Challenging and Defending Federal Natural Resource Agency Decisions


“You can’t please all of the people all of the time.” That old adage seems particularly apropos in the context of federal natural resource agency decisions. With a multitude of stakeholders holding divergent interests and priorities, almost every decision by a federal natural resource agency is bound to draw ire from one or more individuals or entities. Agency decisions that draw challenges range from the high-profile—such as EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule, BLM’s hydraulic fracturing rule, Fish & Wildlife’s lesser prairie-chicken listing decision, and the greater sage-grouse amendments to BLM’s and the Forest Service’s land use plans—to the “routine” but equally important, such as appeals of ONRR royalty rulings. This Special Institute will focus on challenging and defending decisions made by federal natural resource agencies, including administrative appeals, judicial review, and the various complex issues associated with those processes. While this conference is appropriate for the sophisticated in-house, outside, or agency practitioner, attorneys and other resource professionals who are relatively new to the practice will also benefit from the insights and experience of our distinguished speakers.

Continuing Education Credit

Approximately 12.5 hours of instruction, including 1 hour of ethics. CLE, AAPL, and other credits are available.


The Westin Westminster

10600 Westminster Blvd.
Westminster, Colorado 80020

Room reservations for this course are available at the rate of $163 per night until August 30. Ask for special rates for Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation registrants. For reservations, contact the Westin at:

Toll Free: 800-937-8461 | Direct: 303-410-5000 | Online

Government registrants - Please note that our group rates are less expensive than government per diem rates!

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Wednesday Morning


  1. Stevia M. Walther

    Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Westminster, CO
  2. Jonathan A. Hunter

    Partner Jones Walker LLP, New Orleans, LA
  3. Sandra A. Snodgrass

    Holland & Hart LLP, Denver, CO

Introductions and Opening Remarks

  1. Sam Kalen

    University of Wyoming College of Law, Laramie, WY

What Actions May Be Challenged: The Deceptively Complex Concept of Final Agency Action

Determining when an agency action is “final” can involve a complex analysis of multiple issues. The issues surrounding this determination include: what is appealable; (e.g. Devon Energy); agency inaction; exhaustion of administrative remedies; parallel proceedings (e.g., Darby v. Cisneros, including the NEPA context); waiver/issue exhaustion (e.g., Public Citizen/Vermont Yankee); and the reviewability of guidance documents.

  1. Kirsten L. Nathanson

    Partner Crowell & Moring, LLP Washington, DC

Justiciability: Barriers to Administrative and Judicial Review

Issues of standing, ripeness, mootness, and waiver of sovereign immunity arise in both the administrative and judicial contexts. Who can participate in the proceeding? What are the agency’s defenses?

Coffee Break

  1. Travis D. Bargsten

    U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Cheyenne, WY

    Partner Hinkle Shanor LLP, Roswell, NM
  3. Mary Lynn Bogle

    Hinkle Shanor LLP, Roswell, NM

Process and Practice Tips for BLM State Director Review of Oil and Gas Decisions

What are the legal and practical issues involved in seeking or otherwise participating in BLM State Director Review of oil and gas decisions? This presentation will explore the procedures involved, the rights of participants, and the opportunity for meetings with the State Director.

  1. Hadassah M. Reimer

    Holland & Hart LLP, Jackson, WY

Process and Practice Tips for Appeals to the Interior Board of Land Appeals

What is the process for appeals to the IBLA? This presentation will address procedural issues of stays, settlements, remands, judicial review of IBLA determinations, and attorney fees before the IBLA, among other topics, and will provide useful practice tips.

Lunch – On Your Own

Wednesday Afternoon

  1. Nancy S. Zahedi

    Attorney U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of the Solicitor, Sacramento, CA
  2. Robert B. Firpo

    U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of the Solicitor, Boise, ID

Hearings Before the DOI Office of Hearings and Appeals

The speakers will discuss hearings before an Administrative Law Judge within the Department of the Interior Office of Hearings and Appeals, including mineral validity contests, title disputes, fact-finding referrals from the IBLA, requests for reviews of proposed oil and gas penalties, and grazing appeals.

