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Document Type

Lecture

Abstract

It is an honor to deliver this lecture at the University of Maine School of Law, as the Edward S. Godfrey Visiting Professor of Law. My visit here has been filled with wonder and excitement. My new colleagues have been splendidly supportive, and the students a delight to work with. I would like to give a special word of thanks to Dean Colleen Khoury who has done much to welcome this stranger into the mysteries of Maine; and to Dean Edward S. Godfrey, who has been a special inspiration to me as he has to literally every graduate of the law school here in Maine. I want to address my remarks to the students of this law school who will face a great deal of unfinished legal business on the topics of salmon, Indian tribes, and environmental law. Elsewhere, I have derived what I describe as the five virtues of effective action (genius, high-leveraging, symbolism, optimism, courage). People of achievement, lawyers or otherwise, are familiar with these virtues and display them in many creative forms. Next, I will peer through this lens of effective action at some key moments in the history of Atlantic-Pacific Salmon Interactions. This coming together has been a process of colonization, east to west, as Maine sent its people, ideas, technology, and laws to the Pacific Northwest. Many of these initiatives landed on the Indian tribes of the region whose cultural and legal connections to the great salmon are legendary. Many were resisted, modified, rejected. Tribal responses to the colonists' salmon dreams have filled the law books with stories of justice and injustice. The grave charge against the virtues of effective action is that they are "gray" virtues-equally serviceable to fashioners of the malign as well as the instigators of the benign. It is unarguably true that in the last one-hundred fifty years, the combination of human actions, many of them creative, novel, and highly "effective," have driven natural stocks of salmon (Atlantic and Pacific) to the brink of extinction. This sad reality invites comment on a short list of environmental lawsuits that have "salmon" and "Maine" in the captions. I am happy to bequeath to my students at the University of Maine the responsibility for saving the legacies at issue in these cases.

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