Nevada Resources Lawyer

Natural resource laws seek to minimize the impact of human activity on the environment and, in particular, protects those parts of nature we, as humans, deem to be important.  It includes protection of land, wildlife, air, water and other resources; and is closely tied to water law, environmental law, agriculture law, Native-American claims and the Endangered Species Act.  Natural resource lawyers represent individual water users and stakeholders, municipalities, cities, counties, and states navigating the many laws that regulate the use of and protect natural resources.

Natural Resources Defined

According to federal law 42 USCS § 9601, the term natural resources means “land, fish, wildlife, biota, air, water, ground water, drinking water supplies, and other such resources belonging to, managed by, held in trust by, appertaining to, or otherwise controlled by the United States (including the resources of the fishery conservation zone established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act [16 USCS §§ 1801 et seq.]), any State or local government, any foreign government, any Indian tribe, or, if such resources are subject to a trust restriction on alienation, any member of an Indian tribe.”

Natural Resources FAQs

Are most natural resources renewable? No, actually, most natural resources are non-renewable because humans use them faster than they can naturally replenish themselves.  For example, if a certain fish is overharvested and it can’t reproduce fast enough to continue the species, that fish is non-renewable and can become extinct if not protected.  Another example is the use of coal.  Technically, coal is renewable, but the length of time it takes to replace what humans use is so long that it is, in practicality, non-renewable.

Who do I call when my water tastes or smells odd? Call the Bureau of Health Protection Services at (775) 687-4650 if your water comes from either a public water company or private well; however, you should call the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection if the odd tasting or smelling water came from a surface or ground source such as a river, stream, or pond.

Who protects Nevada’s wild horses? The Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources protects Nevada’s wild horses.  You can reach this department at (775) 684-2700.

What kind of legal claims can individuals bring to protect the environment? Individuals can bring law suits to force the cleanup of contaminates pursuant to the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and the Comprehensive Environmental Response and Liability Act (CERCLA.)  Technically, the individual brings a “citizen suit” on behalf of the government. For example, if you wish to stop a company from dumping toxic chemicals into a nearby lake, you can bring a citizen suit under the Clean Water Act. Individuals also have the right to file claims for reimbursement for damage caused to his or her real property (i.e. land, house, apartment, condominium, or commercial building) by environmental contamination.  Claims can also be made for personal injury caused by environmental contamination. For example, if a company discharges toxic chemicals into the water table and you develop cancer as a result, you can sue that offending company for personal injury caused by the contamination.

Natural Resources Glossary

Geology The term, “geology,” refers to the study of the Earth, including its origin, structure, composition, and history.  Geology also includes the study of the nature of the processes which have given rise to the Earth’s present state.

Reservoir A reservoir is a body of rock, below the surface, which has sufficient density to store liquids such as water.  Typically, the term, “reservoir,” refers to a man-made lake or pond.

Water Table The water table is the level of water below which the ground is saturated.  If the water table is low, rain is needed; if the water table is high, there has been sufficient rain.

Toxic Substance Chemicals or a mixture of chemicals that creates an unreasonable risk of injury to humans or to the environment are toxic substances.

Potable Water “Potable water” is water that is safe for humans to drink.