  1. Robert S. Thompson III

    Greenberg Traurig, Denver, CO
  2. Robert S. Thompson IV

    Greenberg Traurig, Denver, CO

Process and Practice Tips for Appeals to the Interior Board of Indian Appeals

The process for appealing decisions to the Interior Board of Indian Appeals is unique. This session will focus on appeals of decisions made by the IBIA in the mineral extraction context, and will explain the differences between appeals to the IBIA and IBLA.

Coffee Break

  1. Vincent L. DeWitte

    U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the General Counsel, Natural Resources and Environment Division, Washington, DC
  2. Steven K. Imig

    Denver, CO

Pre-Decisional Objections and Post-Decisional Appeals: Making Sense of the Forest Service’s Varied Review Processes

The U.S. Forest Service has relatively new pre-decisional objection procedures (36 C.F.R. Part 218) for proposed projects and activities implementing land and resource management plans, such as timber sales, campground restoration or development, trail development or maintenance programs, and range-improvement projects. This speaker will review these procedures, as well as more traditional post-decisional administrative appeals applicable to written decisions authorizing the occupancy or use of national forest system lands and resources, such as special use permit authorizations (36 C.F.R. Part 214).

  1. Aaron C. Courtney

    Stoel Rives LLP, Portland, OR

Process and Practice Tips for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Administrative Appeals

What is the administrative appeal process for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ regulatory program? This presentation will include appeals of jurisdictional determinations, permit denials, and declined individual permits.

Hosted Reception for Speakers, Registrants, and Guests

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Thursday Morning

  1. Roxane J. Perruso

    Transwest Express/Power Company of Wyoming, Denver, CO

The Administrative Record: Compiling, Reviewing, and Supplementing the Basis for the Agency’s Decision

The administrative record constitutes the complete “story” of an agency’s decision-making process. This session will cover the issues related to the administrative record for agency decisions, including building the record; compiling, identifying, and supplementing the record; deliberative-process privilege; issues of extra-record evidence and discovery; and administrative record disputes.

  1. Jonathan A. Hunter

    Partner Jones Walker LLP, New Orleans, LA
  2. Michael J. McGrady

    Wyoming Attorney General’s Office, Cheyenne, WY
  3. Laura K. Granier

    Holland & Hart LLP, Reno, NV
  4. Robin L. Cooley

    Earthjustice, Denver, CO

Getting a Seat at the Table: Intervention in Administrative Appeals and Judicial Challenges

Who can intervene, at what time is intervention appropriate, what are the standards for intervention, and what role can intervenors play, including in the settlement context? This session will address intervention issues in both the administrative and judicial contexts.

Coffee Break

  1. Fred R. Wagner

    Beveridge & Diamond PC, Washington, DC

What Can Be Reviewed, Where to File, and What the Process Is: Jurisdictional Provisions of the APA and Other Statutes

Comparing and contrasting agency decisions that are subject to judicial review under the traditional Administrative Procedure Act avenue with specific judicial-review provisions of other statutes, such as the Clean Water Act and ESA citizen’s suits, this presentation will explain what types of decisions can be reviewed by which court or courts. It will also discuss the general process of judicial review, such as summary judgment (Olenhouse in the Tenth Circuit vs. other circuits) and bifurcation of merits and remedies.

Lunch – On Your Own

Thursday Afternoon

  1. Michael J. Malmquist

    Shareholder Shareholder, Parsons Behle & Latimer, Salt Lake City, UT
  2. Elizabeth A. Schulte

    Parsons Behle & Latimer, Salt Lake City, UT

Deference to Administrative Agencies: Substantive Review of Agency Decisions

It is critical to understand the standards that courts apply when reviewing agency decisions. This session will cover the APA standard of review and deference to agency interpretations of statutes and regulations, including Auer and Chevron deference.

  1. Jennifer L. Biever

    Director Lewis, Bess, Williams & Weese P.C., Denver, CO

The Uncertain Question of Remedies Should a Challenge Prevail

What remedies are available to a successful litigant? This session will review both interim injunctive relief and the remedies available at the end of the trial on the merits, including injunctive relief, remand (with or without vacatur), and the administrative-remand rule for appeals, vacatur, attorneys’ fees, etc.

