Tribal governments control millions of acres of land throughout the West. Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada and Wyoming have over 160 federally recognized tribes with over 28 million acres of Tribal Lands and over 60 different Tribes, Pueblos and other Tribal entities. Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie's lawyers understand that Tribal lands are rich in natural resources and include reserves of oil, gas, uranium, coal, timber, water and other minerals and resources. Our lawyers also know that Tribal lands have great potential to generate significant renewable resources—estimated at over 9,000 MW-- through wind, solar, biomass, hydro, and geothermal and solar energy. Tribal water settlements, which clarify Indian water allocations, secure key roles for Tribal governments as ongoing and powerful players in the future use of this scarce resource in the growth and development of the Southwest.
When dealing with Tribal lands and Tribal natural resources, businesses and their lawyers must recognize that the Tribes are considered separate governmental entities with their own laws, regulations and courts. Indeed many tribes have established separate business entities to manage resource development on, and off, tribal lands. This additional layer of regulatory and business oversight gives rise to unique challenges for both Tribal and non-Tribal parties. A complex set of federal and Tribal laws and regulations govern many aspects of life and business and resource development on Tribal lands. In some substantive areas, state or county laws may also be applicable.
Understanding the legal, historical and cultural backgrounds which have influenced opinions and shaped philosophies and perspectives for generations as an essential part of transacting business involving Tribal entities and Tribal natural resources is a core component of Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie's work in this area. The effects of decades of antiquated laws, inefficient and ineffective government administration and inequitable dealings must also be understood. Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie’s attorneys understand the laws and these unique historical, cultural and social aspects. As a result, we successfully represent both Tribal and non-Tribal clients in a wide variety of natural resources, energy and economic development matters and transactions.
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie’s lawyers’ in depth knowledge of the specialized federal and Tribal laws and our substantive experience in environmental, water, natural resources, renewable energy, leasing and mining law combine to effectively represent our Tribal and non-Tribal clients. When required, we call on the strong knowledge base of the lawyers in our tribal affairs, real estate, commercial, finance, government relations, gaming and litigation groups to assist and advise our clients. Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie lawyers know that succeeding in matters involving Tribal natural resources and land issues and with Tribal entities requires an approach which is tailored to each transaction and each Tribal entity.