Overview

About Kirk

I bring a solutions-oriented approach to the practice of natural resources and environmental law. I have deep roots in Oregon agriculture and co-lead Stoel Rives’ firm-wide Agribusiness, Food, Beverage, and Timber industry group. I grew up working on my family’s farm and feedlot in eastern Oregon. That real-world work experience shapes my understanding of the challenges clients face and influences my practical approach to problem solving. I recognize that not every issue requires a complex legal solution, and this allows me to identify more straightforward, cost-effective solutions for my clients.

My practice involves advising clients in natural resource industries, including agribusinesses, forest products companies, manufacturers, and water suppliers. I focus on the needs of those industries and advise clients on issues related to water rights, protected species, real property transactions, and regulations that affect the storage, transportation, disposal, and cleanup of solid and hazardous wastes.

I discovered my passion for natural resources and environmental law and policy on the farm and at Oregon State University. This passion led me to Georgetown Law where I began developing the foundation for my current legal practice. Between graduating from law school and beginning work for Stoel Rives, I clerked for Judge Carlos Bea on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Before starting my legal career, I served as a state officer for the Oregon Future Farmers of America (FFA) Association, and I currently serve on the Board of Directors for the Oregon FFA Foundation. In this role, I build financial support for the Oregon FFA Association and advocate for agriculture, students, and rural communities. I also serve on the board of directors for the Cultivating Change Foundation, which has a mission to value and elevate LGBT agriculturists through advocacy, education, and community.

 

Kirk Maag is noted for his environmental expertise, and is particularly active in the agriculture and forestry industries.”
 - Chambers 2019         

 

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Experience

Experience

Water Law

  • Regularly counsel irrigation districts and individual water users to inventory and secure existing water rights, obtain new water rights and transfer existing water rights to new uses.
  • Regularly advise potential property buyers regarding water rights associated with farm, ranch, commercial, industrial, and recreation properties as part of due diligence review.
  • Regularly advise irrigation districts and other quasi-municipal entities regarding compliance with public records and public meeting laws.
  • Drafted policies for public bodies regarding public records obligations and document retention and destruction.
  • Represented irrigation districts in connection with defense of citizen suits under Endangered Species Act (ESA).
  • Represented irrigation district in state court litigation to secure access to potential reservoir site for purposes of surveying and testing.
  • Represented irrigation district in state administrative proceeding to defend approval of water storage permit application.
  • Negotiated settlement of contested case related to an instream transfer of water rights.
  • Represented municipal water supplier in drafting and obtaining approval of a Water Management and Conservation Plan and in applying for an extension of a water use permit.

Timber Industry

  • Represented Green Diamond Resource Company in its acquisition of approximately 600,000 acres of timberland in southern Oregon and northern California.
  • Represented Brookfield Asset Management Inc. in due diligence and real estate aspects of $2.65 billion sale of timberlands assets, including approximately 645,000 acres of Pacific Northwest timberlands.
  • Represented Timberland Investment Management Organization (TIMO) in multiple dispositions and acquisitions of timberlands in the Pacific Northwest and Southeast.
  • Advised clients regarding developments in forest and range fire liability under state and federal law and assisted in drafting legislation to reform forest fire liability in Oregon and Washington.
  • Advised client that purchases state and federal timber regarding restrictions on the export of timber.
  • Represented federal timber purchaser in connection with filing a demand letter and claim with the United States Forest Service to recover for injuries arising out of a federal timber sale contract.
  • Drafted Lacey Act compliance policy and agreements necessary to implement policy for importer of plant/wood products.

Agricultural Industry

  • Represented various clients in the acquisition of farmland and related assets.
  • Advised national food processor regarding compliance with Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR).
  • Assisted in prosecuting lawsuit regarding $350,000 claim by agricultural commodities wholesaler against debtor, including claims involving breach of contract and breach of personal guaranties.
  • Advised food processor regarding local, state and federal permit requirements associated with development of processing facility.
  • Negotiated successful resolution of Oregon Department of Agriculture’s suspension of a dairy’s license to sell milk.
  • Advised dairy regarding compliance with Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) permit.