Coffee Break

  1. Philip C. Lowe

    U.S Department of the Interior Office of the Solicitor, Lakewood, CO

Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

Both mediation and alternative dispute resolution are used in the context of appeals of agency decisions. This presentation will include the use of magistrates in appeals of IBLA decisions and Court of Appeal mediation programs.

  1. Mark Champoux

    Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, Denver, CO

Avoiding Ethical Traps When Challenging and Defending Agency Decisions

Ethics considerations are often at play when challenging or defending agency decisions. This session will explore ethical issues in the administrative appeal and judicial review contexts, addressing topics such as joint representation of multiple parties, joint defense or other cooperative arrangements among parties, privilege concerns, appropriateness of communications with agency officials (whether represented or not) during pendency of proceedings, and lawyer competency requirements in light of the various facets of agency and judicial review as well as related litigation. Reference will be made, where applicable, to the ABA Model Rules, and a combination of real-life and wholly fabricated fact scenarios will be used to illustrate the ethical questions discussed.

Course Adjournment

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Course Materials All registrants will receive a link to a complete searchable and Digital Document set of course materials in PDF format about two weeks before the course.

General Information

Car Rental: Hertz is offering special discounts by referencing Meeting CV#03NJ0011 and Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. Make reservations at or call 800-654-2240 (U.S.); 800-263-0600 (Canada); 405-749-4434 (International).

Registration Fees: Include course materials, refreshments, and hosted functions as listed in this brochure. These fees do not include hotel costs or transportation. Registrations will be accepted only when accompanied by a check, money order, government purchase order or training form, credit card information, or wiring informa tion. No registrations can be processed without payment.

Registration Cancellations: Refunds, less a $50 administrative fee, will be given for cancel lations received by 3:00 pm on Monday, August 29, 2016. No refunds will be given there  after, although substitution of attendees may be made by contacting the Foundation. Cancellations must be made in writing or email to Registrants not entitled to a refund will receive a link to the written materials. For questions on refunds, complaints, and/or program cancellations, please contact our office at 303-321-8100.

CLE Credit: This course consists of approximately 12.5 hours of continuing education, including 1 hour of ethics. You must let us know, at least 30 days in advance of the conference, the states or organizations for which you will need credit (see registration form). Credit hours for states will vary and are subject to each state’s approval and credit rounding rules. Foundation conferences are typically accredited by all mandatory CLE states and Canadian provinces, the AAPL, NADOA and NALTA, and other professional organizations. Attorneys from certain states may be required to pay an additional fee. The Foundation is a State Bar of California MCLE-approved provider.

CPE Credit: Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: There are no prerequisites and no advance preparation is required to attend this course. The delivery method is Group–Live, and up to 15 CPE credits are available, including 1 ethics credit. The program level is “overview.”

Recording: Audio and video recording, streaming, or other types of live or stored dissemination are not permitted without express authorization from the Foundation.

Special Needs: If you have special needs addressed by the ADA, please notify us at least four weeks before the program.

Speakers & committee

Program Chair

SANDRA A. SNODGRASS is a partner in the Denver office of Holland & Hart LLP. She helps natural resource developers, pipeline companies, traditional and renewable energy companies, and other clients successfully navigate the complex federal environmental review and permitting processes for a variety of proposed projects. Her extensive experience includes National Environmental Policy Act compliance and litigation; Endangered Species Act Section 7 consultation, Section 10 habitat conservation plans and incidental take permits, candidate conservation agreements, species listing issues, and litigation; development of avian and bat protection plans and bird and bat conservation strategies under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; Bald and Golden Eagle Act permitting issues; Clean Water Act Section 404 permits; National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 consultation; right-of-way grants under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and Mineral Leasing Act; voluntary conservation agreements; and certificates of public convenience and necessity under the Natural Gas Act. Ms. Snodgrass joined Holland & Hart in 1999 after graduating from Northwestern University School of Law.


