Public Lands

With the majority of lands in the Western United States held in some form of public ownership, the majority of land development projects, industrial and energy facility projects, and water and natural resource policy issues will intersect with public lands. Our team has experience working with a variety of public land classifications and public land managers, including the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the various state management agencies charged with the management, development, and preservation of state trust lands. In addition, our team has experience with the development and management of projects on tribal lands, including work with various federally-recognized Indian tribes, aboriginal land claims, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Our attorneys have been involved with a variety of public lands-related matters, including landscape-level planning work, the siting and permitting of energy facilities, pipelines, and other infrastructure, environmental impact analysis, investigation of archeological and historic sites, and policy reforms to facilitate both the responsible development and preservation of public landscapes.  

Representative Experience

  • Representing a stakeholder group in the development of a comprehensive reform of Arizona's constitutional and statutory framework for the management of 9.3 million acres of state trust lands.
  • Planning land exchanges with the Bureau of Land Management to address land development and land conservation needs.
  • Advising on the siting of solar energy facilities on public lands and permitting for transmission lines, roads, and pipeline projects across public lands, including BLM and U.S. Forest Service lands.
  • Establishing a comprehensive program at a leading non-profit organization develop tools, legal mechanisms and agency capacity for state trust land management in eleven Western states.
  • Drafting legal guidebooks and policy guidance related to state trust land management in the Western United States.
  • Representing entities doing business with federally-recognized Indian tribes on tribal lands, including issues related to environmental permitting and compliance, tribal sovereignty, and tribal law and civil jurisdiction issues on reservation lands.