Many experts believe that the world now faces the
sixth episode of mass extinction for life on
planet Earth - this one caused by humans. This
course focuses on how law in the United States
tries to avoid such an outcome.

The class examines legal mandates for protection
and management of biological diversity. Beginning
with a brief overview of the scientific aspects of
species, ecosystems, and genetic resources, the
course includes consideration of interplay between
science and law throughout its survey of laws
related to wildlife. Substantively, the class
analyzes the property and constitutional
underpinnings of state and federal wildlife laws,
looks at examples and structures of state
regulation of wildlife, and examines the special
case of American Indians' rights to, and control
over, wildlife resources. The course also focuses
on several federal statutory schemes, including
the Lacey Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act,
Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and laws and policies
aimed at controlling invasive species. The course
considers federal management of wildlife habitat
under statutes such as the National Forest
Management Act and National Wildlife Refuge System
Improvement Act, and briefly covers international
efforts to protect biodiversity. Due to the
statute's broad influence on the field, the class
devotes particular attention to the federal
Endangered Species Act.