G. Braiden Chadwick

G. Braiden Chadwick

Braiden Chadwick represents commercial, residential, agricultural, and industrial project proponents before local, regional, state and federal administrative agencies in connection with use permits and other entitlements. He handles all aspects of environmental compliance under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), land-use permitting and any resulting litigation. His permitting work extends from California’s largest ski resorts, to residential developers, oil gas and energy companies, wineries, agricultural entities, and mining companies.

Braiden is one of the state’s most knowledgeable authorities on mitigation/conservation banking, and has recently been on the faculty for several legal and industry conferences on cutting-edge banking issues. The key to his success is working closely with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Army Corps of Engineers to permit mitigation banks throughout California.  This work is highly specialized, and includes resolving conflicts with mineral rights, State and federal endangered species, jurisdictional waters, traditional land-use laws, and creating crediting methodologies used by administrative agencies

Braiden is also one of California’s leading experts on the Williamson Act. He was directly involved on behalf of the solar industry to help shape recent legislation modifying the Williamson Act to accommodate solar facilities on non-productive farmland. He also frequently represents multinational oil and mining companies, residential and commercial developers and a variety of landowners on Williamson Act issues, including compatible use determinations, potential litigation, and petitions for cancellation of existing Williamson Act contracts.


Representative Oil, Gas and Mining Experience

Represents both international and independent oil and gas companies throughout California preparing oil, gas, mineral and geothermal title opinions, including drill site, supplemental, acquisition and division order title opinions.

Advises oil, gas, mineral and geothermal companies seeking exploratory and operational drilling permits on both public (state and federal) and private lands.

In the last ten years, negotiated an impressive number of wind, mineral, and geothermal leases on behalf of producers and landowners.

Advises multinational mining companies on technical requirements of mining operations, zoning, conditional use permits and determining vested rights status.

Counsels mining companies regarding compliance with the California Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA).

Represented pipeline companies in obtaining permits associated with rights-of-way, gas-gathering operations and other aspects of pipeline routing and construction in both California and Nevada.

Represents oil terminals in both environmental/regulatory permitting and land-use entitlements.

Represents commercial wind and solar power companies in all facets of the entitlement process, including environmental review and permitting under CEQA, NEPA, and the California and federal endangered species acts.

Representative Agricultural Experience

Experience in agricultural land use / environmental permitting and regulatory matters, and has developed a solid history of success representing both family and international food and agriculture businesses.

Defends the agricultural industry in enforcement actions brought by California and federal agencies, including U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Aided farming interests and wineries in Napa, Amador, Solano, Tehama and San Joaquin counties to secure permits needed to expand operations, defend agricultural operations from State and federal enforcement actions, and help existing farming operations remain in compliance with State and federal environmental laws.

Worked on behalf of large-scale development and agricultural projects throughout California including: securing conditional use permits, Clean Water Act permitting and compliance, by-right farming and zoning ordinances, Endangered Species Act permitting and compliance, renewable energy leasing and permitting on existing farmland, Williamson Act contracts (negotiation, compatible uses and compliance), conservation easements, and mitigation banking.

Land-Use and Property-Rights Litigation Experience

Extensive experience before State and Federal courts, including First and Third California District Courts of Appeal with published cases in both districts interpreting the Permit Streamlining Act and California’s open range laws. Drafted appellate briefs before the California Supreme Court regarding the constitutionality of the California Coastal Commission.

Representative Commercial and Industrial Experience

Recently, and successfully, defended one of California’s largest ski resorts in an appeal of its subdivision map and development plans and is currently permitting an expansion of skiable area, new lift system and related residential development to create one of the largest resorts in North America.

Recently defended a large development before the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) with respect to its proposed development and new public lands leases. Braiden also routinely defends existing land uses when challenged through the TRPA Administrative Determination process.

During the economic downturn, continued to secure numerous land-use entitlements, including General Plan Amendments, Conditional Use Permits, Rezones, and Community Plan Amendments on behalf of developers and landowners.  One of the few attorneys to Successfully relocate County boundary lines to resolve jurisdictional conflicts and facilitate development plans.

Represents large-scale mixed use developers, new and expanded industrial uses, and religious land uses.

Assists developers in complying with California Lake and Streambed Alteration requirements and obtaining permits for same.

Published Opinions

36 Cal.4th 1 (2005)

139 Cal.App.4th 812 (2006)

Honors And Ranking

Super Lawyers Rising Star August, 2014

Sacramento Magazine “Top Attorneys” Sacramento’s Outstanding Lawyers: August, 2014

Super Lawyers Rising Star August, 2013

Sacramento Business Journal “Best of the Bar” Sacramento’s best lawyers as chosen by their peers: September, 2013

Judicial Extern to the Honorable Judge Ellen Carroll, United States Bankruptcy Court, Los Angeles

Law Clerk for the California Attorney General’s Office, Tort and Condemnation Division, Los Angeles

Law Clerk for the United States Department of Justice, Office of the U.S. Trustee, Los Angeles


Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy, Member

Los Angeles County Bar Association, Member

Sacramento County Bar Association, Appellate Law Section, Member California State Bar, Environmental and Real Property Law Sections, Member

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Member

North State Building Industry Association, Member

Urban Land Institute, Member


University of Utah (B.A., 2000)

Loyola Law School (J.D., 2003)


National Mitigation and Ecosystem Banking Conference: “Financing, Valuing and Permitting Mitigation Banks” Denver, Colorado (2014), Presenter, Panelist

Featured Speaker at University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law Symposium: “Growing, Growing, Gone: Innovative Ideas in Resource Management for a Growing Population,” Sacramento, California (2014), Presenter, Panelist

Ecological & Environmental Mitigation Banking Conference, “The Mechanics of Ecological Mitigation Banking,”Santa Monica, CA (2013), Presenter, Panelist

San Francisco Association of Bay Area Professionals, “Hydraulic Fracturing in California,”Redwood City (2013), Presenter, Panelist

Association of Environmental Professionals Annual Conference, “Navigating Projects through CEQA and Local Government Biological and Regulatory Policies,” Sacramento, CA (2012), Presenter, Panelist

J. Reuben Clark Law Society National Conference, “California Land Use and Environmental Permitting”(2012), Presenter

J. Reuben Clark Law Society National Conference, “Practitioners Speak About Service for Good in Practice Areas”Salt Lake City, Utah (2010), Presenter, Panelist

American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL), “Federal Mining Law Year In Review,”Reno, Nevada (2006-2014), Presenter

California Building Industry Association (CBIA), “Water Supply, Greenhouse Gas and other Cutting Edge CEQA Issues”(2008), Presenter, Panelist