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Legal Research Guide


This page lists legal resources concerning general environmental and natural resources law that are available in the HSU Library or on the Internet. 

Regarding specific environmental and natural resources law you can consult other research guide sources as folow

Current Legislation and Policy

In addition to the following sources see Current Legislation and Policy for general sources that also track environmental/natural resource legislation and policy and Environmental Science Current Awareness/News for related news coverage.

United States

The websites of environmental organizations often track legislation and policy developments in their area of interest. See Environmental Science Directories to identify organizations of interest.

Highly recommended is the Environmental Studies search form in the LexisNexis Academic fulltext database that specifically searches for environmental information. Included are environmental news stories, law review articles, legal newsletters, federal and state environmental site records and the Environmental Law Reporter. For additional information see see Help: Environmental Studies.

  • "Annual Review of Environmental and Natural Resource Law" IN Ecology Law Quarterly The second issue of each year examines the year's most important and exciting developments in the field.
  • Congressional Research Service Reports (Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service) Contains over 2200 Issue Briefs and Reports prepared for the US Congress on natural resources, environmental quality, and other general topics, including proposed legislation. Regularly recurring reports on current legislative issues cover environmental protection; natural resources; and fisheries, aquaculture and marine mammals. For additional CRS reports see Congressional Research Service Reports (University of North Texas Library) and Open CRS (Center for Democracy & Technology).
  • Energy and Environment Daily (HSU users only) Daily publication that tracks environmental and energy issues in the U.S. Congress
  • "Environment and Energy" IN Congress and the Nation (Congressional Quarterly) Published every four years (Ref JK 1041 C6) Summary of major environmental and energy legislation organized by four year Presidential term.
  • Energy and Environment Legislation Tracking Database (National Conference of State Legislatures) Tracks energy and environmental legislation that has been introduced in the fifty states and the District of Columbia. The database is updated and summarized bi-monthly.
  • Environmental Law Reporter (Environmental Law Institute) (HSU users only) Major legal service available on LexisNexis Academic at HSU that reports on federal legislation, rule making and court decisions. Includes text of court cases and environmental laws as well as news and analysis. Published in seven parts--News and AnalysisAdministative MaterialsBriefs and PleadingsPending LitigationLitigationEnvironmental Statutes and Treaties, and Law Review Bibliography--that may be searched individually or together as one file. Click the information icon for a more detailed description of each part once connected.
  • National Environmental Scorecard (League of Conservation Voters) Contains the voting records of members of Congress on key environmental legislation as determined by a consensus of 19 environmental groups; includes scorecards from 1971 to the present.
  • Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (Reginfo.gov) Lists regulatory actions by agency that are being developed or have recently been completed. Browse by agency or broad subject; or search by keyword.


California environmental organizations often track legislation in their area of interest. See California Environment Information Sources--Directories to identify organizations of interest.

  • Legislation (Planning and Conservation League) Tracks current bills related to the environment and public health.
  • California Environmental Scorecard (California League of Conservation Voters) Includes the "Annual Guide to Environmental Legislation and Votes" from 1988 to the present.

Primary Legal Sources

The Statutory, Case and Administrative Law: Federal and California research guide lists general resources for federal and California statutory, case and administrative law. The following specific compilations focus on environmental or natural resources law:


United States

  • Compilation of Selected Acts Concerning National Parks, Public Lands, and Related Matters (U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on Natural Resources) 2004
  • Summaries of Environmental Laws and EOs (US Environmental Protection Agency) Contains a summary and the fulltext of approximately 30 environmental laws administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Natural Resources Statutes (Government Institutes) 1991 (ref KF 5505 A3 1991) Contains the complete text of 25 natural resources statutes.
  • Selected Federal Public Wildlands Management Law (Shannon) 1983 (KF 5602 1983) Compilation of selected federal public land law, court cases, and Executive orders.


  • California Air Pollution Laws (California Air Resources Board) annual (Cal Doc L 400 A4c)
  • California Environmental Laws: Annotated (Dwyer and Bergsund) annual (ref KFC 610 A45 C354) Includes cross references to California regulations, major state and federal cases, and federal statutes and regulations.

Other States

Journals and Reviews

Print and/or online fulltext journals and law reviews are available through the HSU Library. Check the Journal and Newspaper Finder for exact holdings. The online fulltext for many of these titles is available in LexisNexis Academic.

  • Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review
  • Buffalo Environmental Law Review
  • Columbia Journal of Environmental Law
  • Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum
  • Ecology Law Quarterly
  • Environmental Law
  • Fordham Environmental Law Journal
  • Great Plains Natural Resources Journal
  • Harvard Environmental Law Review
  • Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation
  • Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy
  • Journal of Land, Resources and Environmental Law
  • Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law
  • Land Use and Environment Law Review
  • Land and Water Law Review
  • Natural Resources Journal
  • Pace Environmental Law Review
  • Penn State Environmental Law Review
  • South Carolina Environmental Law Review
  • Stanford Environmental Law Review
  • Temple Environmental Law and Technology Journal
  • Tulane Environmental Law Review
  • UCLA Journal of Environmental Law & Policy
  • University of Baltimore Journal of Environmental Law
  • Villanova Environmental Law Review
  • Water Law
  • William and Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review
  • Wisconsin Environmental Law Journal


Databases can be used to find popular, scholarly, and professional legal literature published in journals, reviews, magazines, conference proceedings, government documents, and other types of publications. In addition to the following databases that index environmental/natural resources law, you can also use the general  Legal Research databases.

