Federico Cheever


Environmental Law
Property Law
Public Land Law

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Cheever (1957-2017)
Environmental and Natural Resources Law
Property Law

B.A., M.A., 1981, Stanford University
J.D., 1986, UCLA School of Law

On June 10, 2017, our friend and esteemed colleague Fred Cheever died suddenly while vacationing in his beloved state of Colorado.


Announcement Documents:

Law Community Announcement

University of Denver Announcement

Federico Cheever was Professor of Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. After graduating from Stanford University (B.A./M.A. 1981) and UCLA (J.D. 1986), and clerking for Judge Harry Pregerson of United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Los Angeles (1986-1987), he came to Denver as an Associate Attorney for the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (1987-1989). With a few exceptions, he has been in Denver ever since. In 1990, he briefly commuted to Boulder to be a Research Fellow at Natural Resources Law Center, University of Colorado School of Law. Between 1990 and 1993, he was an associate at the law firm Faegre & Benson, in Denver, doing commercial and environmental litigation. He began teaching at the University of Denver College of Law in 1993 specializing in Environmental Law, Wildlife Law, Public Land Law, Land Conservation Transactions and Property. Professor Cheever served as the Hughes/Rudd Research Professor at the University of Denver College of Law in 2002. He briefly left Denver again in 2000 to be a Visiting Fellow at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London. He served as a Visiting Professor at Northwestern Law School, Lewis & Clark College during the summer of 2005. In 2007 he was a visiting research fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra, ACT. From 2005-2007 he served as an adjunct professor at the Colorado School of Mines, teaching Environmental Law. In 2006 he was selected DU Law Star for excellence in teaching. In 2011, the students of the College of Law chose Professor Cheever the Most Outstanding Faculty Member for that year.

Professor Cheever wrote extensively about the Endangered Species Act, federal public land law and land conservation transactions. He recently co-authored a natural resources casebook, Natural Resources Law: A Place-Based Book of Problems and Cases, with Christine Klein and Bret Birdsong (3rd ed. 2013).

Over the years, Professor Cheever has represented environmental groups in cases under the Endangered Species Act, the National Forest Management Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Wilderness Act and a number of other environmental laws. While in private practice he also represented regulated parties in disputes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Clean Air Act. Between 2009 and 2013, Professor Cheever served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the College of Law.

Featured Publications

Enhancing Conservation Options : An Argument for Statutory Recognition of Options to Purchase Conservation Easements (OPECEs), co-authored with Jessica Owley, 40 Harvard Environmental Law Review, forthcoming.

Sustainable Development and its Discontents, co-authored with John C. Dernbach , Journal of Transnational Environmental Law, forthcoming.

Endangered Species Act: Law, Policy and Perspectives, included in “Chapter 3: Critical Habitat” for the new ABA publication on the Endangered Species Act (November 2009).

Sturm College of Law
University of Denver
2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208