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Karen Budd-Falen

Senior Partner

Karen Budd-Falen has returned to the Budd-Falen Law Offices after her two-year appointment in the Trump Administration, Department of the Interior, as the Deputy Solicitor for Wildlife and Parks. As Deputy Solicitor, Karen was the lead attorney in revising the regulations implementing Endangered Species Act (ESA), including the regulations recognizing the rights of local governments to protect the economic stability and customs and cultures of their constituents. She was also heavily involved in drafting regulations giving landowners the rights of appeal of wetland maps on the National Wildlife Refuge System lands. Karen also served as Interior’s representative on the task force that revised the regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Karen's first stint in Washington D.C. was for three years in the Reagan Administration, U.S. Department of the Interior, as a Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management. She later served as a law clerk to the Assistant Solicitor for Water and Power.

As an owner of Budd-Falen Law Offices, Karen has assisted local governments in asserting their rights of consistent review, cooperation and coordination in federal agency decisions; private property owners in protecting their Constitutionally guaranteed property rights, other multiple users in supporting grazing and multiple-use on federal/public lands; and exposing radical environmental groups’ abuse of the legal system and the attorney fee-shifting statutes.

Karen was featured in Newsweek Magazine’s “Who’s Who: 20 for the Future” for her work on property rights issues (September 30, 1991). Karen was awarded Wyoming’s Outstanding Ag Citizen in 2001; the “Always There Helping” award from the New Mexico Stock Growers Association in 2003; the “Bud’s Contract” award from the New Mexico Public Lands Council in 2006 and the Individual of the Year award from the Arizona/New Mexico Counties for Stable Economic Growth in 2011.

Karen has testified over a dozen times before numerous committees and subcommittees of the U.S. House of Representatives on issues related to attorneys’ fees payments, the ESA, NEPA and livestock grazing. Karen has also testified before committees of the Wyoming Legislature.

Karen has served the state of Wyoming as a Commissioner on the Wyoming Water Development Commission. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Wyoming Natural Resources Foundation.

Karen is an active volunteer and coach for Future Farmers of America (“FFA”).  Karen grew up as a fifth generation rancher on a family-owned ranch in Big Piney, Wyoming.  She received her undergraduate degrees and her law degree from the University of Wyoming. Karen and Frank have two children, Isaac (wife Reva Falen) and Sarah and grandson, Wesley.

Admitted to Practice Law

  • Wyoming

  • New Mexico

  • Idaho

  • U.S. District Court for Colorado

  • U.S. District Court for D.C.

  • U.S. District Court for Nebraska

  • U.S. District Court for New Mexico

  • U.S. District Court for Wyoming

  • 7th Circuit Court of Appeals

  • 8th Circuit Court of Appeals

  • 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

  • 10th Circuit Court of Appeals

  • Federal Circuit Court of Appeals

  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims

  • U.S. Supreme Court

Articles by Karen

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