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Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt

Elizabeth E. Howard

Elizabeth E. Howard



  • Environmental Compliance and Safety
  • Agency Actions and Rulemaking
  • Energy
  • Business Transitions

WSG Practice Industries



Elizabeth Howard helps agriculture, forest product and energy businesses navigate burdensome regulations, negotiate favorable resolutions with agencies, defend against injunctions and cancellations, resolve enforcement actions and obtain permits. She is particularly experienced in the areas of water rights, water quality, endangered and threatened species, grazing and public lands.

Elizabeth has a strong industry focus on agriculture, and advocates on behalf of state organizations that represent ranches, farms and dairies. One client said, “There’s nobody that knows the ranching business and leases, BLM (Bureau of Land Management) ground, forestry ground, and water rights issues in the state [of Oregon] as well as she does.” Because of her time working in and with the industry, she is regarded as a trusted legal advisor, working on all aspects of her clients’ operations, whether they are expanding, transitioning, selling, facing increased regulation or facing pressures from neighbors. 


"Elizabeth Howard was recommended as someone who understood the cattle rancher's perspective. She does."

-Maurer Ranch

Bar Admissions

  • Oregon State Courts
  • Washington State Courts
  • North Dakota State Courts
  • United States Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • United States District Court, District of Oregon
  • United States Supreme Court


  • Oregon State University, Bachelor of Science degree, Agriculture and Resource Economics (1998)
  • Lewis & Clark Law School, Juris Doctor, magna cum laude (2001)
Areas of Practice

Agency Actions and Rulemaking | Business Transitions | Energy | Environmental Compliance and Safety | Environmental Regulation and Litigation | Plant Development, Facility Siting and Permitting | Public Lands and Endangered Species | Water Law

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

  • Obtained U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 10 Permit, including working ?through multiple tribal consultations and a NOAA Fisheries (NMFS) biological ?opinion.?
  • Assisted applicants in National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service consultations on Oregon spotted frog, streaked horned larks, salmon, steelhead, bull trout and lamprey.
  • Reviewed and advised clients on Candidate Conservation Agreements and Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances.
  • Intervened in more than a dozen cases on behalf of natural resource clients in cases addressing National Environmental Policy Act compliance, endangered or threatened species, wild and scenic rivers, wilderness, special designations and monuments, and wild horses.
  • Mediated grazing permit enforcement actions to restore grazing activity on USFS and BLM lands.
  • Representing industry associations in the defense of the Oregon Agriculture Water Quality Management Act (SB 1010).
  • Advising industry associations on how to navigate changes to temperature and bacteria water quality standards.
  • Worked on an innovative wild horse adoption program that led to removal of over 1,000 head of wild horses from public lands in southeast Oregon.
  • Developed strategies to expand water rights for Willamette Valley farmers.?
  • Successfully protected aggregate business in proceedings to cancel water rights. ?
  • Defended enforcement of a CAFO permit for a large family-owned dairy.?
  • Settled a logging contract violation issued by the Oregon Department of ?Forestry.?


Covered by the Clean Water Act and WOTUS? Maybe Not Anymore.
Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, December 2018

In December of 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) released their much-anticipated draft proposed rule to re-write the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) (“2018 Rule”). The definition of WOTUS establishes the scope of agency jurisdiction over waters and wetlands under the Clean Water Act (CWA)...

Supreme Court Ruling on Critical Habitat in Dusky Gopher Frog Case
Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, December 2018

The Supreme Court has handed down one of the most anticipated Endangered Species Act (ESA) rulings in recent years. In Weyerhaeuser Co. v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serv., the Supreme Court unanimously overruled the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, holding that the Fish and Wildlife Service can only designate property that is “habitat” as critical habitat under the ESA...

Additional Articles

  • Paycheck Protection Program Portal
  • Another “New” Era: WOTUS Rule 2020 (updated 07/24/2020)
  • Oregon Court of Appeals Holds Hydroelectric Water Rights Do Not Automatically Convert to Permanent In-Stream Rights When Temporarily Leased for In-Stream Purposes
  • COVID-19: Impacts on Environmental Compliance, Inspections, and Enforcement (Updated 05/7/2020)
  • County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund: Groundwater Discharges May Require Permit Under Clean Water Act
  • COVID-19: Cities and States Move to Restrict Non-Residential Evictions
  • Court Finds Oregon Water Resources Department Exceeded Authority to Regulate Wells
  • Endangered Species Act: The Basics in Detail
  • Covered by the Clean Water Act and WOTUS? Maybe Not Anymore.
  • Supreme Court Ruling on Critical Habitat in Dusky Gopher Frog Case
  • Marbled Murrelet Listed as Endangered Under Oregon’s Endangered Species Act: What Does It Mean for Timber Landowners and Operators in Oregon?
  • Harney County Community Members Learn Ways to Manage Declining Water Levels
  • EPA Issues Notice Declining to Further Regulate Forest Road Runoff
  • 6 Pieces of Practical Advice for Resolving Grazing Issues on Public Land
  • Oregon Water Law Questions and Answers
  • Schwabe in the Field:  Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Stayed the EPA's Water Rule - WOTUS
  • Schwabe in the Field: North Dakota Judge Enjoins WOTUS Rule As Environmental Groups File Suit
  • Do the Clean Water Rules Matter?
  • Dairy Settlement Sets Difficult Precedent for Agriculture
  • Water Right Tools Available for Farms and Ranches Facing Drought
  • Water Right Tools Are Available for Farms and ?Ranches Facing Drought Conditions ?


  • Webinar: Lead Like a Woman
  • Clean Water Act Rule Repeal – Presentation to Oregon Concrete & Aggregate Producers Association
  • Making the Most of Your Water Rights - Presentation at Chemeketa Community College Agribusiness Management Class
  • 28th Annual Oregon Water Law Conference
  • 2nd Annual Agriculture Law Conference
  • Oregon State Bar Agricultural Law Section Annual "Round-Up" CLE Program
  • Innovative Oregon: Building a Climate for Success
  • 2018 Washington Dairy Conference
  • 27th Annual Oregon Water Law Conference
  • Western Forestry and Conservation Association's 2018 PNW Reforestation Council Annual Meeting
  • Agriculture Law: A Continuing Legal and Professional Education Seminar
  • Salem Agriculture Seminar
  • Central Washington Agriculture Seminar
  • In the Field: Central Oregon Agriculture Seminar, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017?
  • 2017 Riparian Workshop: Legal Issues and Implications for Riparian Policy and Management
  • Oregon Cattlemen’s Association Midyear Convention
  • Yamhill County Farm Bureau 67th Annual Dinner

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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