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32 William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review 129 (2007)


This article considers recent trends in federalism, with particular attention to natural resource law's statutory savings clauses. It begins with a case study of elk management in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The elk controversy shows how a statutory savings clause can provide a state with traction to advance its interests, and demonstrates how the political winds of change can shift the balance of state-federal relations. The article then focuses on the common statutory savings clauses and their roles in circumscribing federal agency authority and establishing a basis for cooperation between federal and state governments. We analyze the interpretive approaches the judiciary may employ to make sense of the statutory savings language, and conceptualize them along a continuum of influence in resolving cases. The article concludes with an explanation of trends that set the direction for policy innovations in natural resources federalism and general thoughts about the future of federalism in natural resources law.