The 2021 field landman seminar and the Santa Fe Land Institute will be held on July 29-30, 2021 in Santa Fe. Find out more about these events here.


Texas Tech Launches NEW Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (MSIS) in Energy Degree Program 


Texas Tech launched their new Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (MSIS) in Energy degree program earlier this Fall, and the student response to the quality of the program has been outstanding. The program started with the Oil & Gas module this Fall, which will be followed by Renewables in Spring 2021, Energy Law & Policy in Summer 2021, and Energy Commerce in Fall 2021. The program is designed for maximum flexibility with all courses offered online and two weekend, in-person visits on campus each semester. Because the program offers a “rolling” admission, students can enroll at the beginning of any semester and start earning their degree right then.

Find out more about this outstanding program at: http://www.depts.ttu.edu/gradschool/Programs/energy/



2020 Mining Law Summit 


The 2020 Mining Law Summit of the University of Arizona’s Global Mining Law Center will be held as a virtual event on November 6, 2020.  This year’s program and topic will address “New Frontiers in Community Engagement and Sustainable Development of Mineral Resources” and includes (1) a discussion of those metals that will be needed to meet new uses, (2) the sustainable development concerns of the World Bank, (3) the status of the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance, (4) a discussion of current issues and (5) a presentation of the use of social media to respond to community concerns. 

As a result of health concerns, this year’s Summit will be held virtually and no charge will be required to register/participate.  You will have to register, however, so please go to:

The format for the Summit will include recorded presentations with an opportunity to submit questions and provide comments to the speakers either after the individual presentations or at a wrap up session.




Memorial – Mary Viviano


I’m saddened to announce that a treasured friend, Mary Viviano, passed away in her Lookout Mountain home on August 6 after a short, courageous battle with cancer, surrounded by her loving husband Bill Witt and her cherished son, Erik Laitos.

Mary loved her work for the Foundation. She served as the Foundation’s Secretary and on its Board of Directors and Trustees Council, chaired the Foundation’s most important committee, the Special Institutes Committee, for four years, served as the program chair for three special institutes, served on a total of 13 committees over almost 30 years, and authored or co-authored six papers. For her tireless support of its educational mission throughout her career, she was appointed an Honorary Trustee. Mary’s involvement with the Foundation was more than just professional; she made countless close friendships over the years while working on and attending its programs, and she served as an inspiration and mentor to many young women in the oil and gas and legal fields.

Mary had an exceptional career that began as one of the first lady landmen at Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Chevron USA, where she set her sights on a law degree. After graduating from law school, she started her legal career with Davis Graham & Stubbs in oil and gas, litigation and public lands, and moved to Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley with the same oil and gas and litigation focus. From 2001 to 2013, Mary served as General Counsel of Encana USA, leading transactions that covered oil and gas basins from Appalachia to the Rockies, and everything in between. Following her time at Encana, Mary served as General Counsel of Vantage Energy, retiring from the practice of law in 2017.

Mary showcased both left and right brain talents, as evidenced by her life-long interest in the performing arts. Before attending law school, Mary danced and taught modern dance at the Perry-Mansfield Arts School and Camp near Steamboat Springs, the oldest continuously operating performing arts camp in the U.S. Most recently, she served as a Council Member for the Jefferson County Cultural Council, and as a Director of the Rocky Mountain Arts Association, the umbrella organization for the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus and the Denver Women’s Chorus.

Mary had a zest for life and was an incredible leader. She will be forever remembered for her big smile, warm heart, fierce intelligence and passionate loyalty to family and friends.

In addition to her son, Erik, and husband, Bill, Mary is survived by her sisters Kathy Holt and Betsy Rust, her brother Michael Viviano, and several nieces and nephews with whom she remained close. A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Rocky Mountain Arts Association. https://denverchoruses.org/support/

Alex Ritchie
Executive Director 





Memorial - Jim King


On behalf of his family and friends, I am saddened to advise you that Past President and good friend of the Foundation, Jim King, died on July 21, 2020, at home surrounded by his beloved daughter, Laura, son-in-law, Ravi, and his brother, Bob King. It is ironic that Jim passed on the first day of this year’s Annual Institute, given his incredible devotion to and support of the Foundation.

Jim’s long history with the Foundation began while he was still in law school at the University of Colorado, serving as one of the first RMMLF Research Assistants. Jim, a native of Colorado who grew up in Denver, graduated from the University of Colorado in 1970 in Electrical Engineering, with special honors. He graduated from CU law school in 1976, Order of the Coif, and started his career at Sherman & Howard as a member of its natural resources group. He became a partner and subsequently practiced as a partner at Parcel, Mauro, & Spaanstra and Baker & Hostetler. Jim developed a strong practice serving mining and real estate clients, handling transactional, administrative and litigation matters. Jim was a very successful practitioner before the Department of Interior’s Board of Land Appeals and was admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Ninth and Tenth Circuits. He served for many years on the Colorado Bar Associations’ Title Standards Committee, including as co-chair of the Committee, and was a long-time adjunct professor at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. He had an exemplary forty-four-year career in mining, public land, and real estate law including agricultural matters.

His service to the Foundation included serving as President (2004-2005), Secretary (2000-2001), the Executive Committee (1998-2000), and Trustee-At-Large (1993-95, and 1998-2000). He served on twelve different committees of the Foundation, including as Chair of the 41st Annual Institute, Chair of the Site Selection Committee (1992) (and a 27 year tenure on the Committee), Chair of the Relocation Committee (1999-2001), Chair of the Clyde O Martz Teaching Award (2006), and Chair of the Audit & Risk Management Committee (2009-2013).

