UW Graduate Wins Legal Writing Award

Travis Brammer


The Burton Awards has announced that University of Wyoming graduate and current UW Ruckelshaus Institute Conservation Fellow Travis Brammer is among 25 student writers selected for the Law360 Distinguished Legal Writing Award.

Brammer graduated in 2022 from the JD/MA dual degree program between UW’s College of Law and the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources. The award recognizes Brammer for his article, “Using Land and Water Conservation Fund Money to Protect Western Migration Corridors,” published in Volume 22 of the Wyoming Law Review.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was established by Congress in 1964 to safeguard natural areas, water resources and cultural heritage and to provide recreation opportunities. At no cost to taxpayers, the LWCF supports public access and protection of national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and other federal lands, as well as provides for partnerships with landowners to support voluntary conservation activities.

In the article, Brammer shows that “without a need to change existing law or enact new law, states and federal agencies can funnel significant money through the LWCF to corridor conservation in an effort to create a comprehensive corridor conservation strategy.”

The article further shows how wildlife migration corridors support Western economies, ecosystems and culture.

Michael Smith, head of the College of Law’s legal writing program, nominated Brammer for the award in consultation with Jason Robison, a faculty member in the law school’s environmental, energy and natural resources program.

“I was impressed by his clear, concise language,” Robison says. “Travis makes a compelling argument for protecting the routes game animals use for migrating between winter and summer ranges. More than that, he presents a viable funding option for doing so. This article is an exemplary piece of student scholarship that fits perfectly in the Wyoming Law Review.”

Before pursuing his law degree, Brammer served as the stewardship coordinator and interim conservation director for the Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust. As the conservation fellow in the Ruckelshaus Institute MacMillan Private Lands Stewardship Program at UW, he continues to research issues related to stewardship of private lands, including emerging conservation tools and policies.

“I gained an interest in private lands conservation while working on my family’s farm and ranch in Sterling, Colo.,” Brammer says.

The Burton Awards program was established in 1999 to recognize accomplishments in legal writing, reform, public service and interest, regulatory innovation and lifetime achievements in the legal profession. Other award recipients include student writers from Columbia Law School, Harvard Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, Emory University School of Law and Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

Brammer will be recognized at the 24th annual Burton Awards June 12 at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. The event is presented by Law360 and co-sponsored by the American Bar Association with the Library of Congress.


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