Joseph L. Sax, a legal scholar who helped shape environmental law in the United States and fuel the environmental movement by establishing the doctrine that natural resources are a public trust requiring protection, died on Sunday at his home in San Francisco. He was 78.
The cause was complications of a series of strokes, his daughter Katherine Dennett said.
In 1970, as Americans were becoming increasingly alarmed about pollution, Professor Sax emerged as one of the most prominent of a new breed of lawyers focusing exclusively on the environment.
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