Urban agriculture is nothing new, and neither is the trend of keeping chickens in residential back yards. However, until recently back yard chickens were illegal in my former home town of Athens, Georgia. However, thanks to the efforts of many Athens residents, including my former colleague at UGA Law, Russell Gabriel, the times they are a’changing. And so a company in Athens has capitalized on the change by starting to rent chickens to folks who want to try before they buy. Elder Tree Farm has a chicken rental package available for $160 a month, which includes a predator-proof coop (very important) and 40 pounds of feed. In a fitting twist, UGA law professor Sonja West and her family are Elder Tree’s very first customers. And although Sonja frequently comments on constitutional law issues for Slate and other media outlets, I joked with her that this is her most important legal contribution to date! Also, apparently Elder Tree is far from the only chicken rental outfit out there, so if you want to try having chickens yourself, check for a similar operation in your area. (Apparently there’s even one here in Northern Colorado.) And in the meantime, enjoy this picture of these beautiful backyard fowl, owned by my Tuscon-based friend (and dharma and yoga teacher) Frank Jude Boccio.
About Jamie Baker Roskie
Jamie Baker Roskie is a land use and environmental lawyer in Fort Collins, Colorado. From 2002-2012 she was the managing attorney of the Land Use Clinic at the University of Georgia School of Law. She supervised students in projects assisting local governments, conservation and community organizations, state and local agencies, and nonprofits on land use and environmental topics. She was also a policy and legal analyst for the UGA River Basin Center (RBC), which integrates science and policymaking to protect water resources and habitat. She served on the RBC's Etowah Habitat Conservation Plan Development Team, which won a Regional Director's Conservation Award from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for its innovative work. She is a graduate of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership (IGEL), a training program for environmental leaders. She is the co-author of "Adequate Public Facilities Ordinances: A Comparison of their Use in Georgia and North Carolina" in the Southeastern Environmental Law Journal and of "Being Smart (Growth) about Justice: Can the Obama Administration Undo Decades of Environmental Injustice via Smart Growth?" in the Seattle Journal of Environmental Law & Policy. She is also a contributing editor of the Land Use Prof Blog, Land Use Prof Blog, part of the Law Prof Blog network.
Roskie also serves as Vice President of the board of Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services, a law firm incubator based in Pittsburgh. Fair Shake’s purposes include educating resident attorneys in serving modest means clients, increasing equal access to justice, and empowering communities in the tri-state region of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia and beyond.
Before joining the University of Georgia, Roskie worked as an associate in the law firm of Shaw Pittman in Washington, D.C., where she represented clients in various land use and immigration matters. Roskie earned her Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from Lewis and Clark College in 1989. She worked as a freelance writer/editor and ran an immigration law clinic for a refugee services agency before attending law school. In 2001, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law, where she was inducted into the Order of the Coif. She is also a member of the Virginia and Georgia bars.
Roskie is an active practitioner of mindfulness meditation and yoga. In 2010 she completed a 42 hour Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction teacher training at the Mind-Body Institute of Athens (Georgia) Regional Medical Center.