Professor Heidi Gorovitz Robertson, J.D., J.S.D, Steven W. Percy Distinguished Professor of Law and Professor of Environmental Studies, attended the Association for Law, Property, and Society annual meeting in Southampton, England. She participated on a panel titled New Conceptions of Planning in a Climate Changing World. Her presentation focused on her work on legislative preemption of local decision-making for oil and gas energy development projects as compared to the legislative grant of local decision-making authority for wind and solar energy development decisions.
Dr. Robertson also participated in a field trip to the New Forest National Park, which was declared a national forest by William the Conqueror in 1079. At that time, local residents retained rights of common, allowing them to use the land to graze and pasture their livestock (and dig clay, cut wood, etc.). These rights are attached to the adjacent land and still exercised by New Forst Commers, some of them 13th generation commoners. The property professors saw the commons, along with ponies, donkeys, and cattle, and met with a 13th generation commoner and a member of the Verderers Court, which retains jurisdiction over the New Forest.