Joe Baird is a partner in the Boise, Idaho law firm of Baird Hanson LLP. He provides environmental and mining counsel to a wide variety of NYSE, TSE and venture capital mineral companies, including base and precious metal production companies, industrial mineral producers, exploration programs and mineral land management companies. Prior to the establishment of the law firm of Baird Hanson LLP in June 1997, Mr. Baird was a partner in the Idaho law firms of Givens Pursley and Elam & Burke. Before moving to Idaho in 1988, Mr. Baird practiced mining and environmental law in Colorado for seven years, where he was Associate General Attorney with Union Pacific Resources Company and an attorney with the Holland & Hart law firm. Mr. Baird graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1981. He clerked for Exxon Minerals Company, USA in 1980 and the American Mining Congress in 1979. Prior to law school, Mr. Baird was with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Colgate University in 1976, with majors in Geology and Political Science.

Mr. Baird is a member of the Northwest Mining Association; he is Secretary, holds a position on the Executive Committee, and is also the Environmental Co-Chair of the Association. Mr. Baird was a Trustee of Northwest Mining Association from 2001 through 2004. Mr. Baird’s professional memberships include the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (formerly as a Trustee at Large) and the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME).

Mr. Baird is a member of the Colorado and Idaho State Bars.


Partner, Baird Hanson LLP, Boise, Idaho.

– June 1997 to present. Environmental Practice Areas – precious and base metal mine and mill permitting/approval (including surface water, ground water, waste, reclamation and CERCLA and non-CERCLA unit closure, “remaining” strategies); environmental counsel to Formation Metals, Inc. (Idaho Cobalt Project), Newmont Mining Corporation, among others, also counsel to Phosphorus Producers Environmental Council (i.e., Astaris, FMC, Monsanto, Rhône-Poulenc and Occidental Chemical) concerning various federal RCRA and SARA rulemakings 1988-1998; environmental review and remediation of real property for acquisitions and sales (including industrial facility “due diligence” reviews); RCRA (e.g., site remediation, site compliance and environmental audits); CERCLA/SARA (including Title III compliance); ground water discharge remediation and permitting. Natural Resource Practice Areas – mineral transactions, mining claim title examination, public land tenure, mineral leasing, and property access issues.

Partner, Givens Pursley & Huntley LLP, Boise, Idaho.

– September, 1991 to June 1997. Executive Committee 1994 – 1996. Substantive work performed was very similar to the description for Baird Hanson Williams LLP above. Environmental counsel to the Idaho Mining Association to develop and draft model ground water protection legislation in 1992; petroleum hydrocarbon remediation.

Partner, Elam, Burke and Boyd, Boise, Idaho.

– November 1988 to September 1991. Environmental practice included: CERCLA counsel to Gulf Resources (Bunker Hill site); CERCLA counsel to Monsanto Company; environmental due diligence reviews of major facility acquisitions; environmental counsel to the Idaho Mining Association; RCRA; SARA Title III; and asbestos removal.

Attorney, Parcel, Mauro, Hultin and Spaanstra, Denver, Colorado.

– June 1987 – September 1988. Environmental practice included: permitting issues related to base and precious metal mines and mineral processing facilities (i.e., NPDES, Clean Water Act, section 404, mine land reclamation, and air quality issues); RCRA (e.g., waste identification, permitting, enforcement); CERCLA/SARA (e.g., representation of Anaconda concerning the Butte/Anaconda Superfund site and a chemical company nominated to the NPL); SARA Title III; civil and criminal environmental enforcement matters; and, environmental audit and environmental due diligence reviews. Traditional natural resource practice included: public land law; joint venture agreements; custom mineral processing agreements; federal and private mineral leasing issues; due diligence reviews; mineral title opinions.

Assistant General Attorney, Union Pacific Resources Company, Broomfield, Colorado.

