Practice areas

  • Natural Resources
  • Environmental law
  • Public lands
  • Permitting and regulatory compliance, with emphasis on federal Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act and NEPA compliance.

Bar admissions

  • Colorado
  • United States District Court, District of Colorado
  • United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States 10th Circuit Court of Appeals


  • J.D., University of Denver, 1982
    • Graduated with honors. Order of the Coif.
    • Staff Editor, Administrative Law Review (1980 – 1981)
    • Staff Editor, Denver Law Journal (1981 – 1982)
  • B.A., Stanford University, 1976

Legal experience

Trout Raley, Colorado

Shareholder. Natural resources firm with emphasis in water and environmental law and litigation (1996 to Present).

Ms. Freeman represents entities in the permitting of water projects and other facilities. She has substantial experience in securing approvals for resource activities under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regulatory programs, and has been involved in numerous ESA Section 7 consultations. Ms. Freeman has had substantial involvement in the scoping and legal sufficiency review of environmental assessments and environmental impact statements prepared under NEPA for individual water-related activities as well as system-wide analyses, such as those conducted for the Metropolitan Denver Water Supply EIS and the Platte River Endangered Species Program in Nebraska. She is experienced in the formulation and implementation of adaptive management programs.

Ms. Freeman has significant experience in negotiation and development of programmatic approaches to resolving ESA compliance issues. Ms. Freeman represented the Platte River Project water users’ coalition in negotiations which culminated in the establishment of a basin-wide Platte River Recovery Program for federally endangered species in Nebraska, signed by the Department of Interior and States of Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming in 2007. She also represented Douglas County in development of a regional habitat conservation plan that was approved as the first county-wide HCP in Colorado and that received the Local Government Collaboration Award by the Denver Regional Council of Governments in 2008.

Attorney, Dufford & Brown, P.C., Denver, Colorado (1994 – 1995)

Attorney and Shareholder, Saunders, Snyder, Ross & Dickson, P.C., Denver, Colorado (1982 to 1994)

Awards and acknowledgments

  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Lawyer of the Year in Environmental Law, in Denver, for 2023 by Best Lawyers® in America
  • Environmental & Natural Resources - USA legal award for 2022 by Lawyer Monthly
  • Listed in Best Lawyers® for Environmental and Water Law (2018 - 2023)
  • Friend of the Platte - Awarded by the South Platte Forum (2021)

Publications & teaching

  • Co-Author, The Need for Constructing Endangered Fish Habitats that Conform to Climate-Driven Flow Changes in a Western U.S. River (Journal of the American Water Resources Association 2023)
  • Co-Author, New Clean Water Act Rule Defining Waters of the United States, The Colorado Lawyer (Colorado Bar Association 2015), selected for inclusion in Journals & Law Reviews WESTLAW database.
  • Co-Author, New Federal Guidance on Identifying Waters Protected by the Clean Water Act, The Colorado Lawyer (Colorado Bar Association 2011).
  • Author, Reinitiation of ESA Section 7 Consultation Over Existing Projects, Endangered Species Act Deskbook - Law, Policy & Perspectives (American Bar Association 2002).
  • Author, Against the Flow: Emerging Conflicts Between Endangered Species Protection and Water Use, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (1994 Proceedings of Institute).
  • Contributor, Water Law in the Fifty States and Territories (American Water Works Association 1998).
  • Contributor, Primer on Eastern Water Rights (American Water Works Association 1998).
  • Contributor, Acquiring, Using and Protecting Water in Colorado (3rd ed. 2011).
  • Co-Author, Alternative Approaches to HCPs for Aquatic Species - The Upper Colorado River and Central Platte Recovery Programs. 16th Annual Water law Conference (American Bar Association 1998).
  • Co-Teacher, University of Denver Graduate Studies - Environmental Law (1991-1993).
  • Co-Lecturer, University of Denver Continuing Legal Education Series, Water Law Course (1989 - 1992).

Professional memberships

  • American Bar Association (member of Natural Resources and Administrative Law Sections).
  • Colorado Bar Association (Chair of Environmental Law Section 1991-1992; current member of Environmental and Water Law Sections).
  • Denver Bar Association (Executive Council, Young Lawyers’ Division, 1985-1988).