About Denise Fort
Denise Fort has an extensive background in environmental and natural resources law - about 25 years of practice, politics, reflecting and writing about policies, all animated by a belief that society must turn toward a more sustainable relationship with its environment. She believes that law plays a critical role in establishing the institutions that govern those relationships.
In 1995, she chaired the Western Water Policy Review Advisory Commission, a presidential panel appointed to review the role of the federal government in western water issues. She has also been active in the National Research Council, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences.
Fort began her career as an environmental attorney with New Mexico Public Interest Research Group and Southwest Research and Information Center, then became a special assistant attorney general in the state's Taxation and Revenue Department. When she was 31, she was appointed Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration. She moved on to head the state Environmental Improvement Division.
In 1987, Fort turned her focus to teaching, spending a year as a research associate at UNM's Institute of Public Policy and the UNM School of Law. She then served as executive director of Citizens for a Better Environment and as a consultant for the Natural Heritage Institute, both in California, before returning to New Mexico. In 1991, she became director of the Water Resources Administration Program at UNM and joined the law school faculty at that time.
While now retired, Professor Fort still teaches from time to time, and brings her extensive background experience to the classroom and to work with individual students. She focuses her teaching on environmental law and upper-level seminars on a broad range of natural resources topics.
Books and Book Chapters (7)
Contribution to Book
The Changing Context
Decision-Support Experiments and Evaluations using Seasonal to Inter-annual Forecasts and Observational Data: A Focus on Water Resources (2008)
Faced with mounting pressures from a changing climate, an increasing population, a transitory populace, and varying access to available natural ...
Contribution to Book
The Use of Environmental Taxes as a Water Management Strategy
Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation: International and Comparative Perspectives (2007)
Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation provides valuable insights and analysis for legislators, policy makers and academics addressing the challenges of ...
Scholarly Articles (7)
Too Hot to Handle: Climate Change and Agricultural Water Use
International Journal of Rural Law and Policy (Special Edition - Water Law: Through the Lens of Conflict) (2011)
The world faces enormous challenges in responding to looming crises in food and water. Responding to this challenge will require ...