TRAVIS D. BARGSTEN is a Physical Scientist with the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He received a B.S. from Colorado State University in Forest and Range Management. After serving as an Agroforestry Volunteer for the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic, he worked as a consulting forester for private landowners in the redwood forests of Central California. He began working for the BLM in Rawlins, Wyoming and then moved to the Wyoming State Office where he now works in the Branch of Fluid Minerals and Lands.

MARY LYNN BOGLE is a partner in the Roswell, New Mexico office of Hinkle Shanor LLP. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Bogle served as Chief Staff Attorney of the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One in Phoenix, and as a partner in Losee, Carson, Haas & Carroll in Artesia, New Mexico. Ms. Bogle received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt University and graduated from the University of Arizona College of Law, where she wrote for the Arizona Law Review. Ms. Bogle practices in the areas of general civil litigation and appeals, natural resources litigation, administrative law and appeals, oil and gas law, and public lands law. She is a member of the Chaves County Bar, State Bar of New Mexico and State Bar of Arizona, and has been admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, the United States District Court for the District of Arizona, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Arizona Supreme Court, and the New Mexico Supreme Court. Ms. Bogle is active in the community and has served as a Trustee of the Saint Andrews Episcopal School, a Member of the Board of Directors of Eastern New Mexico Medical Center, and as an elder of the Dexter Presbyterian Church. A native of Dexter, New Mexico, Ms. Bogle has been a partner in the firm since 2002.

JENNIFER BIEVER is a director at Lewis, Bess, Williams & Weese P.C. She is one of the leading legal experts nationally and in the Rocky Mountain region on methane and related emissions from the oil and gas industry. Jennifer recently worked with industry, environmental stakeholders and the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division to develop a first-of-its-kind emissions monitoring framework for the natural gas transmission sector and plays a significant role in Colorado’s ongoing oil and gas rulemakings and stakeholder processes. Jennifer assists in evaluating, commenting on, and contesting state and federal regulatory regimes affecting environmental requirements and compliance, and her wealth of knowledge and experience allows her to assist companies in the implementation of compliance evaluation programs, handling of environmental enforcement matters, permitting of significant and comprehensive natural resource projects, and litigation related to such permitting actions. Jennifer has represented several companies in enforcement by state and federal agencies with respect to emissions from oil and gas storage tank facilities.

TIMOTHY R. CANON is an attorney with Ovintiv Services Inc., where he works primarily on midstream and marketing matters. Tim was previously an associate with Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP in Denver, where his practice covered upstream and midstream oil and gas contracts and transactional matters, oil and gas title examinations, and federal lands matters. Tim obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 2010 and his J.D. from Boston University School of Law in 2013. He is an active participant in the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation; he has co-authored several papers, has written numerous articles for the Foundation’s Mineral Law Newsletter, and currently serves on the Publications Committee.

KENNETH M. CAPPS, Senior Counsel, USDA Office of General Counsel, Denver, CO

MARK CHAMPOUX is a partner in the trial group at Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP in Denver, Colorado. His commercial litigation practice includes disputes involving natural resources, oil and gas, and environmental liabilities across a broad range of subjects and forums. He also has substantial experience in complex litigation involving contracts, business torts, real estate, securities fraud, shareholder actions, civil RICO, products liability, and special districts. Mark has particular expertise in assisting clients navigate discovery challenges in light of evolving rules and practices related to retention and discovery of electronic documents and information, and he also advises on issues concerning legal ethics. Mark received his J.D. in 2007 from Harvard Law School, where he was deputy editor-in-chief of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, and received his B.A. in 2004 from Brigham Young University, graduating magna cum laude and as valedictorian.

ROBIN COOLEY is a staff attorney in Earthjustice's Rocky Mountain office in Denver, Colorado where she works to protect the wild places, species, and communities of the Rocky Mountain region and to promote a clean energy future. Since joining Earthjustice in 2007, Robin has litigated cases in federal courts involving numerous federal environmental laws, including the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Federal Land Policy and Management Act, Mineral Leasing Act, and Clean Air Act. Robin received her B.S. from Cornell University in environmental systems technology and her law degree from University of Colorado Law School, where she graduated Order of the Coif and served as an editor on the University of Colorado Law Review. Prior to joining Earthjustice, Robin served as an Honor’s program attorney for the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of the Solicitor in Washington, DC, a staff attorney for the Western Environmental Law Center in Taos, NM, and a lecturer in the Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Denver School of Law.

