In Memoriam: Jack Tuholske

One of America's most prominent environmental lawyers, Jack Tuholske, passed away recently after an 18-month battle with liver cancer. Tuholske graduated with honors from the University of Montana School of Law in 1985 and went on to devote his career to public interest environmental lawyering in state and federal courts in Montana and the West.

Tuholske was lead counsel for over 50 published decisions, including over a dozen successful cases at the Montana Supreme Court in the fields of water law, land use, constitutional law and natural resource management.

In recognition of his public interest work, Tuholske was awarded the William O. Douglas Award by the Sierra Club in 2002 and the Kerry Rydberg Award in 2010 by the University of Oregon Public Interest Environmental Law Conference.

Tuholske ensured that his work for the environment would continue by teaching at both the University of Montana School of Law and Vermont Law School while maintaining his Montana practice and residence throughout. 

At Vermont, he taught a wide variety of courses, including Constitutional Law and Civil Procedure, but was best known for his environmental courses, creating Vermont’s Public Lands Management: Montana Field Course, and directing the Water and Justice Program. 

In addition to his legal work, Tuholske was an accomplished outdoorsman and dedicated family man.  He is survived by his wife, Lilly, and sons Oliver, Ben and Cascade. 

Those interested in celebrating and preserving his legacy of environmental law at the University of Montana’s Blewett School of Law may contribute to the Jack Tuholske Scholarship, which will support students with an interest in environmental public interest law.

To contribute to the Jack Tuholske Scholarship fund, go to the Blewett School of Law donation page and add “Jack Tuholske Scholarship” to the comments field.