Environmental Regulation Compliance

  • Provide regulatory compliance counseling to clients under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA); Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA); Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA); and analogous state laws.
  • Advised multiple clients regarding solid waste permitting requirements under federal, state, and local laws. Represented manufacturer to negotiate the resolution of an Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) notice of violation related to compliance with solid and hazardous waste related laws.
  • Advised manufacturer regarding response to DEQ warning letter that alleged violations of various solid and hazardous waste related laws.
  • Advised multiple clients regarding the transportation of hazardous materials under state and federal regulatory programs, including requirements prescribed by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR).
  • Advised clients and drafted public comments regarding the proposed listing of a species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the proposed designation of critical habitat for the species. 
  • Drafted comments on draft environmental assessment (EA) for proposed hardrock prospecting project on federal land and advised client regarding National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) procedures and requirements.
  • Advised client facing regulatory deadline regarding the transportation of hazardous materials to disposal facility consistent with Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations.
  • Advised client regarding potential fair notice defense to enforcement action by federal regulatory agency.
  • Advised client regarding potential claim for natural resource damages (NRD) under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Oregon law.
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Honors

Honors & Activities

Professional Recognition

  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America© (currently: Environmental Law), 2019-2020
  • Selected as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” (Oregon) by Chambers USA (currently: Environment), 2016-2019
  • Listed among Rising Stars (Environmental) Oregon Super Lawyers®, 2019
  • Shortlisted for Chambers Diversity & Inclusion Awards, USA 2019 as LGBT+ Equality Lawyer of the Year
  • Selected by the Portland Business Journal as a Forty Under 40 honoree, 2018

Professional and Civic Activities

  • Executive Committee, Oregon State Bar Environmental & Natural Resources Section
  • Member, Oregon State Bar Agricultural Law Section
  • Member, Oregon State Bar Real Estate & Land Use Section
  • President, Oregon FFA (Future Farmers of America) Joint Board
  • President, Oregon FFA Foundation
  • Chair, Search Committee, Oregon FFA CEO, 2019
  • Board Secretary, Cultivating Change Foundation
  • Board Member, Oregon Water Resources Congress
  • Alumni Advisor for Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity (Oregon State University), 2011-2018
  • Member, Search Committee, Oregon State University Director of Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life, 2014, 2015
  • State Officer, Oregon FFA Association, 2000-01

