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Contact Elaine

2801 Alaskan Way, Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98121
T: 206.777.7551

Elaine L. Spencer

Elaine has a broad range of trial experience in land use and natural resource issues. She has been a leader in defending the forest products industry from lawsuits threatening its economic vitality. She has represented a wide range of property owners in disputes over whether they can use their land. Her success comes from a combination of legal skills, industry knowledge and a strategic ability to claim the high ground in controversial matters early, and to maintain that high ground to achieve the client’s objectives.

Representative Experience

Represented Weyerhaeuser in defending against a claim that it had “taken” northern spotted owls in violation of Section 9 of the Endangered Species Act in the management of its forests.
Currently representing the American Forest Resource Council as intervenor in a suit by environmental groups who are challenging a minor amendment to the Washington State Lands HCP, claiming that the minor amendment violates Washington’s State Environmental Policy Act because it will have significant adverse impacts on the marbled murrelet.
Defended DNR’s issuance of a determination of non-significance under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) for the Blanchard Forest Strategies.
Represented the WFPA as Intervenor-Respondent in defending a suit challenging essentially all of the substantive forest practices rules on the grounds that they did not adequately respond to new scientific information about endangered species. Suit dismissed based on our motion.
Represented the American Forest Resource Council and various public intervenors in negotiating a settlement of litigation challenging the sustainable harvest level for Western Washington trust lands and several policies that lifted owlcircle protections for the northern spotted owl on state trust lands and otherwise increased the sustainable harvest level. The settlement restored the sustainable harvest level, lifted the owl circles, and sustained the other challenged policies, while at the same time achieving greater protection for the northern spotted owl.