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Public Lands

Because much of the land across the West is owned by federal, state, and tribal governments, energy development occurs in large part on public lands. Our experienced, comprehensive public lands practice continues the firm’s rich heritage in public land law. Our public lands team includes lawyers who have served within federal government entities and who maintain excellent relationships with relevant agencies throughout the West and in Washington, DC.

We assist companies ranging from the largest in the world to small startups in acquiring, operating, and defending rights on public lands for energy development, including renewable energy, oil and gas, and transmission. We regularly advise land users on the impact of land use planning decisions by the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service on energy development. We also counsel energy developers on navigating the complex array of laws that apply to activities on federal lands, including the National Environmental Policy Act, National Historic Preservation Act, and Endangered Species Act.

We also assist clients in acquiring mineral development rights on public lands, including obtaining oil and gas and coal leases, perfecting and maintaining mining claims, obtaining and renewing rights-of-way, completing land exchanges, and prosecuting mineral patents. Operational issues DGS lawyers work on include assisting clients with applications for permits to drill, plans of operation, access rights, unitization, acreage limitation issues, lease assignments, lease suspensions, notices of non-compliance, bonding, logical mining units, and the proper payment of royalties and severance taxes.

DGS lawyers routinely litigate widely reported public lands cases in federal courts across the Rocky Mountain West, California, Alaska, and the District of Columbia. DGS lawyers regularly bring administrative appeals before the Interior Board of Land Appeals, Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, Office of Natural Resources Revenue, and Office of Surface Mining. DGS lawyers also advise clients on administrative rulemaking by evaluating proposed rules and assisting in drafting public comments.

Related Attorneys

Mave A. Gasaway

Partner, Environmental Law & Litigation, Clean Energy & Sustainability, Natural Resources, Toxic Tort Litigation, Federal Oil & Gas Leasing, Public Lands, Tribal Lands & Resources, Water Law, Endangered Species, NEPA, CERCLA & State Equivalent Programs, Environmental

Jennifer N. Horchem

Of Counsel, Federal Oil & Gas Leasing, Oil & Gas Transactional Practice

Randall E. Hubbard

Partner, Mining, Natural Resources, Public Lands

Judith M. Matlock

Senior of Counsel, Natural Resources, Federal Oil & Gas Leasing, Midstream Services, Class & Consolidated Actions, Oil & Gas Transactional Practice, Clean Energy & Sustainability

Zach C. Miller

Senior of Counsel, Environmental Law & Litigation, Water Law, Natural Resources, Federal Oil & Gas Leasing, Tribal Lands & Resources, Endangered Species, NEPA, Public Lands, Environmental, Clean Energy & Sustainability

Almira Moronne

Partner, Mining Acquisitions & Divestitures, Mineral Financing, Cross-Border Transactions, Public Lands, Tribal Lands & Resources, Clean Energy & Sustainability

Lucas C. Satterlee

Senior Associate, Environmental Law & Litigation, Natural Resources, Federal Oil & Gas Leasing, Public Lands, Environmental

Kathleen C. Schroder

Partner, Federal Oil & Gas Leasing, Public Lands, Natural Resources, Environmental Law & Litigation, Endangered Species, NEPA, Clean Energy & Sustainability

James Witwer

Of Counsel, Water Law, Public Lands, Natural Resources, Wetlands & Water Quality, Environmental

News & Events

Bureau of Land Management Proposes Rule to Prioritize Conservation, Promote Compensatory Mitigation, and Adjust Procedures for Designating ACECs

The Federal Register, published on April 3, 2023, includes a proposed rule by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to...