AARON C. COURTNEY, Partner, Stoel Rives LLP, Portland, OR

JANETTE L. FERGUSON is a shareholder at Lewis Bess William & Weese, P.C. in Denver, Colorado. She is an experienced litigator with over 25 years handling complex commercial disputes, including breach of contract claims, fraud and misrepresentation cases, breach of fiduciary duty cases, business torts, Consumer Protection Act claims, employment disputes, class action litigation, construction defect claims, product liability cases, insurance coverage and bad faith litigation, and state and federal bid protests. Janette also represents mining and oil and gas companies in challenging Federal natural resource agency decisions, NEPA compliance and litigation, consulting on the Endangered Species Act, the National Historic Preservation Act and the Oil Pollution Control Act. Before joining Lewis Bess Williams & Weese, P.C., Janette was a long-time partner at Davis Graham & Stubbs, LLP. Prior to that Janette was a long-time partner in the San Francisco, California office of the national firm Robins Kaplan, LLP.

ROBERT B. FIRPO is an attorney with the United States Department of the Interior’s Office of the Solicitor in Boise, Idaho. Bob received his B.A. from U.C.LA., and his J.D. from the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. After law school Bob clerked for judges on the Montana Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Bob joined the Solicitor's Office in 2009, and works primarily with BLM on grazing, wilderness, and sensitive wildlife issues (sage-grouse and bighorn sheep). He is married with two sons, and enjoys fly-fishing in the backcountry.

LAURA K. GRANIER, Holland & Hart LLP, Reno, Nevada

CHELSEA GROSSI is an associate in the environmental group at Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP in Denver, Colorado. She works with oil and gas, mining, aerospace, and manufacturing clients. Chelsea’s experience includes representing clients in environmental administrative and civil litigation matters, negotiating settlements with enforcement agencies, and leading clients through privileged environmental audits. Chelsea has experience counseling clients to compliance under the CAA, CERCLA, CWA, among other environmental and safety statutes, including corresponding state statutory counterparts. Chelsea received her J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and received a B.A. in Political Science from The Ohio State University, where she graduated with distinction. Chelsea is passionate about serving the Colorado community, and serves on the Young Professionals Council for the Rose Andom Center; an organization that co-locates services for domestic violence survivors.

CHRISTOPHER G. HAYES, The Hayes Law Firm LLC, Denver, CO


JONATHAN HUNTER is a partner with Jones Walker, where he devotes his practice full-time to representing oil and gas companies.  For more than thirty years, he has provided counsel and defense on matters governed by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the Mineral Leasing Act, the False Claims Act, the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act, the Foreign Investment and National Security Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and other statutes and related regulations.  He has represented federal oil and gas lessees in dozens of administrative and judicial proceedings arising from their operations on federal lands, including numerous regulatory enforcement and penalty proceedings, as well as disputes involving multi-billion dollar royalty, lease cancellation, and fraud claims.  On behalf of federal oil and gas lessees, he has intervened in lawsuits challenging the United States Department of the Interior’s administration of the federal offshore oil and gas leasing program.

A graduate of Yale College and the Louisiana State University Law Center, he has taught, written and lectured extensively on oil and gas subjects.   He has been listed in Chambers USA America's Leading Lawyers for Business and The Best Lawyers in America for many years.  He is a past President of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation.

STEVEN K. IMIG is an attorney based in Denver, Colorado. He specializes in natural resources, public lands law, litigation, and environmental law, and his practice involves oil and gas and resource development, federal land use planning, ski area development, and litigation over various types of oil and gas agreements. Steve also helps clients navigate federal, state, and local environmental permitting and review processes. Steve formerly was a director with Lewis, Bess, Williams & Weese, P.C., in Denver. Steve has a B.A. in economics, magna cum laude, from Bates College, and a J.D., cum laude, from the Georgetown University Law Center. He has been a guest lecturer in environmental, natural resource, and administrative law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and frequently speaks and writes on natural resources and environmental issues. Prior to law school, Steve was an economic consultant specializing in energy markets.

