Clark Morrison

Partner

Overview

Clark Morrison has 30 years of experience in the permitting and development of large and complex development projects. His clients include residential and commercial developers, renewable energy developers, public agencies (universities, water districts, airports, cities, and counties), mining companies, and wineries and other agricultural concerns. Clark's areas of experience include all State and Federal laws affecting the development of real property. He is recognized nationally for his concentration in federal endangered species, wetlands, water law, public lands, and other natural resource laws, and works on the largest habitat conservation planning efforts in the western United States.
 
Clark speaks and writes regularly on land use and natural resource matters, and has served as adjunct lecturer on these subjects at the U.C. Berkeley School of Law.  In 2017, he was named “Natural Resource Lawyer of the Year (San Francisco)” by the nationally-respected publication, Best Lawyers, and is currently writing a definitive treatise on wetlands and endangered species regulation in California. 

Land Use And Development

Clark's statewide land use practice is focused on the entitlement, defense, and development of mixed-use master-planned communities. He advises many of the largest developments in California, including several projects with proposed build-outs of between 10,000 and 25,000 dwelling units. He was a pioneer in the evolution of California's laws requiring evaluation of water supply resources in connection with new development. Clark is skilled in all aspects of land development, from the preparation of specific plans and environmental impact reports and the negotiation of development agreements, to the defense and settlement of complicated multi-party CEQA lawsuits, and ultimately to the implementation of fully permitted projects through the finance, mapping, and construction processes.

Wetlands And Endangered Species

Clark is one of the nation's leading attorneys in wetlands and endangered species regulation. He advises a broad spectrum of clients in this area, including land developers; alternative energy companies; mining and agricultural interests; and public agencies such as water districts, cities, and counties; and mining and agricultural interests. Clark helps his clients negotiate the approval processes of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California's Regional Water Quality Control Boards. His experience includes permitting and litigation under Sections 401 and 404 of the Clean Water Act, Sections 7 and 10 of the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and Sections 2081 and 1602 of the California Fish and Game Code. He has participated in the development of numerous large-scale habitat conservation plans, natural community conservation plans, and mitigation banks. He is presently handling some of California's most complex wetlands and endangered species matters. As a result of this work, Clark is a recognized authority on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), having managed the preparation of numerous environmental impact statements and other NEPA documents.

California Water

Clark is the firm's primary resource on water rights and related issues. He regularly advises water districts, cities, counties, other public agencies, developers, industrial concerns, and agricultural interests in all aspects of water law. His matters include water rights permitting, water transfers, conjunctive use arrangements, wastewater treatment and reuse, urban water management planning, water supply/demand evaluations under SB 610 and SB 221, infrastructure development and finance, and all other matters associated with the development, use, management, and transfer of water resources. He is also experienced in handling the myriad state and federal regulatory structures affecting the use of water, including the state and federal Endangered Species Acts, Magnussen-Stevens, the Clean Water Act, the Porter-Cologne Act, and other laws.

Publications &
Speaking Engagements

Recent Publications

Recent Speaking Engagements

Awards &
Affiliations

Awards & Recognition

  • Recommended Attorney, Real Estate – Land Use/Zoning, Legal 500 USA, 2018
  • Best Lawyers, Natural Resources Lawyer of the Year in San Francisco, 2017
  • Best Lawyers, in Land Use & Zoning Law, Litigation – Land Use & Zoning, Natural Resources Law and Real Estate Law, 2007-2018
  • Northern California Super Lawyers, 2004-2018

Professional Affiliations

  • Bay Area Council, Board of Directors
  • California Building Industry Association, Governmental Affairs Committee
  • The Nature Conservancy, California Leadership Council
  • California Wind Energy Association
  • California Association of Land Trusts
  • California Construction and Industrial Materials Association (CalCIMA)
  • Association of California Water Agencies
  • Co-Author, California Land Use treatise (CEB 2013)
  • Advisory Board, California Land Use Law and Policy Reporter
  • Adjunct Lecturer, UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall)

Bar and Court Admissions

  • State Bar of California

Education

  • J.D., University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), 1987
  • B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1984