Only 17 percent of Arizona’s land is privately owned. Over 80 percent is owned by various federal, state and Tribal organizations. Nevada, New Mexico and other Western states have similar ownership patterns, with state, federal and Tribal governments being the largest landowners. Many of these lands are managed for multiple uses, including grazing, timbering, agriculture, ranching, mining and oil and gas exploration and production.
Given the complex ownership structure of our public lands, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie’s natural resources lawyers have developed extensive knowledge and experience in dealing with a variety of issues on public lands. We have experience regarding the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Forest Management Act and related regulations. Our attorneys regularly counsel mining companies, ranchers, farmers, utility companies and other users of public and Tribal lands on a wide range of issues involving the use and development of public lands. In addition to mineral rights, our lawyers assist and advise on various permitting issues, rights-of-way, public land exchanges, agricultural and grazing leases, commercial leases, public land sales and various special use permits.
We represent clients before federal and state administrative agencies, in administrative appeals and, when necessary, litigation. Our attorneys have extensive experience working with federal and state administrative agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service and the State Land Department. Our attorneys know these agencies and their procedures and can guide our clients through their often complex processes.
- Counsel to private party in a public land exchange involving thousands of acres of public lands.
- Counsel to client to negotiate and document a mineral lease on Tribal lands.
- Counsel to a borrower in a multi-million dollar project financing.
- Counsel to client to perform due diligence investigations on mining development projects and operating mines on behalf of prospective purchasers and lenders.
- Counsel to client seeking Forest Service approval of plan of operation for development of a greenfield open pit mine situated on Forest Service land.
- Counsel to client seeking U.S. Bureau of Land Management approval of an exploration plan of operation on federal land.
- Counsel to client seeking Public Land Exchange involving Forest Service lands and privately owned lands.
- Counsel to client seeking Public Land Exchange involving Bureau of Land Management lands and privately owned lands.