Merissa Moeller is an experienced natural resources attorney, with particular skill advising on water resources and rural land use. Her near-decade of experience in this field encompasses a range of clients, including landowners, developers, businesses, local governments, and state natural resource agencies. Merissa’s prior work with an interstate land use planning commission and various courts has equipped her with a broad policy perspective, enabling her to provide strategic solutions to complex regulatory challenges.

In her water and natural resources practice, Merissa offers strategic counsel, regulatory compliance, administrative litigation, and permitting services to a diverse client base, including entities in the agribusiness, renewable energy, municipal water utility, irrigation, winery, and timber sectors. She is skilled in advising on issues related to water resource development, water rights, water quality, and compliance with fish and wildlife laws.

Merissa’s land use practice involves representing developers in negotiations and proceedings with local governments and at appellate court levels in Oregon and Idaho. Her work often focuses on helping rural developers, especially in the renewable energy sector, to successfully site projects on agricultural and forest land. Merissa’s cross-disciplinary expertise enables her to approach permitting and compliance challenges strategically and holistically.

During law school, Merissa worked on behalf of Oregon’s natural resource agencies with the Oregon Department of Justice and as a legal extern for the Columbia River Gorge Commission. Merissa also served as a judicial clerk at the Oregon Supreme Court and Oregon Court of Appeals for the Honorable Lynn Nakamoto and Honorable Roger DeHoog.

Professionally, Merissa has been recognized in Best Lawyers®: Ones to Watch in America from 2021 to 2024 for her work in environmental and natural resources law. She is also active in various professional and civic organizations, reflecting her commitment to her field and community.


Lewis & Clark Law School, J.D., Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law, 2015, cum laude; Managing Editor, Environmental Law Review; Teaching Fellow, Legal Analysis and Writing Department

University of Puget Sound, B.A., International Political Economy, 2010, magna cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society; Honors in International Political Economy; minor in Environmental Policy and Decision Making




United States District Court for the District of Oregon

United States District Court for the District of Idaho

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit


  • Regularly counsels municipal, agricultural, and industrial water users to achieve long-term water supply planning and water quality goals.
  • Regularly advises current landowners and potential property buyers, lenders, and developers regarding water rights and land use entitlements associated with agricultural and forestry properties.
  • Oregon Dep’t of Fish & Wildlife v. Crook Cnty., 315 Or App 625, 504 P3d 68 (2021)—Secured favorable decision on behalf of commercial solar developer interpreting state-level consultation requirements and legal protections for wildlife habitat.
  • Baley v. United States, U.S. Supreme Court Docket No. 19-1134 (2020)—Drafted U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief on behalf of state and national water resource suppliers in significant water rights takings case involving tribal water right claims and Endangered Species Act.
  • Representation of irrigation district and forestry company in state water rights adjudication.
  • Representation of municipality to protect regional water supply in multi-party Endangered Species Act citizen suit.
  • Representation of major hydroelectric facility in two-state water quality certification proceedings under section 401 of the Clean Water Act, required for federal relicensing.
  • Regularly works with natural resource users, water suppliers, and renewable energy companies to develop habitat conservation plans and other Endangered Species Act compliance strategies.
  • Regularly works with solar and wind energy developers to develop mitigation strategies and to obtain siting permits from local governments and Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council.
  • Regularly represents rural and urban developers in Oregon land use proceedings, including asserting and defending appeals.


Insights & Presentations

  • “Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area,” Washington State Bar Association, Real Property Deskbook, 2024 (forthcoming)
  • Co-Chair, 32nd Annual Oregon Water Law Conference, The Seminar Group, Portland, OR, October 26–27, 2023
  • Oregon Reporter, The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law, Water Law Newsletter (ongoing)
  • “County of Maui Ruling: Oregon Perspective,” Business & The Environment CONFERENCE · EXPO, Northwest Environmental Business Council, December 6, 2022
  • “How to Flip Turn: Starting a Commercial Wine Label with Meg Rulli, Owner of Flipturn Cellars,” Stoel Rives “Deeply Rooted” Podcast, S2E2, 2022
  • “Permitting Renewable Energy on Agricultural Land,” Agriculture Law in the Northwest Conference, The Seminar Group, Hood River, OR, July 15, 2022
  • “Impacts to Wildlife,” The Law of Environmental Protection, Environmental Law Institute, 2022
  • “Adventures in Commercial Solar Permitting,” Oregon Land Use Law Seminar, The Seminar Group, Portland, OR, December 3, 2021
  • “Deschutes Basin Updates,” 30th Annual Oregon Water Law Conference, The Seminar Group, Portland, OR, November 4, 2021
  • “Recent Developments in Oregon Wetlands Permitting,” National Association for Industrial and Office Parks Public Affairs Forum, March 18, 2021
  • “Water Rights 101,” 29th Annual Oregon Water Law Conference, The Seminar Group, Portland, OR, November 5, 2020
  • “Oregon Court Invalidates Groundwater Regulation Rules in Upper Klamath Basin,” The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law, Water Law Newsletter, 2020
  • “Trump Administration Wades into WOTUS Definition,” Oregon Real Estate and Land Use Digest, Oregon State Bar, February 2020
  • “The Endangered Species Act and Oregon Agriculture: Nuts and Bolts and the Next 50 Years,” Oregon Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Conference, Portland, OR, November 16, 2019
  • County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund: Implications for Public Water Suppliers,” Oregon Water Resources Congress Water Law Conference, October 3, 2019
  • “Water Law 101: An Overview of Water Rights in Oregon,” 27th Annual Oregon Water Law Conference, The Seminar Group, Portland, OR, November 8, 2018
  • POTUS Undoes WOTUS, on to SCOTUS, E-Outlook, Environmental & Natural Resources Section, Oregon State Bar, May 2017

Speaking Engagements



  • Included in Best Lawyers®: Ones to Watch in America (Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law), 2021–2024



  • Resource Education and Agricultural Leadership (REAL) Oregon Leadership Program, 2021–2022
  • Oregon Reporter, The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law, Water Law Newsletter
  • Oregon Water Resources Congress, Member
  • Oregon Women for Agriculture, Member 
  • Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE), Member
  • Women in Environment, Board of Directors, 2019–2021
  • Urban Land Institute Young Leaders Group Committee, Member, 2019–2021
  • Oregon State Bar, Environmental and Natural Resources Section and Real Estate and Land Use Section, Member


  • Lewis & Clark Law School law student mentoring program, Attorney Mentor
  • Lewis & Clark Law School, volunteer appellate moot court judge
Jump to Page