Stacy L. Brownhill

Legal Assistant: Erika Cwetna


Stacy works with the firm’s Water and Environmental team in Denver. Her practice focuses on environmental compliance, water adjudications, and water planning. Her clients include municipalities, special districts, irrigation districts, mining companies, developers, landowners, and a wide variety of regulated businesses in Colorado and across the West.  

Water Rights Adjudications and Water Planning. Stacy helps water users secure and defend their water rights. Her recent experience includes:

  • Helping to litigate a complex water permit application opposed by 84 individuals and entities on behalf of a large municipality in the Southwest.
  • Assisting in the appeal of a class action to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals involving irrigation water rights, tribal reserved water rights, and endangered species on behalf of an irrigation district in the Northwest.
  • Drafting a decree for a well replacement permit application.
  • Filing opposition comments in 15 water rights cases involving exchanges, augmentation, storage, recharge, and other issues posing a threat to clients and assisting in navigating these cases toward settlement or trial.
  • Monitoring state and local oil, gas, and biosolid permitting issues affecting clients’ groundwater quality and helping oppose such applications when necessary.  

Environmental Permitting and Compliance. Stacy helps clients such as mining companies, utilities, and landowners navigate agency permitting, rulemaking and compliance matters. Her experience includes air quality, water quality, CERCLA, and mining issues at the local, state, and federal levels. Her recent experience includes:

  • Assisting mining companies with issues concerning reclamation, bonding, jurisdiction, contracts, liability, condemnation, 1041 local permitting, permit appeals, and open records.
  • Representing real estate developers on CERCLA cost-recovery issues.
  • Helping advise a municipal utility on statutory interpretation and rulemaking appeal issues.
  • Researching and analyzing key, jurisdiction-specific nuances of the Clean Water Act.  

Previous Experience. Before joining Ryley Carlock & Applewhite, Stacy served as an appellate law clerk to the Honorable Anthony J. Navarro of the Colorado Court of Appeals. While in law school, she served as a law clerk for the Boulder County Attorney’s Office, the Colorado Office of the Attorney General, and The Wilderness Society, and worked as a research assistant for the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment. Stacy also served as Production Editor on the University of Colorado Law Review and as an officer in the Environmental Law Society. In addition, she received an award for her writing on public lands from the American Bar Association. Before law school, Stacy worked as a reporter and nonprofit fundraiser.  

Personal. An avid trail runner and hiker, Stacy enjoys exploring the West’s outdoors with her husband and golden retriever.


Profile Information




  • University of Colorado School of Law, J.D., 2015
  • Lewis & Clark College, B.A., International Affairs, cum laude, 2009


  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, 2018
  • Colorado, 2015

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