. Table 1 of the appendix provides a state by state summary of these provisions.
Substantively, the provisions address issues of state power, as well as private rights relating to natural resources and the environment. More specifically, the substantive areas addressed fall into nineteen categories: (1) public land acquisition/ preservation/ management, (2) public ownership of land and other resources, (3) sovereignty issues, (4) use/ development balance, (5) school trust lands, (6) public trust doctrine, (7) takings/ eminent domain/ condemnation power, (8) water access rights, (9) water rights, (10) water development and reclamation, (11) water resource protection, (12) mining and mineral rights, (13) fish and wildlife, (14) fishing access, (15) hunting and fishing restrictions, (16) rights of way, (17) timber and forest management, (18) nuclear power, and (19) agriculture. Table 2 of the appendix categorizes the state constitutional provisions by the substantive areas addressed.
These substantive areas can take several forms within the states' constitutions. For example, some provisions may be written as ...
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