2013 Plum Creek Lecture

2013 - Clean Water Act on Trial

Two cases before the Supreme Court and a recent EPA ruling address forest logging roads as point sources of pollution and their regulation under the Clean Water Act. The consolidated cases, Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center, and Georgia-Pacific West v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center, are likely to be heard before the Supreme Court sometime this spring. The 2013 Plum Creek Lecture brought attorneys associated with the case and other stakeholders together to discuss the details.

View the presentations by clicking on the links below

"Conference ponders legal questions of logging roads, pollution" Missoulian newspaper Feb. 28, 2013


Professor Michelle Bryan Mudd

Michelle Bryan Mudd teaches in the UM law school’s environmental program and is the director of the Land Use Clinic, which works on behalf of Montana local governments and is among only a few such clinics nationwide. Prior to teaching in the environmental program, Professor Bryan Mudd taught in the school’s legal writing program. She has been honored to receive the Garlington, Lohn & Robinson Faculty Teaching Award and the Margery Hunter Brown Faculty Merit Award for her professionalism in the classroom, in her research, and in her public service. Before joining the law school faculty, she was in private practice specializing in land use and water law in both the transactional and litigation contexts. She worked with a variety of clients including local governments, private landowners, non-profits, developers, and affected neighbors and community groups. 

William “Chip” R. Murray

Chip Murray is Vice President for Policy & General Counsel for the National Alliance of Forest Owners. He joined NAFO in 2010 and is recognized as a leading attorney representing the forest land owners and forest products industries. Prior to NAFO he served as Deputy General Counsel and Executive Director-Forestry for the American Forest & Paper Association and also with the Association’s predecessors since 1989. During this time, Murray managed key forestry programs related to the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act. He established the forestry litigation program related to management of both private and federal forestland. Murray formerly held the position of Assistant Solicitor for Onshore Minerals in the U.S. Department of the Interior, preceded by service as a Staff Attorney in the Interior Office of the Solicitor and Interior Board of Land Appeals. He is a past chair of the Forest Resources Committee, American Bar Association. He earned both his J.D. and A.B. degrees from Georgetown University.

Christopher Winter

Chris Winter received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University in 1994 and then graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1998, where he focused on environmental and natural resources law. For three years he practiced environmental law at Stoel Rives LLP in Portland, Oregon, representing corporate clients on complex matters relating to investigation and cleanup of contaminated industrial sites, regulatory compliance and business transactions. In 2001, he founded the Crag Law Center to provide affordable legal assistance to groups promoting conservation issues. His current practice focuses on environmental justice, salmon habitat and water quality regulation, and public land management. He is a member of the Oregon, Washington and Alaska Bars and is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the District of Oregon, and the Western and Eastern Districts of Washington, and the District of Alaska. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Lewis and Clark Law School, where for several years he taught a seminar on forest law and policy.

Brian Sugden

Brian Sugden is a forest hydrologist for Plum Creek Timber Company, based in Columbia Falls. He has worked with Plum Creek foresters in the basin for 20 years on a wide range of issues, including best management practices on forest roads, stream protection buffers, watershed restoration, and water quality monitoring and research. He also administers the Company's Native Fish Habitat Conservation Plan, which guides land management on Plum Creek’s western Montana lands.

Bruce Sims

Bruce has worked as the Regional Hydrologist for the Northern Region of the Forest Service since 2000. He received his master’s of education in geography and master’s of science in watershed management from the University of Arizona. Bruce has done research on the effects of prescribed fire on water quality, and he was a co-author for a General Technical Report looking at the effectiveness of post-fire hillslope treatments. 

George Mathieus

George Mathieus was raised in a rural community in western Montana where he attended Alberton grade school, high school and ultimately The University of Montana. He served three years in the military where he ended that career following a stint in Desert Storm. George has spent the last 18 years of his career serving State government (DNRC & DEQ) as a forest hydrologist, TMDL Planner, Water Quality Planning Bureau Chief, and currently as the Administrator of the Planning Division at Montana Department of Environmental Quality. George has been actively involved in the legislative and policy realm of the agency’s nutrient criteria development. In his spare time, George enjoys traveling, woodworking, welding, hunting, fishing, and managing a bird taxidermy business.

Robert J. Olszewski

Rob Olszewski has served as Plum Creek Timber Company’s vice president, environmental affairs since 2001 and is responsible for managing the environmental aspects of approximately 7 million acres of company timberlands as well as the company's manufacturing facilities. He began his career in 1980 as state forest hydrologist with the Florida Division of Forestry. From 1986 to 1993, he served as director of governmental affairs for the Florida Forestry Association. He then worked for Georgia-Pacific Corporation and The Timber Company where he served as director of environmental affairs. He held this role until he joined Plum Creek. Olszewski received a Bachelor of Science degree in forestry from Michigan Technological University and a Master of Science in forest hydrology from the University of Georgia. He serves on the board of the Forest Landowners Association and chairs the Forest Landowner Foundation.