SAM KALEN is the Winston S. Howard Distinguished Professor, at the University of Wyoming College of Law. Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Kalen practiced in Washington, D.C. for over 20 years, both in the private and public sectors. He practiced at an energy, environment, and natural resources law firm, and worked in the Solicitor’s Office at the Department of the Interior. He also has held various teaching positions at the University of Baltimore, Florida State University, Washington & Lee University, and Penn State University. Immediately after law school, Professor Kalen began his career as a law clerk for Justice Warren D. Welliver of the Missouri Supreme Court. Professor Kalen’s research focuses on the fields of energy, environment, public lands and natural resources, administrative law, and constitutional law. He has published a variety law review articles, chapters in books, and is a co-author on two books. He also is active in the American Bar Association’s Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources.

PHIL LOWE is an attorney advisor with the Department of the Interior’s Rocky Mountain Regional Solicitor’s Office, in Lakewood, CO. Formerly a hydrogeologist and environmental scientist in the environmental management and licensing section of a major electrical utility, as an attorney he was part of the environmental practice groups of two large law firms in San Francisco and Denver. At the Regional Solicitor’s Office, he advises Interior agency clients on legal and policy matters related to conventional and renewable energy development on public lands and has extensive litigation experience before the Interior Board of Land Appeals and federal courts. Phil also advises Bureau of Land Management clients on NEPA and FLPMA issues associated with environmental impact statements and environmental assessments for a variety of land planning actions and project level records of decision. He has a 1981 B.S. with honors from Rutgers University (where he won several athletic and academic awards) and a 1989 J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. 

ANN E. LANE is Senior Counsel for WPX Energy, Inc. in Denver, Colorado, supporting WPX’s assets in the Piceance and Powder River Basins, as well as its acquisition and divestiture, infrastructure and exploration teams. Ann has over 25 years of natural resources experience – including 8 years as a Petroleum Landman. Prior to joining WPX, Ann was in-house counsel at XO communications, Kerr-McGee Rocky Mountain Corporation, and Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. She started her legal career as an associate at Jones Day Reavis & Pogue in Dallas, Texas and at Holme Roberts & Owen in Denver, Colorado. Ann graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a Business Degree and from Southern Methodist University School of Law with her J.D. Ann is a member of the Texas and Colorado bar associations and the Denver Association of Petroleum Landmen. She is a former President of the Natural Resources and Energy Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association. She is active in several committees for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation and has also served as a former trustee.

MICHAEL J. MALMQUIST is a shareholder of Parsons Behle & Latimer in Salt Lake City, Utah, and works in the firm's Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources practice group. He helps clients site and develop natural resource, energy, transportation, and other projects by advising them on environmental permitting, land use authorization, public lands, and NEPA issues and strategies. He also defends projects against permit appeals and lawsuits involving claims under NEPA, FLPMA, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water and Air Acts, and other environmental, wildlife, and public land laws. He has performed environmental and title diligence for various natural resource and energy acquisitions and mergers. Mr. Malmquist was previously with the United States Department of Justice, where his practice included trial and appellate litigation of cases involving NEPA, the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, and various Indian law and water law issues. He also represented the Department's position on legislative and policy issues with a focus on western natural resources and water rights. Mr. Malmquist was named 2010 Lawyer of the Year by the Utah Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Bar Section. He is recognized in The Best Lawyers in America, Utah Business Magazine's Legal Elite, Chambers USA, and Mountain States Super Lawyers and was named 2016 Best Lawyers in America "Lawyer of the Year" in Salt Lake City for Energy Law. He has an AV® Preeminent™ Rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

MICHAEL J. McGRADY is a Senior Assistant Attorney General and Supervisor of the Natural Resources Section within the Water and Natural Resources Division of the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office. Michael received his J.D. from the University of Wyoming in 2006 and began his career as a law clerk to the Honorable Terrence L. O’Brien of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Before joining the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office in 2011, Michael worked at a private insurance defense firm in Cheyenne. Michael represents the State of Wyoming in litigation that the Governor determines is necessary to protect Wyoming’s natural resources. The subject matter of these cases is diverse and includes litigation arising under the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, and the National Forest Management Act.

