Nathan Liu

2023 Summer Associate

Name: Nathan Liu

Education: BA Bennington College 2015, Master of Studies in Environmental Law Lewis and Clark Law School 2019, current 3L law student at Boston University School of Law.

Pronouns: He/him

Hometown: Boston, MA

What brought you to Crag? Back when I lived in Portland a few years ago, I saw Crag’s sign at its old downtown office all the time-which was not far from where I lived- but apparently didn’t look close enough and never noticed it was an environmental nonprofit! But I got a second chance in the process of looking for summer opportunities for legal internships for this summer- and Portland was one of the places I looked because I already had connections here. 

One thing that specifically drew me to Crag was the work it did on land-use/natural resource issues. Besides that aligning with my legal interests, I have enjoyed the NW’s public lands thoroughly throughout the years and thought it would also be a chance to give back.  Finally, the fact that Crag highlighted its interns on its website was pretty unique and a sign that Crag really cared about providing a positive and helpful internship experience. 

What are your environmental/legal interests? I’ve known I’ve wanted to do work to support and advocate for a transition to a more sustainable society for a long time. Two issues that really capture my attention are climate change and governance of natural resources-they both involve a balancing of competing interests. The process of finding solutions is difficult, and being involved in that process-whether in terms of a local land use conflict or at the level of countries negotiating climate agreements and being held accountable to them-is what I aim for in career terms. 

What will your work focus on while at Crag? I am starting off with a logging project that threatens mule deer habitat. Otherwise, I’m ready to get onboard any subject/project where I can help!

Favorite places to recreate or be in nature:I think a good amount of these are here in the NW! The range of the different biomes are hard to find anywhere else-from how wild and biomass-loaded the coastal Olympic Peninsula rainforest is to stepping out on a hike in the Gorge and seeing the landscape change from the lush green on the west side to dry yellow on the east side. 

Favorite book: Lots, though law school makes it difficult to find time to read! Collected Tales by Nikolai Gogol, a 19th century Ukrainian author, are wacky and underappreciated (wacky, weird stories including a government official who wakes up as his own nose and a bureaucrat with a really mundane life who becomes obsessed with getting a better overcoat)

Favorite Quote:  “Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.” Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times; but that is not for them to decide.All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”. From The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien.  

I also like this dad joke -“What did the pond day when a beaver was chewing up the trees on its shore? I’ll be dammed if I let that beaver keep this up!”

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