GLSM – Protecting Wilderness

Neil Kagan tells the powerful story of his long legal journey enforcing federal environmental resources laws that eventually led to the designation of 8 million acres of federal land across 23 states in the United States as “Wilderness Areas,” thereby protecting it from development and maintaining its natural state in perpetuity.

Bio: Neil Kagan spent his career as an advocate for the protection of wild places, wildlife, and water quality. He spent the first third of his career in Oregon, litigating on behalf of Oregon wilderness, rivers, and wetlands, as well as coastal and other natural resources. He wrote about a few of his cases in Wilderness, Luck & Love and The Elk Creek Dam Story.

Neil spent the second two-thirds of his career in Michigan, litigating on behalf of the Great Lakes – the largest surface freshwater system on Earth. His litigation protected the Great Lakes and their tributaries from toxic substances, excessive nutrients, invasive species, and oil spills.  Neil’s principal clients included Oregon Wild (then known as the Oregon Natural Resources Council), 1000 Friends of Oregon, and the National Wildlife Federation. He also served as Director of the Environmental Law Clinic and an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan Law School for twenty-one years.

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