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William Rodgers

Former Professor Emeritus of Law

University of Washington School of Law, Seattle

William Rodgers was a Professor Emeritus of Law at the University of Washington School of Law, Seattle. He passed away in April 2023.

Professor Rodgers began teaching at the UW School of Law in 1967, spent seven years at Georgetown University Law School, and returned to the University of Washington in 1979. Rodgers specialized in natural resources law and is recognized as a founder of environmental law.

Rodgers produced the first volume of his two-volume treatise entitled Environmental Law in Indian Country (Thomson West 2005) and co-authored The Si’lailo Way: Salmon, Indians and Law on the Columbia River (Carolina Academic Press 2006). He was actively involved in the Exxon Valdez “reopener,” including publishing The Exxon Valdez Reopener: Natural Resource Damage Settlements, and Roads Not Taken, in the Alaska Law Review. He also contributed a chapter on Common Law to Creative Common Law Strategies for Protecting the Environment (2007), and wrote numerous journal articles and book chapters on tribal rights, adaptive management, and endangered species protection.

The topics of his seminars included Puget Sound, the Duwamish River, Hanford, sacred Native American sites, and forest practices. Professor Rodgers was selected as the UW recipient of the Bloedel Professorship of Law from 1987-92.

In 1999, Professor Rodgers was selected as the first UW Stimson Bullitt Professor of Environmental Law. He was admitted to the bar in New York, Washington, and the District of Columbia and appeared in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Indian tribes. Professor Rodgers served on the committee for Defining Best Available Sciences for Fisheries Management with The National Academies. He was also a member of the Board of Environmental Studies and Toxicology, National Academy of Sciences.