ProQuest Congressional PublicationsSee Legal Research: Environmental Law for suggestions on how to search the database for environemental law topics.

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

The WEX legal dictionary and encyclopdia provides two brief overviews on Natural Resources Law and Environmental Law as a starting point.

  • ABC-CLIO Companion to the Environmental Movement (Grossman) 1994 (ref GE 197 G76 1994) Guide to the conservation movement and enviromentalism in the United States from early naturalists to the present. Entries also include major environmental legislation and court decisions.
  • Conservation and the Law: A Dictionary (Donahue) 1998 (ref KF 5505 A68 D66 1998) Contains one-page entries on significant conservation law topics including leading statutes and cases, organizations, people, and terms.
  • Environment and the Law: A Dictionary (Patton-Hulce) 1995 (ref KF 3775 A68 P38 1995) Contains one-page entries on anti-pollution law topics including statutes and court cases, legal terms and concepts, key regulatory figures and agencies, and environmental issues and organizations.
  • Environmental Encyclopedia (HSU users only) (Bortman) 2003. Includes summaries of major environmental and natural resources legislation as well as a list of Environmental Legislation In The United States.
  • Natural Resources Glossary (Government Institutes) 1991 (ref KF 5505 A65 N37) Definitions are keyed to federal statutes and regulations

Internet Guides


United States

California California Environmental Law (MegaLaw.com)

In addition to the specific guides above many of the General Legal Internet Guides include sections on environmental and natural resources law.

Textbooks, Manuals, and Commentaries

United States

  • Cases and Materials on Environmental Law (Findley & Farber) 1995 (KF 3775 A7 F56 1995)
  • Cases and Materials on Federal Indian Law (Getches, Wilkinson, & Williams) 1998 (ref KF 8204.5 G47 1998)
  • Cases and Materials on Water Law (Gould & Grant)) 2000 (KF 646 G68 2000)
  • Energy and Natural Resources Law in a Nutshell (Laitos and Tomain) 1992 (KF 2120 Z9 L27 1992)
  • Environmental Law: Statutory and Case Supplement with Internet Guide (Percival and Schroeder) Annual (ref KF 3775 P47) Topics covered include toxic substances, water quality, environmental justice, waste management, air pollution, land use, environmental assessment, biodiversity and public lands. For each section includes a guide to Internet resources; and the legislative history, principal provisions and text of the supporting legislation. The case supplement includes excerpts from recent judicial decisions regarding important areas of environmental law.
  • Environmental Law Handbook (Government Institutes) 1999 (ref KF 3775 E473)
  • Environmental Law in a Nutshell (Findley & Farber) 2010 (ref KF 3775 Z9 F56)
  • Federal Public Land and Resources Law (Coggins, Wilkinson & Leshy) 2007 (ref KF 5604 C64) and update.
  • Federal Statutes on Environmental Protection (Freedman) 1987 (ref KF 3775 F75) Brief discussion of 89 federal statutes including references to case law
  • Law of Water Rights and Resources (Tarlock) 1988 (ref KF 5569 T37 1988) (West Environmental Law Series)
  • Law of Wetlands Regulation (Want) 1989 (ref KF 5624 W36 1989) (West Environmental Law Series)
  • Legal Control of Water Resources: Cases and Materials (Sax, Abrams, & Thompson) 1991 (KF 5568 S28 1991)
  • Native American Natural Resources Law: Cases and Materials (Royster and Blumm) 2002 (ref KF 8210 N37 R69 2002)
  • Natural Resources Law: Cases and Materials (Laitos) 1985 (KF 5505 A7 L35 1985)
  • Natural Resources Law Handbook (Baur) 1991 (ref KF 5505 N38 1991)
  • Public Natural Resources Law (Coggins & Glicksman) 1990 (ref KF 5505 C64 1990) (West Environmental Law Series)
  • Summary of Environmental Law in North America (Commission for Environmental Cooperation) - contains 25 chapters on natural resources and environmental law topics, each with subsections on Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
  • Waters and Water Rights (Beck) 1991 (KF 645 W3 1991) 7 volumes
  • Water Law in a Nutshell (Getches) 2009 (ref KF 5569.3 G48)
  • Water Pollution (Battle and Lipeles) 1998 (KF 3790 B38 1998)
  • Water Resource Management: A Casebook in Law and Public Policy (Tarlock, Corbridge, & Getches) 1993 (KF 5568 W38 1993)
  • Wilderness Act Handbook (Wilderness Society) 2004. Sets forth the relevant laws, regulations, and policies that govern the creation, expansion, and management of the National Wilderness Preservation System. The Wilderness Act is printed in its entirety, along with interpretation and excerpts from and analysis of subsequent legislation that has influenced the designation or management of wilderness.


  • California Environmental and Natural Resources Law Handbook (Hsiao & Black) 2004 (ref KFC 610 A45 C35)
  • California Environmental Law and Policy: a Practical Guide (Herson and Lucks) 2008 (ref KFC 610 H47 2008)
  • California Water (Littleworth and Garner) 1995 (KFC 790 L58 1995)