Wes Furlong is dedicated to protecting tribal cultural resources and traditional cultural places and landscapes. Wes often represents tribes, tribal consortia and organizations, and Native Hawaiian organizations as consulting parties and cooperating agencies in Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) decision making or National Environmental Policy Act Environmental Impacts Statements processes. Often these consultations are for large-scale and highly controversial natural resource development and infrastructure projects, such as the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, the Bureau of Land Management’s development of an oil and gas leasing program in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Enbridge’s Line 5 tunnel replacement project in the Straits of Mackinac, and the construction of the Thirty-Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea.
Because of this focus, Wes is nationally recognized for his expertise in all aspects of the NHPA Section 106 process, tribal consultation generally, and traditional cultural places and landscapes. He received the 2020 Partner in Preservation award from the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers and currently serves as the inaugural Chair of the Public Land & Resources Law Review Alumni Advisory Board.
Wes also represents and advises Indian tribes and tribal organizations in litigation involving violations of the NHPA, NHPA-specific rulemaking, National Register of Historic Places nominations, and the development of Section 106 program alternatives. Since joining NARF in 2016 as the inaugural Alaska Fellow, Wes’s practice also has included work on tribal jurisdiction, defending tribal sovereignty, treaty rights, environmental and natural resources law, voting rights and redistricting, sovereign immunity, religious freedom law, and constitutional law.
Wes grew up on Fir Island, Washington, north of Seattle, at the confluence of the Skagit River and the Salish Sea. When not working, Wes will most likely be found riding his mountain bike, fat bike, or gravel bike with his wife Carrie (when they are not debating the finer points of TCPs (Traditional Cultural Places)).
- Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana, J.D.
- Certificates in American Indian Law and Environmental & Natural Resources Law
- Davidson Honors College, University of Montana, B.A. History
- Minor: Central and Southwest Asian Studies
Admissions to Practice
- Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma
- Supreme Court of the United States
- United States Courts of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- United States Courts of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- United States Courts of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- United States Courts of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
- United States District Courts for the District of Alaska
- United States District Courts for the District of Columbia
- United States District Courts for the District of Montana
- United States District Courts for the District of North Dakota
- United States District Courts for the District of Western Oklahoma.
- The Army Corps Needs and Appendectomy: Diagnosing the Army Corps’ Unlawful Promulgation and Use of 33 C.F.R. Part 325, Appendix C, to Comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, 26 U. Denv. Water L. Rev. 1 (2023), https://ssrn.com/abstract=4495741.
- “Subsistence is Cultural Survival”: Examining the Legal Framework for the Recognition and Incorporation of Traditional Cultural Landscapes within the National Historic Preservation Act, 22 Tribal L.J. 51 (2023), https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1097&context=tlj
- The Other Non-Renewable Resource: Cultural Resource Protection in a Changing Energy Future, 42 Pub. Land & Resources L. Rev. 1 (2020), https://scholarworks.umt.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1690&context=plrlr
- “That Chuitt River Is Ours”: Traditional Cultural Landscapes and the National Historic Preservation Act, 2018 US/ICOMOS Symposium Proceedings (2019), https://www.usicomos.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Furlong-2019-US-ICOMOS-Proceedings.pdf
- Restoring the Skagit River Delta: Habitat Restoration and Farmland Reclamation on Fir Island, 38 Pub. Land & Resources L. Rev. 103 (2017), https://scholarworks.umt.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1543&context=plrlr
- “Salmon is Culture, and Culture is Salmon”: Reexamining the Implied Right to Habitat Protection as a Tool for Cultural and Ecological Preservation, 37 Pub. Land & Resources L. Rev. 113 (2016), https://scholarworks.umt.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1480&context=plrlr