About Barbara

Barbara Craig is a forester turned attorney and as such she brings an understanding in science, biology and public policy that provides for forging creative solutions to conflicts relating to federal permitting. She began her practice during the northern spotted owl debates and the President’s Forest Plan that was followed by the Salmon Summit commenced by Senator Hatfield. She focuses her practice on federal and environmental law and has followed iconic landscape species debates that have affected her clients, including forestry companies and associations, ports, pulp and paper interests, developers and owners of hydropower dams, wind energy projects, solar projects, utilities, and oil and gas facilities.

Barbara has extensive experience on issues involving the Endangered Species Act (ESA), National Forest Management Act (NFMA), Federal Land Policy and Management Act, Federal Power Act (FPA), Natural Gas Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), Clean Water Act (CWA), and Administrative Procedures Act. In particular, she has a thorough knowledge of this complex area of ESA and has successfully completed Section 7 consultations, developed Section 10 Habitat Conservation Plans, Safe Harbor Agreements, Candidate Conservation Agreements, and proposed 4(d) rules.

As noted by environmental clients, “Barbara is always professional, friendly, and deeply invested in her clients’ needs. She will be relentless until project obstacles/issues are resolved.

Her ability to provide specific expertise and high-level strategic business vision is an asset.” (Chambers USA)


Barbara received her B.S. in Forest Management from Oregon State University in 1980 and worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a project forester for five years in the Leavenworth Ranger District in the Wenatchee National Forest in Washington. As a project forester, she was responsible for all aspects of timber management, including NEPA documents, silvicultural prescriptions, sale design, field layout, contract compilation and appraisal. She was a member of the Redmond Hotshot Crew, fighting forest fires in the region. Before joining the U.S. Forest Service, she worked as a private contractor for four years, procuring labor contracts in forestry for activities such as reforestation, slash piling, fire-line construction and precommercial thinning.

Barbara worked for the U.S. Forest Service while attending law school and graduated from Lewis & Clark Law School, J.D., 1987. She received a Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law and is a member of the Cornelius Honor Society.

Prior Experience

Barbara served as law clerk to the Honorable Robert C. Belloni, U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, and has assisted Judge Owen M. Panner, Judge Malcom F. Marsh and Judge James A. Redden, U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, in cases involving NEPA, the NFMA and the ESA.

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  • Representation of utility in implementation of precedential Habitat Conservation Plans for two FERC Hydroelectric Projects.
  • Assisted timberland owners in Washington and Oregon with strategy and development of a Safe Harbor Agreement (SHA) for the northern spotted owl under the ESA. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) critical habitat designation excluded all of the clients’ lands encompassing 81,587 acres under the SHA.
  • Advised utilities on ESA, MBTA and Eagle Act issues for their hydropower projects and distribution and transmission lines, including the development of Avian Bat Protection Plans (ABPPs) or Bird and Bat Conservation Strategies (BBCS) and Eagle Conservation Plans (ECPs).
  • Advised numerous wind energy companies on ESA, MBTA, Eagle Act, NEPA and related NHPA issues and tribal consultations for existing wind projects, including the development of ABPPs or BBCS, ECPs, Section 7 ESA consultations and Section 10 Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) and ESA take avoidance agreements.
  • Advised numerous wind energy companies on ESA, MBTA, Eagle Act NEPA and NHPA issues in developing and constructing wind projects, including the development of Avian Bat Protection Plans (ABPs) or Bird and Bat Conservation Strategies (BBCS), Section 7 ESA consultations, Section 10 HCPs, and Eagle Conservation Plans (ECPs).
  • Advised utilities on federal and state permitting strategies for the development of energy projects, including Section 10 Rivers and Harbors Act issues, ESA compliance and NEPA and Waterway Suitability Assessments for the U.S. Coast Guard Letter of Recommendation.
  • Advised utility on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license compliance issues consistent with its FERC license articles and agreements, including advice regarding HCP terms and the development of hatchery genetic management plans (HGMPs) and Section 10 ESA permits.
  • Representation of energy company in siting facility and obtaining a FERC certificate that included U.S. Coast Guard Letter of Recommendation, NEPA, Section 7 ESA consultation and MMPA compliance strategy related to the proposed construction and operation of the energy facility and pipeline in Pacific Northwest.
  • Advised numerous private clients on ESA compliance strategies related to the Oregon silverspot butterfly, including completion of an HCP for a real estate development, completion of conservation agreements and take avoidance plans.
  • Advised Potlatch Corp. in renewal of its National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit under the CWA and Section 7 ESA consultation for the company’s Lewiston, Idaho pulp and paper mill, and successfully defended consultation in federal court litigation.
  • Representation of intervenor Longview Fibre Company in litigation brought by environmental plaintiffs against the State of Oregon under the ESA. In PRC v. Brown, plaintiffs alleged that the State Forester was in violation of the ESA by approving timber harvest plans that could impact streams where listed fish were found. Due to a variety of circumstances, including revisions to the Oregon Forest Practices Act and the de-listing of the Coho, the court dismissed the case.
  • Representation of utility in FERC dispute through FERC license amendment and negotiation of settlement agreement of HCPs under the ESA and FPA and associated tribal consultation.
  • Representation of utility in relicensing strategy that incorporated HCPs and additional settlement agreement measures for new FERC license under the FPA and assistance in Section 7 ESA consultations with the FWS, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and FERC.
  • Representation of utility in development of successful ESA consultations to obtain HCP incidental take permits for two FERC hydropower projects.
  • Negotiated and drafted decommissioning settlement agreement for hydroelectric project in Washington, resolving all issues related to interim project operations and project decommissioning involving numerous stakeholders, including American Rivers, NMFS, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Yakama Nation and the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission. Negotiated a related agreement under which the U.S. Department of Justice, acting in its capacity for Indian tribes, and four Indian tribes released potential claims against client.
  • Advised coalition of private and public utilities on ESA compliance for the operation of the Federal Columbia River Hydropower System. Successfully defended in federal district court against a preliminary injunction that could have resulted in the judge running the operations of the river at great cost to the region and with a large loss of flexibility and reliability to the hydropower system. Successfully assisted in the development of a biological opinion pursuant to the court’s remand order.
  • Advised utility on interim ESA consultation with FERC for its ongoing hydroelectric operations, fortuitously providing incidental take coverage before a catastrophic event occurred. Represented the same utility in excluding its FERC project lands from being designated as critical habitat on the basis of its prior ESA compliance strategy.
  • Advised private utility in ESA consultation, including the Lost River and shortnose suckers and coho, for its FERC hydroelectric project with the Bureau of Reclamation, the FWS, FERC and the NMFS. Successfully defended the ESA consultation compliance through the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Advised an energy client in negotiating a settlement agreement with ranchers to acquire water rights to dedicate to instream flows to enhance fish habitat as part of an HCP.
  • Advised industrial developer in all permitting associated with building a fabrication plant, including ESA compliance for Bradshaw’s lomatium. Successfully defended ESA consultation in federal court litigation through the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals without any injunctive relief.
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Honors & Activities