– September 1983 to May 1987. Law Department. Major transaction and acquisition experiences included drafting and negotiating sale of the Stansbury coal mine; drafting and negotiating a three party federal coal land exchange; and performing legal review of acquisition targets. Land-related practice covered the full range of fuel and non-fuel hard mineral law matters including: mineral leasing; public land/federal mineral law (both leasable and locatable minerals); and, severed mineral interest issues. Environmental practice covered the full range of environmental issues including: mine permitting; CERCLA; RCRA; and, defending against regulatory enforcement actions. Acted as special environmental counsel to Union Pacific Corporation during strategic evaluation of hazardous waste management business opportunities, including company-specific “due diligence” acquisition target analysis. This effort resulted in Union Pacific Corporation’s $440 million acquisition of U.S.P.C.I. Awarded Union Pacific “Golden Spike” for work on this project.

Attorney, Holland & Hart, Denver, Colorado.

– September 1981 – September 1983. Natural Resources/Environmental Law Group. Extensive practice in solid and hazardous waste disposal (RCRA, CERCLA, mine waste and mine land reclamation). Legislative practice with the Colorado Legislature on a wide variety of natural resource/environmental issues. Registered Lobbyist for Climax Molybdenum Corporation (AMAX) in 1983 Legislative Session. Practice also included: oil and gas and coal title examination; public land/mining law; municipal governmental law.

Law Clerk, Exxon Company, U.S.A., Houston, Texas.

– Law Department, Minerals, Coals and Synthetics Fuels Section. May 1980 – August 1980. Researched and drafted (inter alia) a comprehensive legal memorandum regarding “Legal Status of Exxon’s Oil Shale Mining Claims.”

Law Clerk, American Mining Congress, Washington, D.C.

– Energy and Environmental Law Division, May 1979 – August 1979.

Environmental Protection Specialist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.

– Office of Water and Hazardous Waste. G.S.-9, March 1978 – August 1978.


Colorado State Bar

Idaho State Bar

Martindale-Hubbell Highest Professional Rating – AV – 5.0 of 5.0

Superlawyers Directory

International Who’s Who of Mining Lawyers

Northwest Mining Association

– President 2011

– Board of Trustees – 2003-2005; 2008

– Environmental Chair/Co-Chair – 2003-2010

– Corporate Secretary and Executive Committee – 2005-2007

– First Vice President and Executive Committee- 2009-2010 & 2012 – 2014

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation

– Trustee at Large – 1998-2001

– Environmental Session Chair – 2002 – 48th Annual Institute – Lake Tahoe

– Environmental Session Co-Chair – 2010 – 56th Annual Institute – Banff

Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration

Idaho Mining Association

Nevada Mining Association

Idaho Council for Industry and the Environment

National Federation of Independent Business


“EPA Development of Hardrock Mine Reclamation Financial Assurances would duplicate US Forest Service and US Bureau of Land Management Programs & Rules,” Written and Verbal Testimony for Northwest Mining Association before the United States House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, Washington, D.C. February 15, 2011. After testimony Chair and Ranking Member agreed there was a need for bi-partisan legislation to avoid the problem raised by the Testimony.

“EPA Potential CERCLA 108 Hardrock Financial Assurances Program,” Northwest Mining Association Convention, Reno, Nevada, Washington, December 2009

“EPA Potential CERCLA 108 Hardrock Financial Assurances Program: Another Potential Program in Search of a Solution,” Special Institute on Mine Closure, Financial Assurance, and Final Reclamation, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, November 2009.

“CERCLA and It’s Developing Jurisdictional Limitations: An Update of Changes and A Checklist of Major Limitations,” Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Snowmass, Colorado, 48 Rocky Mt. Min. L. Instit., 5-1 (Lake Tahoe 2002).

“Clean Water Act Update,” Northwest Mining Association Convention, Spokane, Washington, December 4, 1998.

