People

Tyler L. Burgess

Associate

Washington, DC Office
202.955.5600

Education

J.D., with honors, University of North Carolina School of Law, 2013
M.S., Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, 2002
B.S., University of Washington, 1997

Bar Admissions

California
District of Columbia
North Carolina
U.S. Court of Federal Claims
U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York

Tyler L. Burgess

Tyler Burgess has more than a decade of experience designing and permitting projects in addition to firsthand expertise litigating disputes and find resolutions to facilitate projects.

Before joining the Firm, Tyler was a Trial Attorney in the Natural Resources Section at the U.S. Department of Justice.  In that role, Tyler represented federal agencies, including the Department of Transportation, in challenges to government actions under a wide range of environmental laws.  Tyler also served as the lead attorney representing the Federal Transit Administration in multiple challenges to light rail and bus rapid transit projects across the country.

Prior to earning her law degree, Tyler worked as an environmental scientist delineating wetlands, conducting field investigations for endangered species, and drafting NEPA documents for public infrastructure projects.

Representative Experience

DC Purple Line Light Rail, Maryland
Represented the Federal Transit Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in challenges seeking to stop construction of the Purple Line light rail project in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, Maryland.  Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail v. FTA, 263 F. Supp. 3d 144 (D.D.C. 2017); rev’d in part, 877 F.3d 1051 (D.C. Cir. 2017).

Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway, Arizona
Prevailed in challenges from homeowners associations and Arizona tribe seeking to stop construction of a new 22-mile highway project in southwestern Phoenix.

Albuquerque Bus Rapid Transit Development, New Mexico
Defended the Federal Transit Administration in emergency motions brought by business owners and community members to enjoin construction of a bus rapid transit project in downtown Albuquerque.  Coalition to Make Art Smart v. FTA, 2016 WL 8905294 (D.N.M. July 29, 2016), aff’d, 843 F.3d 886 (10th Cir. 2016).

Baltimore Red Line Light Rail, Maryland
Represented the Federal Transit Administration in a challenge to the proposed 14-mile Red Line light rail transit line connecting Baltimore County to the downtown financial district.

North Eufaula Avenue Widening Project, Alabama
Prevailed in a series of emergency motions attempting to block a to a road widening project through a National Historic District in Eufaula.  City of Eufaula v. Al. Dep’t of Transp., 71 F. Supp. 3d 1272 (M.D. Ala. 2014).

Greater Sage-Grouse Planning Litigation
Represented the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in multiple challenges to land use plan amendments covering public lands in eleven states that were designed to provide protections for the Greater Sageā€Grouse.  Otter v. Jewell, 227 F. Supp. 3d 117 (D.D.C. 2017).

Rim Fire Salvage Timber Sale, California
Overcame a series of emergency motions seeking to enjoin the U.S. Forest Service’s timber salvage sale planned in response to the Rim Fire (one of the largest forest fires in California history) that burned on the Stanislaus National Forest.  Center for Biological Diversity v. Higgins, 61 F. Supp. 3d 945 (E.D. Cal. 2014), aff’d, 613 F. App’x 579 (9th Cir. 2015).

Elkhorn Gravel Pit, North Dakota
Successfully defended the U.S. Forest Service’s special use permit setting forth environmental protections for the Dakota Prairie Grassland’s surface estate during construction and operation of a privately-owned gravel pit overlooking the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  Nat’l Parks Conservation Ass’n v. U.S. Forest Serv., 177 F. Supp. 3d 1 (D.D.C. 2016).

Special Use Authorization of Enbridge Line 5 Pipeline, Michigan
Prevailed in a suit challenging the U.S. Forest Service’s reauthorization of a special use permit for the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline easement through the Huron-Manistee National Forests.  Sierra Club v. U.S. Forest Serv., 2015 WL 5729091 (Sept. 30, 2015), aff’d, 828 F.3d 402 (6th Cir. 2016).

Hume Roadside and Recreation Site Hazard Tree Project, California
Assisted the U.S. Forest Service in resolving dispute over hazard tree removal and retention of large woody material for wildlife habitat in challenge to the tree removal project and the Giant Sequoia National Monument Management Plan.  Sequoia Forestkeeper v. Benson, 108 F. Supp. 3d 917 (E.D. Cal. 2015).

Smokey Fuels Project, California
Represented the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in defending against a challenge to the Smokey Fuels Project designed to reduce wildfire risk and promote ecosystem health in Northern Spotted Owl habitat on the Mendocino National Forest.  Conservation Congress v. U.S. Forest Serv., 235 F. Supp. 3d 1189 (E.D. Cal. 2017).

Rails-to-Trails Fifth Amendment Takings
Settled numerous Fifth Amendment takings cases brought by landowners adjacent to rail corridors that were preserved for future rail use with an interim trail.  Litigated novel issues regarding the federal government’s liability for a taking in cases where the corridor was not railbanked.

Santa Fe National Forest Fifth Amendment Taking, New Mexico
Awarded dismissal of suit brought in the Court of Federal Claims by private land owners near the Santa Fe National Forest asserting that the U.S. Forest Service’s decision not to rebuild Forest Service roads washed out in a fire constituted a Fifth Amendment taking of their claimed easement over the roads.  Martin v. United States, 1341 Fed. Cl. 648 (2017).

Professional and Civic Activities / Awards

  • Recipient, U.S. Department of Justice Outstanding Performance Rating (2016, 2017)
  • Mentee, Women’s Transportation Seminar (2008–2009)

News & Publications

Publications

Co-Authored with Frank Blazich, David Nash, and Betsy Randall-Schadel
23 Journal of Environmental Horticulture 1 at 4
March 2005
Co-Authored with Frank Blazich and David Nash
20 Journal of Environmental Horticulture 3 at 180
September 2002

Education

J.D., with honors, University of North Carolina School of Law, 2013
M.S., Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, 2002
B.S., University of Washington, 1997

Bar Admissions

California
District of Columbia
North Carolina
U.S. Court of Federal Claims
U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York