  • Named by Best Lawyers® as Natural Resources Law “Lawyer of the Year,” Portland, 2011, 2017 and 2019
  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America® (Natural Resources Law), 2009–2024
  • Selected as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” (Oregon) by Chambers USA (Environment), 2010–2023
  • Recipient, Pamela E. Klatt Annual Award, Northwest Hydroelectric Association, 2024
  • Past General Counsel and President, current Board Member, Northwest Hydroelectric Association, 2014–present
  • Recipient of the Ted Young Stewardship Award from OFIC, 2009
  • Member, Oregon Board of Forestry (appointed by Gov. Ted Kulongoski), 2004–2008
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • Phase 2 NEPA Revisions: Significant Changes Proposed by CEQ in the Proposed Bipartisan Permitting Reform Rule” (co-author), Stoel Rives Environmental Law blog, August 3, 2023
  • Moderator, “The Hydro Brief: Examining Current Legal Issues and What they Mean to You,” Waterpower Week, 2018
  • “Practice Pointers and Pitfalls,” RMMLF Special Institute on the National Environmental Policy Act, 2017
  • Moderator, “Legal and Policy Impacts of a New Administration,” NWHA Annual Conference - Hydropower: The Cornerstone of Clean Energy, 2017
  • “Environmental & Permitting—Latest Developments Panel,” Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit, 2017
  • "New Year, New Eagle Rule: What It Means for Project Developers and Operators," webinar, 2017
  • Moderator, “A New Vision for Hydropower,” NWHA Annual Conference, 2016
  • “Endangered Species Act Compliance in Project Development and Land Use,” webinar, 2016
  • “Finding the Balance: Wind Energy and Avian Conservation,” webinar, 2014
  • Wind Energy Operators Need Eagle Eyes for New Rules” (co-author), Law 360, 2014
  • “FWS Extends Eagle ‘Take’ Permit to 30 Years | What You Need to Know,” Stoel Rives Environmental Law Alert, 2013
  • “Avian Impacts and the Law,” Compliance and Conservation Strategies for Permitting Projects, 2013
  • “U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance for Wind Projects,” Stoel Rives Environmental Law Alert, 2013
  • “U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines,” Stoel Rives Environmental Law Alert, 2013
  • Moderator, Sage Grouse in the Western Landscape, Northwest Mining Association Annual Meeting, 2012
  • Teaming to Build a Defensible Record Seminar, 2011
  • “Eagles and Wind Farms—Can’t We All Just Get Along?” 2011
  • Moderator, “Renewable Energy and the Endangered Species Act: Advancing Sustainable Energy While Protecting Wildlife,” ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources Law Summit, 2010
  • “Avian Laws and Wind Energy Development,” 2010
  • Moderator, “The Mighty Columbia,” The Seminar Group, 2007
  • “Demystifying the Endangered Species Act,” Law Seminars International: Land Use in Southwestern Washington, 2007
  • “Hatchery Policy & Steelhead ‘Downlisting’ Invalidated,” The Seminar Group CLE Webcast, Seattle, 2007
  • “New Legal Standards and Requirements: A Status Report, The Endangered Species Act,” National Hydropower Association Annual Conference, 2006
  • “A Primer on the Endangered Species Act: The Species List, Take Prohibition, Permits & Federal Consultation Requirements,” 2006
  • Moderator, “The Mighty Columbia—A River for All,” The Seminar Group, 2005
  • “Endangered Species Act: New Changes and How They May Affect You,” 2005
  • “The Present and Future of HCPs: With or Without ‘No Surprises,’ Habitat Conservation Plans and "No Surprise Rule” Panel, 2005
  • “ESA and FERC Relicensing, PacifiCorp Case Study: Lewis River Hydroelectric Projects,” National Hydropower Conference, 2005
  • “Endangered Species Act: Endangered Species Act Developments,” Oregon Insider, 2005
  • “Major Court Decision Affecting Critical Habitat in the Gifford Pinchot Case,” National Hydropower Conference, 2004
  • “The Intricate Interplay Between CWA and ESA Issues,” ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, 2002
  • “National Forest Planning & Anadromous Fish Protection: A Trilogy of NEPA Cases,” Journal of Environmental Law & Litigation, 1988

Related News & Publications

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