“The Ebb and Flow of Federal Point and Non-point Source Authority under the Clean Water Act,” Brian R. Hanson & Joseph H. Baird, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, 44 Rocky Mt. Min. L. Instit., 27-1 (Snowmass, Colorado 1998).

“The Developing Law of Constitutional Protections for Private Property and Its Use in the Mine Permitting Arena,” Northwest Mining Association Convention, Spokane, Washington, December 3, 1996.

“NPDES Stormwater Permitting of Metal Mines,” Idaho Minerals Workshop, Boise, Idaho, February 29, 1996.

“An Overview of Hazardous Waste Management Law and Hazardous Substance Remedial Liability Law,” Environmental and Natural Resource Law Section, Idaho Law Foundation, Inc., Boise, Idaho, June 2, 1995.

“Changing Regulation of Ground Water and Surface Water in the Hardrock Mining Industry,” Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, San Diego, California, July 22, 1994.

“A Landman’s How-To-Do-It” Perspective of Exploration Permit Acquisition, Required Studies, and Other Hurdles” — Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Special Institute on Land and Permitting, Denver, Colorado, January 27, 1994, co-author.

“Hard Mineral and Mining Issues — Recent Developments,” 39th American Association of Professional Landmen (“AAPL”) Conference and Annual Meeting, Houston, Texas, June, 1993.

“Perspectives from the Environmental Community and Industry,” Mining in the 90’s and Beyond, sponsored by DOE, EPA, mining industry representative for panel discussion, August, 1991.

“Mineral Property Acquisitions – Limiting Environmental Liability,” American Association of Petroleum Landmen, Denver, Colorado, June 28, 1991.

Idaho Environmental Law Handbook, Government Institutes Publications, April 1991, editor and author of following Handbook chapters: (1) Idaho Environmental Agencies; (2) Solid and Hazardous Waste Regulation; (3) Petroleum and Chemical Storage Tanks; (4) Hazardous Substance Reporting and Chemical Management Notification; (5) Asbestos; and (6) Air Quality.

“Regulation and Remediation of Groundwater – An Update and a Look Into the Future,” Northwest Mining Association Annual Convention, Spokane, Washington, December 1990.

“Solid and Hazardous Waste Management,” Basic Environmental Law Course, Idaho Law Foundation, May 1990.

“Mining Acquisitions and Operations – Your Liability for Environmental Releases,” Northwest Mining Association Annual Convention, Spokane, Washington, December 1989.

“Preventing Environmental Liability – Purchaser’s Point of View,” Hazardous Waste and Real Estate Transactions, CLE International, Boise, Idaho, October 1989 and October 1990.

“Federal Regulation of Streams and Wetlands: Avoiding Unpleasant Surprises in the Swamps,” The Advocate, September 1989.

“Identification and Evaluation of Environmental Liabilities During Exploration and Acquisition Activities”: (1) Nevada Landmen’s Association, Reno, Nevada, September 1989; (2) American Institute of Mining Engineers, Boise, Idaho, November 1989; (3) Geological Society of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, March 1989.

“Chemical Storage and Spill Reporting and Notification Obligations Under SARA Title III,” Idaho Water Users Fifth Annual Water Law and Resources Seminar, December, 1988.

“Identification, Evaluation and Limitation of Environmental Liabilities During Exploration Activities: An Ounce of Prevention,” Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute, 33 Rocky Mt. Min. L. Instit., 20-1 (Vail 1987).

Admission Details

  • Admitted in 1981, Colorado 1989, Idaho

Law School Attended

  • University of Virginia School of Law Class of 1981 J.D.

University Attended

  • Colgate University Class of 1976 A.B. Geology and Political Science, magna cum laude, Awarded research grant by National Science Foundation for work in marine paleoecology of the Marcellus Shale
  • University of Michigan, Rackham School of Graduate Studies Class of 1977 Masters Programin Natural Resource Policy
  • University of Michigan, Rackham School of Graduate Studies Class of 1977 Management