This course examines the ways US lands, waters and resources are organized by policies and law, how this has changed over time, and why. We examine underlying structures of law and policy that are often taken for granted. We uncover the political-economic origins of key policies, and trace their long-term social and environmental effects. A key goal is creative and critical comparison: thinking about different ways land, waters, resources and policy have been or might be organized, how and why this changed or might change, and the consequences for the environment and people. The course provides a strong conceptual introduction to political economy of the environment and political conflict over the environment.