Doug MacDougal has over 30 years of experience in water rights, natural resources, and real estate law.
His water-related experience includes representing clients in water rights, permitting and regulatory matters, and natural resource policy issues. Doug has been lead counsel on a number of complex water negotiations in Oregon water basins, involving federal, tribal, environmental, and private party interests. He has substantial experience in contested water cases involving water right transfers, stream and groundwater hydrology, and native rights, and has been involved in the ongoing Klamath Adjudication. He frequently consults on individual, basin, and watershed issues involving water rights, the Clean Water Act, endangered species, dams, and hydropower operations. He also has been heavily engaged in various ESA Section 7 consultations, and has undertaken a variety of due diligence assignments involving water, natural resource, and real estate issues in large multi-party transactions. His work emphasizes representation of ports, irrigation water users, ranches, and municipalities.
Doug often plays a lead role in multidisciplinary projects including consultants, lawyers, and other parties. He is skilled in resolving difficult issues and experienced in finding pathways to solutions and, using his technical science background, able to understand and comment on scientific reports related to client projects.
Doug is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and is named one of “Portland’s Best Lawyers” in water law by Portland Monthly.
- Represent an irrigation district in a collective negotiating effort to attempt to settle water rights of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
- Represent owner of several ranches in the Wood River in contested cases on claims of USBIA and Klamath Tribes for tribal instream water rights in the Klamath Basin Adjudication.
- Represented large hydropower client in Klamath Basin Adjudication and contests to tribal instream water rights on the Klamath River and Upper Klamath Lake in the Klamath Adjudication. Worked on a successful settlement of that controversy.
- Represented three large irrigation districts in southern Oregon in a multi-year Endangered Species Act consultation on a large Bureau of Reclamation project, culminating in a no-jeopardy biological opinion.
- Represented national conservation organization in the settlement on more than 25,000 acres of land in separate case involving the Sycan Marsh and the Williamson River Delta in the Klamath Basin Adjudication. Worked with tribal and United States interests in settling claims in that multiyear effort.
- Represent a port on the Columbia River in the development of its Water Management and Conservation Plan and in the perfection and marketing of its water rights.
- Advise a large Oregon municipality in the strategic planning and perfection of its water rights
- Represent southern Oregon resort landowner in various land transactions with the Bureau of Reclamation
- Concluded informal consultations with federal and state resource agencies on developing a fisheries plan to protect bull trout, a listed species, and other resources in the Upper Hood River Basin.
- Counseled a large ranch in eastern Oregon dealing with regulatory issues and prior appropriation conflicts among water users.
- Represented an Oregon Coast municipality in fending off a contest by another municipality in the development of its wellfield critically needed for its future growth.
- Undertook water and natural resource due diligence for a large west coast bank in the financing of tens of thousands of acres of farmland in Eastern Oregon.
- Obtained a significant water right and NPDES permit for a Port on the Columbia River for industrial development.