Updated: Jan. 11, 2022

Environmental & Land Use Law Section

The Environmental and Land Use Law (ELUL) Section helps members keep up with this rapidly developing area of law. The section provides a variety of forums through which members can meet, exchange ideas, and learn from others who practice in the field. The section also sponsors law student internships and pursues a number of other community service projects.

Annual Report  |  Budget  |  Bylaws  |  Year in Review  |  Section Member Resources  |  Legislation  |  Land Use and Environmental Mediation Committee

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Recent Events

Dec. 1 Mini-CLE

Presentations by Neil Wise and Lawson Fite. Neil introduced the new ELUHO Executive Director, Dominga Soliz, and provided an overview of the ELUHO and practice tips for virtual hearings. Lawson provided a primer on offshore wind permitting in Washington.

Dec. 14 Mini-CLE

Presentations by Robert Grant, Brad Roberts, and Martha Wehling. Brad and Robert presented on the first conviction under the Washington Animal Trafficking Act. Martha presented on ethics in times of transition.

2021 Midyear Conference Available On Demand

The ELUL Section hosted its 2021 Midyear Conference virtually in May, and now it is available for purchase at the WSBA CLE Store!.

This one-day webcast explores exciting issues from both the environmental and land use legal sector. Topics include updates to SEPA rules and the Greenhouse Gas Assessment for Projects (GAP) Rules, COVID impacts on land use issues, ongoing Federal rollbacks of the Trump Administration prior environmental rollbacks, an exploration of the Multifamily Property Tax Exemption, and a detailed review of the affordable housing regulatory framework in the Puget Sound Area. In addition, the webcast discusses recent important environmental cases and provides an update on the current legislative session.

Advice for Law Students

The Environmental and Land Use Law Section Executive Committee has put together a collection of advice for law students. We hope you find this compilation of reflections and advice to be helpful as you navigate through the unique challenges of this unprecedented moment in history.

Get Involved!

Are you interested in speaking at a CLE seminar or in helping to organize a CLE? The section is always looking for ideas, speakers, and volunteers. To propose topics and speakers for our mini-CLEs, please contact an ELUL Executive Committee member.  To propose topics, speakers, or co-chairs for the ELUL's Annual Midyear Seminar, please contact Kyler Danielson. Co-chairs are selected in the fall of each year, and typically begin planning the next year’s Midyear Seminar toward the end of each current year.

The Benefits of Membership

The ELUL Blog

In 2020, ELUL shifted from a newsletter format to publication of articles on a blog. The blog is a free resource that provides updates and in-depth articles on cases, draft rules, new statutes, and other topics relevant to environmental and land use law practitioners. A host of talented and dedicated lawyers donate their time to make this publication the great success it is.

Spring 2017  │ Summer 2016  │  Spring 2016

November 2015  │  August 2015  │  February 2015

Archived issues are available to section members upon request. To request an issue, please email sections@wsba.org.

Midyear Seminar

Every year, the Section hosts a meeting that features a two-day CLE in a resort area in the state. The CLE program is carefully vetted through the Executive Committee to ensure that top-quality presentations focus on timely topics of current utility and interest to environmental and land use law practitioners. As most of us have practices that delve into the realms of both land use and environmental law, the CLE allows us to get up to date on both areas of the law. Again, opportunities abound to network in a relaxed atmosphere ideal for forging new friendships and working relationships. We work hard to keep the cost as low as possible for our members and provide scholarships to qualified individuals. Your dues make this possible.


The Section provides its members with low-cost mini-CLEs to coincide with significant cases and topics relevant to environmental and land use practitioners. Please watch social media, the ELUL list serve, and this website for upcoming mini-CLEs, and please contact Martha Wehling to propose topics or speakers. Your dues make this possible. 

Sponsoring Law School Students in Internships

The Section helps sponsor internships in the fields of land use and environmental law to deserving law students at the three law schools in Washington. The Executive Committee believes it is important for the Section to help students find their way into practice areas that are highly specialized and in which it is sometimes difficult to find relevant experience. We hope that by helping law students in internships, we will help grow the highly skilled lawyers of the future. Your dues make this possible.

Special Projects

Giving back to the community is important. The Executive Committee in the past several years has developed a high school curriculum for Law Day specifically geared toward environmental and land use law, undertaken a project on sustainability of law office practices, and hosted numerous free brown bags on topics of interest such as I-297 and the Endangered Species Act. We have also sponsored Earth Day and Habitat for Humanity Work Days. Your dues make this possible.

Scholarship Information

The WSBA Environmental and Land Use Law Section solicits donations from law firms and section members to fund scholarships for its midyear meeting and conference held each spring. Scholarships serve an educational and charitable purpose by helping attorneys and law students attend the midyear conference and CLE who would not otherwise be able to attend.

Please Donate to the Scholarship Fund

To contribute to the ELUL Section Scholarship Fund, please donate online or contact the Washington State Bar Foundation. Donations are fully tax-deductible.

Executive Committee 

Chair: Kyler Danielson  (2021-2022)

Chair-ElectDonya Burns (2021-2022)

Secretary: Caroline Cress (2021-2022)

Treasurer: Meghan Gavin (2021-2022)

Immediate Past Chair: Pat Spurgin (2021-2022) 

Board of Governors Liaison*: Hunter Abell (2021-2022) 

Young Lawyer Liaison: Gabrielle Gurian (2020-2022)

*Nonvoting member

Website, Communications, and Blog Editorial Board Liaisons: Donya Burns & Molly Barker

Mini-CLE Planning: Martha Wehling

Blog Editors*:Clifford Kato & Andy King

At-Large Members:
Molly Barker (2019-2022)
Meghan Gavin (2019-2022)
Martha Wehling (2019-2022)
Albert Chang (2020-2023)
Robie Russell (2020-2023)
Caroline Cress  (2021-2024)
Thomas Wilcox (2021-2024) 

The WSBA ELUL Executive Committee generally conducts meetings on the third Wednesday of each month, from 3-4 p.m. You may attend by phone by calling 866-577-9294 and using the passcode 5016511#. Please contact committee member for specific details on their upcoming meeting dates and locations.

For more information about the Executive Committee members, check out their biographies

Join Our List Serve and Follow Us on Social Media

To join the section list serve or for general section questions, please send your email address and bar number to sections@wsba.org. For more information and to get involved with the section, please contact Section Chair, Kyler Danielson . The ELUL Section is on Facebook and LinkedIn; please follow us to receive the most recent updates.