KIRSTEN L. NATHANSON is a partner in the Environment & Natural Resources Group at Crowell & Moring LLP in Washington DC, focusing on environmental litigation, enforcement defense, risk assessment, and regulatory counseling under the major federal environmental and public lands statutes. She currently serves as a member on the firm's Environment & Natural Resources Group Steering Committee. Her litigation experience encompasses citizen suit defense, regulatory challenges, remediation cost recovery and defense, Administrative Procedure Act actions, and EPA enforcement across nearly all federal environmental laws. Among her current representative engagements, she is engaged in CERCLA contribution litigation against the United States for a major energy company, represents leading crop protection companies in ESA-FIFRA litigation challenging product registrations, serves as federal environmental counsel to a corporation across multiple facilities and CERCLA sites, and works as Clean Water Act regulatory and litigation counsel to multiple national trade associations. Kirsten has been recognized as a leading environmental lawyer in Washington, D.C. by Chambers and Partners USA (2013-2015). Her experience includes federal district court motions and trial practice and federal appellate oral arguments. She is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and numerous federal appellate and district courts nationwide. Kirsten currently serves on the Board of the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the Women's Energy Network and was a founding President of the Chapter in 2011-2012. She is a past president and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation and has also led the Crowell & Moring Women Attorneys' Network.

GREG NIBERT is a native of Roswell, New Mexico. He and his wife, Carolyn, have two sons, Gregory, an oil and gas lawyer in Denver, and Jeff, a farmer in Roswell.  He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Mexico in 1980 and received a Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from Pepperdine University in 1983.  He was Editor in Chief of the Pepperdine Law Review for 1982-83.  He is a partner in Hinkle Shanor LLP and his practice is focused on Oil and Gas Law.  He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 1993, Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers for Business since 2005.  He was selected as the Natural Resource Lawyer of the Year in 2015 by the New Mexico Bar Section on Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law.  In 2016, Mr. Nibert was elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives, District 59 (Chaves and Lincoln Counties) where he continues to serve. He represents New Mexico on the Executive Board of the Energy Council.  The Rural Water Users Association selected Greg as the Legislator of the Year for 2018 and he received an award from the Association of Commerce and Industry for work on legislation promoting economic development in the State.  Greg was one of two New Mexico legislators invited to attend the Fourth China United States Governor’s Conference in the People’s Republic of China in 2018 to promote New Mexico business in China. Greg is a past president of the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico and continues to serve on its Board of Directors.  He was the Treasurer (2013-15) and a member of the Board of Directors (2011-15) of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation.  He previously served as a Chaves County Commissioner from 2007 through 2014.  While Chairman of the Commission he successfully fought the US Fish and Wildlife Service to prevent the listing of the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard and the Lesser Prairie Chicken.   He has presented numerous papers and speeches to a number of organizations on oil and gas law topics, including the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, American Association of Professional Landmen, University of Texas, and Center for International and American Law Energy Law Institute.

ROXANE J. PERRUSO is Vice President and General Counsel for the Power Company of Wyoming LLC and TransWest Express LLC, both wholly owned affiliates of The Anschutz Corporation. She joined Anschutz in 2008 with 25 years of experience across a broad array of legal, land use, real estate, and environmental issues. Perruso attended the University of Colorado School of Law, earning a juris doctor in 1997, and subsequently became a senior associate at the law firm of Holme Roberts & Owen, LLP. For five years she represented clients at both the trial and appellate level in litigation involving commercial disputes, real estate and construction claims, insurance claims, and employment discrimination. Subsequently, Perruso served six years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado. She was an AUSA in the civil division for four years representing the United States in civil cases involving federal land use and environmental issues as well as torts and employment discrimination. Then, she transferred to the criminal division where she was a federal prosecutor in cases involving firearms, drugs, immigration, and crimes against children. Perruso is a member of the bar for the State of Colorado, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Perruso has published several legal articles and earned awards including a Bureau of Land Management appreciation award in 2008; a Certificate of Commendation, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Department of Justice in 2006; a Director’s Award for superior performance as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in 2005; and an award from the Office of General Counsel, USDA and the Forest Service in 2004. A lifelong resident of the West, Perruso was born in Arizona, and lived in New Mexico, California, and Nebraska before moving to Colorado, which has been home for over 30 years.