Clerkship

  • Law Clerk, Judge Carlos T. Bea, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (2009-10)
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • Presenter, “RCRA: Dangerous Waste Fundamentals,” Business & The Environment CONFERENCE · EXPO, Portland, Oregon, Dec. 10, 2019
  • Co-author, “Addressing rural Oregon’s talent gap with careful transition planning,” Portland Business Journal, June 28, 2019
  • Co-presenter, “Environmental Regulation under the @realDonaldTrumpAdministration,” Food + Beverage Environmental Conference, New Orleans, LA, April 1, 2019
  • Presenter, “Resource Conservation and Recovery Act,” ELI Western Boot Camp on Environmental Law®, March 27, 2019
  • Co-presenter, “LGBTQ Diversity in the Agriculture and Forest Products Industries,” REAL Oregon, Salem, OR, March 12, 2019
  • Keynote Speaker, Careers in Agriculture Conference, Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom, Salem, OR, January 18, 2019
  • Presenter, “Environmental Policy Under the Trump Administration,” Business & The Environment CONFERENCE · EXPO, Portland, Oregon, Dec. 11, 2018
  • Presenter, “Cases and Issues Impacting Irrigated Agriculture,” Oregon Water Resources Congress Annual Conference, Hood River, Oregon, Nov. 29, 2018
  • Co-presenter, “How Many Lawyers Does It Take to Keep Your Ditch Out of Trouble?,” Oregon Water Resources Congress Annual Conference, Hood River, Oregon, Nov. 27, 2018
  • Presenter, “Water Law Practical Skills and Technical Considerations,” 27th Annual Oregon Water Law Conference, The Seminar Group, Portland, Oregon, Nov. 8, 2018
  • Presenter, “Hot Topics in Endangered Species Act Litigation,” American Agricultural Law Association: 2018 Annual Education Symposium, Portland, Oregon, Oct. 27, 2018
  • Co-author, “Deeply Rooted in Oregon: Our Agribusiness and Natural Resource Industries,” Portland Business Journal, Oct. 12, 2018
  • Co-author, “Selling the Elliott (Or Not),” Oregon Real Estate and Land Use Digest, Section on Real Estate and Land Use, Oregon State Bar, October 2018
  • Chair and presenter, “Introduction and Overview,” “Environmental Law Update – ESA,” Agricultural Law, The Seminar Group, Bend, Oregon, July 20, 2018
  • Co-author, “Federal Government Allowed to Join Texas in Claims Against New Mexico for Breach of Water Compact,” Oregon Real Estate and Land Use Digest, Section on Real Estate and Land Use, Oregon State Bar, June 2018
  • Chair and presenter, “Rights and Duties Related to Flood Waters,” Easements and Access, The Seminar Group, Portland, Oregon, June 7, 2018
  • Presenter, “Environmental Regulation Under the @realDonaldTrump Administration,” Food + Beverage Environmental Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico, March 26, 2018
  • Co-presenter, “Deschutes River Basin Update,” The Mighty Columbia, The Seminar Group, Portland, Oregon, March 23, 2018
  • Presenter, “Resource Conservation and Recovery Act,” ELI Western Boot Camp on Environmental Law®, March 21, 2018
  • Author, “Don’t Get Locked Out: Securing Access with Easements,” Western Forester, Jan.-Feb.-March 2018
  • Presenter, “Legal Issues Impacting Irrigated Agriculture,” Northwest Irrigation Operators, Inc. 68th Biennial Conference, Boise, Idaho, Feb. 2018
  • Author, “Timberlands Regulation Under the @realDonaldTrump Administration,” Western Forester, Nov.-Dec. 2017
  • Presenter, “RCRA/TSCA: Change is the Only Constant,” Northwest Environmental Conference & Tradeshow, Portland, Oregon, Dec. 5, 2017
  • Presenter, “Legal Issues Impacting Irrigated Agriculture,” Oregon Water Resources Congress Annual Conference, Hood River, Oregon, Nov. 30, 2017
  • Presenter, “Flood Waters, Drainage, and Easements Related to Water,” Oregon Water Resources Congress Annual Conference, Hood River, Oregon, Nov. 28, 2017
  • Co-presenter, “CERCLA Liability of U.S. Government as Owner, Operator or Arranger for Clean-Up Cost and NRD on Public Lands,” Strafford Publications, Nov. 21, 2017
  • Presenter, “Flood Waters, Rights, and Duties,” Oregon Water Law Conference, The Seminar Group, Nov. 2, 2017
  • Presenter, “New Public Records Requirements for Public Bodies,” Water Law Seminar, Oregon Water Resources Congress, Redmond, Oregon, Oct. 5, 2017
  • Presenter, “Timberland Regulation Under the Trump Administration,” Who Will Own the Forest?, World Forestry Institute, Sept. 13, 2017
  • Presenter, “Public Records and Public Meetings,” Annual Office Staff Workshop, Oregon Water Resources Congress, Redmond, Oregon, July 24, 2017
  • Presenter, “Easements Related to Water,” Annual Manager’s Meeting, Oregon Water Resources Congress, Lincoln City, Oregon, March 23, 2017
  • Presenter, “Resource Conservation and Recovery Act,” ELI Western Boot Camp on Environmental Law®, March 15, 2017
  • Presenter, “ESA Update: Listing and De-Listing Efforts, Habitat Conservation Plans,” Agriculture Law, The Seminar Group, Feb. 16, 2017
  • Presenter, “Water Easements,” Easements in Oregon, The Seminar Group, Feb. 10, 2017
  • Presenter, “When Does Data Become Public Information,” Northwest Environmental Conference & Tradeshow, Portland, Oregon, Dec. 6, 2016
  • Presenter, “Key Legal Cases and Issues Impacting Irrigated Agriculture,” Oregon Water Resources Congress Annual Conference, Hood River, Oregon, Nov. 29, 2016
  • Co-presenter, “Deschutes River Basin: Oregon Spotted Frog and Impact on Central Oregon,” The Mighty Columbia, The Seminar Group, Seattle, Washington, Oct. 28, 2016
  • Presenter, “Hot Topics: Endangered Species Act,” Environmental Law: Year in Review, Environmental and Natural Resources Section of the Oregon State Bar, Portland, Oregon, Oct. 14, 2016
  • Co-author, “Expanding Overtime to Farmworkers: Will California Start a Trend?” Stoel Rives World of Employment blog, Sept. 26, 2016
