Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute

Carver Colloquium

Carver Colloquium Logo

The Carver Colloquium is an annual event hosted by the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute and Jan Laitos, the John A. Carver, Jr. Chair at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and presented in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Held each fall term, the Colloquium features two leading legal or planning scholars from the land use, environmental and natural resources law fields. The Colloquium presents divergent or alternative viewpoints on cutting-edge issues in these fields in a point-counterpoint format.

7th Annual Carver Colloquium

To Shrink or Not to Shrink?
Presidential Authority Over National Monuments
Monday, November 20, 2017
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The American Antiquities Act of 1906 provides for the protection and preservation America’s cultural and natural resources. The Act enables presidents to set aside areas to protect objects and landscapes with historic, scientific, and cultural significance through the designation of national monuments.

Over the years, over 150 sites have been designated as National Monuments, although not all are still in existence today. Some have become part of the National Park system or National Heritage sites, like the Grand Canyon and Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes. Others, sadly, were removed because of mismanagement (such as the loss of all the fossils at Fossil Cycad National Monument in South Dakota).

This year’s Carver Colloquium will debate the ability of standing presidents to diminish or abolish national monuments created by past presidents. The authority to expand national monuments has always been included in the Antiquities Act, but recent controversy has questioned the legal authority for presidents to shrink the size of some monuments.

Our featured speakers are James Rasband, Hugh W. Colton Professor of Law at Brigham Young University, and Mark Squillace, Professor of Law at the University of Colorado Law School.

Colloquium Materials

Relevant Legal Texts
National Monuments Background Data
Rasband: Stroke of the Pen, Law of the Land?
Squillace et al: Presidents Lack the Authority to Abolish or Diminish National Monuments
Squillace: The Monumental Legacy of the Antiquities Act of 1906


James R. Rasband James R. Rasband
Hugh W. Colton Professor of Law
Brigham Young University Law School
Professor Rasband’s research and teaching has centered on public land and natural resources law and policy. He has published many articles and book chapters on these subjects and is coauthor, along with James Salzman at Duke University and Mark Squillace at the University of Colorado, of Natural Resources Law and Policy, an important casebook in the field. He has taught courses in water law, wildlife law, public lands and natural resources law, torts, and international environmental law. He has also taught as a visiting professor at Murdoch University School of Law in Perth, Australia, and as a visiting fellow at T. C. Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Prior to entering academia, he served as a law clerk to Judge J. Clifford Wallace of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and practiced law at Perkins Coie in Seattle, Washington, where his practice focused on Indian treaty litigation.

Mark Squillace Mark Squillace
Professor of Law
University of Colorado Law School
Professor Mark Squillace joined the faculty at the University of Colorado Law School in 2005 where he served as the Director of the Natural Resources Law Center until 2013. Before joining the Colorado law faculty, Professor Squillace taught at the University of Toledo College of Law where he was named the Charles Fornoff Professor of Law and Values. Professor Squillace has also taught at the University of Wyoming College of Law, and at Wyoming he served a three-year term as the Winston S. Howard Professor of Law. He is a former Fulbright scholar and the author or co-author of numerous articles and books on natural resources and environmental law. In 2000, Professor Squillace took a leave from law teaching to serve as Special Assistant to the Solicitor at the U.S. Department of the Interior. In that capacity, he worked directly with the Secretary of the Interior, Bruce Babbitt, on a wide range of legal and policy issues.

Moderator: Jan Laitos Jan Laitos
John A. Carver, Jr. Professor of Law
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
Jan Laitos holds the John A. Carver Jr. Chair at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. He is a Reporter for the Planning and Environmental Law Review; a regional board member of the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute; and Trustee of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law foundation. He was Vice Chair of the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission. In 1996, he was given the University of Denver’s distinguished Teaching Award, and in 2005, he was selected a “DU Law Star.” He has worked as a consultant on several cases decided by the 9th Circuit Court of Federal appeals, the Montana Supreme Court, the Nevada Supreme Court, the Idaho Supreme court, and the Colorado Supreme Court, and on several petitions before the United States Supreme Court.

6th Annual Carver Colloquium

Water for Sale: Prior Appropriation or Free Market Trade?
Thursday, September 29, 2016
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Can Colorado’s prior appropriation doctrine accommodate a free market system for water? And if it can, should it? The speakers from the 2016 Carver Colloquium address these questions, as well as whether water should be traded as a commodity in water markets, rural and urban equity, and how prior appropriation can protect environmental and recreational values.

Colloquium Materials:
Article by Justice Hobbs
Article by Professor Libecap

5th Annual Carver Colloquium

State Control of Federal Lands: Legal or Not?
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
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Federal ownership of public lands has been a hotly debated topic in the West, long before the Sagebrush Rebellion of the 1970s and 80s first brought it national attention. Now the issue is back in the news—and in legislatures and courts—across the West. At the heart of the issue, however, is whether states have any legal claim to these lands. Despite several attempts to pass legislation in the past, the federal government has retained control. The 5th annual Carver Colloquium focused on whether current efforts to transfer control to the states can succeed.

4th Annual Carver Colloquium

Fracking Bans & Setbacks: An Unconstitutional Takings?
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A Takings is the seizure of private property or a substantial deprivation of the right to its free use that is caused by government action. This year’s event will debate the issue of whether or not proposed fracking bans and setbacks constitute a takings.

3rd Annual Carver Colloquium—The Colorado Compact: Effective or Obsolete?

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Negotiated almost a century ago, the Colorado River Compact allocates water supply among many of the western states, but it may be outdated. The Compact overestimated the amount of water available from the Colorado River, seeming to benefit Arizona, Nevada, and California at the expense of Upper Basin states like Colorado, and failed to anticipate current and future demands on the River that have been exacerbated by climate change. Is the Compact still relevant or should we throw it out and start over?

January 2013: Local Regulation of Oil & Gas Production

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The 2013 Carver Colloquium featured a debate between UCLA Professor Robert Freilich and Dan Domenico, the Colorado Solicitor General. The Colloquium focused on the challenges facing local governments regarding oil and gas drilling and production in their communities, in light of the traditionally dominant regulatory role played by state authorities, such as the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission.

October 2011: The Governance of Renewable Energy Transmission

The 2011 Carver Colloquium featured former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. and Robin Kundis Craig, Associate Dean of the Florida State University College of Law, who presented two models of governance to overcome this challenges of energy transmission.


The Carver Colloquium is presented by:
University of Denver Sturm College of Law Logo RMLUI Logo
Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

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