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What are some important federal national resource laws?

Numerous natural resource laws and regulations exist at all levels of government, and it's a good idea for businesses to be familiar with any that are related to their region or industry. Here's a look at a few essential federal natural resource laws.

One of the oldest natural resource laws at the federal level is the Lacey Act, which has been around since 1900. Currently, the act provides protection for both wildlife and plants in designated areas or categories, and it lays out criminal and civil consequences for those who act in violation of it. One of the major things that the act addresses is the transportation or sale of protective wildlife or plants, which means businesses can't always just move protected life from one location to another to move forward with development plans.

Another act to know about is the National Environmental Policy Act, which was enacted in 1969. It requires all the branches of government to consider the environment and existing policies prior to making any new policies.

The Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, both enacted in 1972, are enormous factors for businesses. They require businesses take certain actions to return resources they use and to do so in a clean, environmentally friendly way. Applying the provisions of these acts to your projects, locations and businesses can be difficult, which is why consulting with a natural resource lawyer is a good idea when making changes or starting new development.

Other acts of note for California businesses include the Endangered Species Act, Redwood National Park Expansion Act, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and the National Parks Omnibus Management Act. These account for just a small subsection of the law on natural resources, though, making it important to research for yourself and consult with knowledgeable resources in the field.

Source: National Park Service, "Federal Laws Significant to the Natural Resource Career Field," accessed Feb. 24, 2017

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