  • Author, “Court Uses Climate Change to Sharpen ESA’s Claws,” Washington Legal Foundation, July 2016
  • Presenter, “Lessons Learned: What Freedom to Marry Taught Us About Successful Advocacy Campaigns,” Cultivating Change Summit, June 2016
  • Presenter, “Water Easements,” Easements and CCRs in Oregon, The Seminar Group, Portland, Oregon, April 27, 2016
  • Presenter, “Water Rights and Drought in Timberlands Management,” Pacific Northwest Timberlands Management, The Seminar Group, Portland, Oregon, April 1, 2016
  • Co-presenter, “Resource Conservation and Recovery Act,” ELI Western Boot Camp, San Francisco, Calif., March 16, 2016
  • Presenter, “Panel of Attorneys-Oregon Water Issues,” Northwest Irrigation Operators, Inc. 66th Biennial Conference, Boise, Idaho, Feb. 2016
  • Moderator, “Western Drought – Reshaping the Northwest,” Northwest Environmental Conference & Tradeshow, Portland, Oregon, Dec. 8, 2015
  • Presenter, “Key Legal Cases and Issues Impacting Irrigated Agriculture,” Oregon Water Resources Congress Annual Conference, Hood River, Oregon, Dec. 2, 2015
  • Presenter, “Public Records and Open Meetings: Removing the Haze from Government Transparency Requirements,” Oregon Water Resources Congress Annual Conference, Hood River, Oregon, Dec. 1, 2015
  • Presenter, “Water Rights 101,” Chemeketa Community College AgriBusiness Management Program, Salem, Oregon, Nov. 17, 2015
  • Presenter, “Hot Topics in the Development of New Water Storage,” Oregon Water Law Conference, The Seminar Group, Portland, Oregon, Nov. 13, 2015
  • Presenter, “Public Records and the Consultant/Attorney Team: Removing the Haze from Government Transparency Requirements,” Portland, Oregon, Oct. 27, 2015
  • Presenter, “RCRA 101: A 10-minute Introduction to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act,” Environmental Law: Year in Review, Environmental and Natural Resources Section of the Oregon State Bar, Portland, Oregon, Oct. 23, 2015
  • Author, “Water Rights and Transactions,” Oregon Real Estate Deskbook, 2015 Edition
  • Presenter, “2015 Legal Update: Water, Fire, and Critters,” 2015 OSCPA Forest Products Conference, Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants, Eugene, Oregon, June 26, 2015
  • Author, “The State’s Property Interest in Wildlife,” Oregon Real Estate and Land Use Digest, May 2015
  • Presenter, “Water Rights 101,” Quarterly Meeting of Ag Advisors of the Willamette Valley (copanelists included former and current Director of Oregon Water Resources Department), Salem, Oregon, May 14, 2015
  • Presenter, “Water Rights & Watercourses: Ownership, Allocation Systems, & Property Boundaries,” Determining Land Ownership and Access Rights, HalfMoon Education, Inc., Portland, Oregon, Dec. 5, 2014
  • Presenter, “Oregon Spotted Frog: The Newest Challenge for Deschutes Basin Irrigators,” Jefferson County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting, Madras, Oregon, Nov. 22, 2014
  • Presenter, “Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans,” Lunch Workshop Series, Stoel Rives Environment, Land Use and Natural Resources Group, Portland, Oregon, Nov. 19, 2014
  • Presenter, “Legal Issues: Measure 91, Smudge Pots & More,” Operations and Maintenance Workshop, Oregon Water Resources Congress, Forest Grove, Oregon, Nov. 17, 2014
  • Presenter, “What is ‘Injury’? A New Look at an Old Concept,” Oregon Water Law Conference, The Seminar Group, Portland, Oregon, Nov. 6, 2014
  • Presenter, “PRP Claims under CERCLA: The Rules Continue to Change,” Environmental Law: Year in Review, Environmental and Natural Resources Section of the Oregon State Bar, Portland, Oregon, Oct. 24, 2014
  • Presenter, “Water Rights 101 & the Klamath Basin Adjudication,” Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, June 2, 2014
  • Presenter, “Hot Topics in Oregon Water Law,” Northwest Irrigation Operators Conference, Boise, Idaho, Feb. 12, 2014
  • Presenter, “Water Rights 101 & the Klamath Basin Adjudication,” Western Resources Legal Center, Portland, Oregon, Feb. 5, 2014
  • Moderator, “Environmental, Health & Safety Audits & Inspections – Avoiding and Managing Surprises,” Northwest Environmental Conference & Tradeshow, Portland, Oregon, Dec. 10, 2013
  • Presenter, “What Irrigation Districts Should Know About Easements II,” Oregon Water Resources Congress Annual Conference, Hood River, Oregon, Dec. 3, 2013
  • Co-author, “Tools for Managing and Protecting Water Rights in Oregon,” Irrigation Leader, 2013
  • Presenter, “Water Law 101,” Oregon Water Law Conference, The Seminar Group, Portland, Oregon, Nov. 7, 2013
  • Presenter, “Nonessential Experimental Population Designation: A Win-Win for Water Users and Steelhead,” Fisheries & Hatcheries: Legal and Regulatory Frameworks, The Seminar Group, Seattle, Washington, Sept. 19, 2013
  • Presenter, “2013 in Review: Water-Related Bills in the Oregon Legislature, New Rules, and the Klamath Basin,” Water Laws and Regulations, HalfMoon Education, Inc., Portland, Oregon, Aug. 22, 2013
  • Author, Quarterly reports on Oregon water law for Water Law Newsletter, publication of Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, 2012-present
  • Presenter, “What Irrigation Districts Should Know About Easements,” Oregon Water Resources Congress Annual Conference, Hood River, Oregon, Nov. 27, 2012
  • Presenter, “Protecting the Attorney-Client Privilege,” presentation to Maul Foster & Alongi, 2012
  • Author, “ESA Experimental Population: NMFS’ First Proposed Designation a Win-Win for Water Users and Steelhead,” The Water Report, 2011
  • Author, “Climate Change Litigation: Drawing Lines to Avoid Strict, Joint, and Several Liability,” Georgetown Law Journal, 2009
  • Co-author, “Securing Access to Forestlands,” Northwest Woodlands, Summer 2008, and Western Forester, Sept.-Oct. 2008



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