HADASSAH (DESSA) M. REIMER is an attorney in the Jackson Hole, Wyoming office of Holland & Hart LLP. Her practice focuses on federal environmental regulation and litigation before the Interior Board of Land Appeals and the federal courts, including environmental impact assessment, endangered species, and public land permitting requirements. Dessa also has an active Indian law practice. Dessa represents a variety of clients including conventional and renewable energy developers, mining companies, and water resource providers, as well as Indian tribes. Dessa has co-authored three papers for past RMMLF Annual Institutes, served as chair of the Public Lands section for the 2013 Annual Institute, and currently serves as a Trustee for the Foundation.

ELIZABETH A. SCHULTE is an attorney-advisor for the Department of Interior, Office of the Solicitor, Intermountain Region. Liz has spent the majority of her legal career in private practice, helping clients site and develop projects both on federal and private land. Liz recently joined the Solicitor's Office and now represents the Department of Interior in a broad-range of natural resource issues, including permitting decisions, NEPA challenges, oil and gas leasing, rights-of-way, and other mineral development matters. Liz currently serves as the chair for the ABA's public land and resources committee and is the chair for the Utah State Bar's Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law section. Liz returned to law school after working for The Nature Conservancy, and received her J.D. in 2005 from the University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law, where she was the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Natural Resources and Environmental Law. Liz is married to Rob Hess, owner of Jackson Hole Mountain Guides. Liz and Rob enjoy spending time with their dogs, climbing, skiing, traveling, and spending time in the mountains.

ROBERT S. THOMPSON III, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, Denver, CO


ROBERT S. THOMPSON IV, Associate, Greenberg Traurig, Denver, CO


FRED R. WAGNER is a Principal and Chair of Beveridge & Diamond PC’s Natural Resources and Project Development Practice Group, in Washington, DC. He re-joined the Firm in 2014 after serving as Chief Counsel of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) since 2011. As Chief Counsel, Fred directed all of FHWA’s programmatic and operational legal work, including compliance, ethics, and business law functions pertaining to such areas as administration of FHWA grants and contracts, records management and disclosure, and personnel management. Fred assisted U.S. Department of Transportation leadership on the highest priority legislative and regulatory issues, and partnered with the DOJ in the defense of litigation challenging transportation projects of national significance. He managed all legal matters concerning the $40 billion Federal-Aid Highway program, including environmental and natural resources issues for highway and multi-modal transportation projects across the U.S. In addition to his tenure at FHWA, Fred also served as a Trial Attorney in the Environment Division of the DOJ and as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Misdemeanor Trial Section of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia.

STEPHEN W. WIEGAND is a Shareholder with Liskow & Lewis, in New Orleans, LA. Steve’s practice focuses on complex regulatory issues impacting onshore and offshore oil and gas operations. He advises clients on a wide range of regulatory matters, including compliance with operational and safety requirements, appeals of Incidents of Non-Compliance and civil penalties, matters related to facility decommissioning, incident response and investigations, lease suspensions, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit compliance, and the applicability of federal statutes including the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, Clean Water Act, Oil Pollution Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Coastal Zone Management Act, and Freedom of Information Act to the various stages of the mineral development process. He has handled numerous administrative appeals before the Department of Interior Board of Land Appeals and has represented clients in administrative matters before the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Environmental Protection Agency, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, and other agencies.

NANCY S. ZAHEDI is an attorney with the United States Department of the Interior's Office of the Solicitor in Sacramento, California, where she serves as agency counsel for Bureau of Land Management offices in California and Nevada. Nancy received a B.A. from Stanford University, a Master in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center. Before joining the Solicitor's Office in 2000, Nancy worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington D.C. for over a decade, spent two years in Guatemala working on the country's national environmental and natural resource plan, and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Africa.