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 and state government entities and who maintain excellent relationships with relevant agencies throughout the West and in Washington, D.C.
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 assist energy developers navigate 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.
Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP assists 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 rulemakings by evaluating proposed rules and assisting to draft public comments.