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Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood Delivers: Thank you for the kind introduction. I am pleased to be the opening speaker for this respected conference on natural resources damages.

It is not unusual to hear someone refer simply to the “Environment Division.” But as you all know, that is not quite right. We are more than the Environment Division; we are the Environment and Natural Resources Division. Of course, ENRD does much more than protect and conserve the environment and natural resources. We are the nation’s land acquisition attorneys. We also represent the United States in takings litigation in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Our lawyers have significant roles in Indian Country, too.

Nevertheless, the protection and wise use of our nation’s natural resources is an essential and longstanding part of our Division’s mission—it is at the heart of what we do. In fact, our Division was established in 1909, on the heels of the administration of President Theodore Roosevelt, who reminded us, “The Nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value.” Today, if you visit Theodore Roosevelt Island here in Washington, D.C., you can see that quote etched into the granite of his memorial.

This morning, I will discuss how our enforcement agenda relates to our NRD work. Before doing that, I would like to mention five specific concepts that I think are important for all of us to keep in mind as we do our NRD work.  Read more

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Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood Delivers: Thank you for the kind introduction. I am pleased to be the opening speaker for this respected conference on natural resources damages. 

It is not unusual to hear someone refer simply to the “Environment Division.” But as you all know, that is not quite right. We are more than the Environment Division; we are the Environment and Natural Resources Division. Of course, ENRD does much more than protect and conserve the environment and natural resources. We are the nation’s land acquisition attorneys. We also represent the United States in takings litigation in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Our lawyers have significant roles in Indian Country, too.