Jim loved being in the mountains and enjoyed spending time at his mountain cabin in Frisco. He loved Colorado and was an avid Colorado history buff. Jim also loved mining and railroad history and took trips across the United States, including Alaska, to explore historic mining sites.

Jim was known for his intelligence, wit, and dry sense of humor. Up until the very end of his life, he kept those around him laughing and on their toes. Jim kept a cherished and close group of family, friends, and colleagues for whom he would readily do anything.

He was a wonderful lawyer, mentor and friend and will be sorely missed.

There will be a private service on Saturday at 10 a.m. Mountain time that will be streamed via Zoom. The family intends to hold a larger memorial service next year when people can more safely gather. If you want to attend the service on Saturday via Zoom or want to be put on a list to receive information about the larger service when it has been scheduled, please contact Mark Holland by clicking here.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Jim King Scholarship Fund at the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation to fund a new scholarship for a law student attending a Colorado law school who is committed to working in natural resources law in Colorado. Cassie Boggs, another Past President and generous contributor, has already pledged to make an intitial contribution to the fund of $5,000. To contribute, click here. Contributions can also be made in honor of Jim to History Colorado.


Alex Ritchie

Executive Director




People On The Move



Congratulations to Veronica I. Larvie (Vonnie) who migrated from her long tenure at the Solicitor’s Office to become administrative law judge in the Departmental Cases Hearings Division, effective April 26, 2020. This appointment makes Vonnie the Department’s first female hearings judge. Vonnie has spoken at a number of Foundation Special Institutes including the Energy Development Institute (2009) and two Public Lands Institutes in 2003 and 2014.





Tulane Law School


Tulane Law School is in the process of creating two new online Masters of Jurisprudence (NOT an LL.M.) programs in the fields of Environmental Law and Energy Law to add to its programs in Labor & Employment Law and Title IX Certification. These two new programs are targeted primarily (though not exclusively) at non-lawyers; individuals who work in regulated industries, individuals who work in the federal and state regulatory agencies, and individuals working in public advocacy or public interest groups that are interested in these areas. Tulane Law School is attempting now to recruit individuals to create and teach the courses that will be taught in this online program. They intend to offer the following list of courses (number in parentheses is number of course credit hours):

Energy Law, Regulation and Policy Survey (3) (THIS IS THE BASIC INTRO COURSE)
Alternative Energy Sources: Regulation and Development (3) Fossil Fuel: Regulation and Development: Coal, Oil and Gas (3)
Nuclear Energy: Regulation and Development (2)
Electricity Industry: Regulation and Development (2)
Renewable Energy Sources: Regulation and Development (2)
Natural Resources Law (3)
Hazardous Waste Law (3)
Clean Air Law (2)
Clean Water Law (2)
Law & Climate Change (2)
Transitioning from Traditional to Alternative Energy Sources (2)
Toxic Tort Law (3)
Water Law & Policy (2)
Land Use Law (2)
Ocean and Coastal Law (3)
Law, Science and the Environment (2)

If you have any potential interest in creating and teaching any of these courses, please contact the Program Director, Professor Joel Friedman at [email protected].






Memorial – Rand Case



I am saddened to inform you that Rand Case, a friend, mentor, and colleague of many of those involved in the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, passed away surrounded by his family on May 18.

Rand graduated from the Naval Academy in 1965 and served five years as a nuclear submarine officer. He attended the University of Denver Law School and practiced oil and gas law with Poulson, Odell & Peterson, LLC for his entire career. He was incredibly involved in the Foundation, having served as a trustee for 39 years, on 13 program and governance committees, and as the Foundation’s 36th President. He also wrote several papers for the Foundation.

Rand generously donated his time as legal advisor to the Alpine Rescue Team for 30 years. Dedicated to supporting veterans, he also served on the board of Project Sanctuary, which worked to help military families. But his greatest joy was spending time with his family. He loved introducing his grandchildren to the wonders of the outdoors.

Rand is survived by his adoring wife Susan, sons Scott, Brad (Shannon), stepdaughters Rebecca (Wade), Elizabeth (Rickardo), eight grandchildren, his brother Steve, and former wife Nancy Kiernan Case.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Project Sanctuary where Rand served as a board member for many years.


Alex Ritchie

Executive Director


President's Message: June 2020



Dear Valued Member of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation,

The year 2020 has been a challenging year for so many and the Foundation is one among the many organizations affected. The novel coronavirus and related economic impacts on travel, discretionary spending, and conferences, along with the substantial drop in the price of oil, have had a tremendous impact on natural resource industries and their service providers. The Foundation has felt these impacts, as large gatherings such as our in-person institutes remain practically infeasible. I previously announced that the leadership of the Foundation made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person 66th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute. The good news is that we are holding a shortened virtual version of our exceptional annual event. The Virtual Annual Institute on July 23-25, 2020, will include up to eight hours of CLE, and is free to members, only $95 for nonmembers, and $65 for government and nonprofit employees. We hope you will join the hundreds of members and others who have already registered!

The unfortunate news is that the Foundation’s leadership has made the agonizing decision to cancel or postpone the remainder of our 2020 live special institutes and short courses, and the international special institute scheduled for spring 2021. We worked closely with our valued partners in making these decisions. In particular:


  • The International Mining Law Short Course, scheduled to be held in Santiago, Chile, on September 21-24 has been postponed indefinitely. We have a hotel contract and hope to hold this course before the end of 2022.


  • The Short Courses on International Oil and Gas Law, Contracts and Negotiation – Parts 1 and 2, scheduled to be held in Houston between September 21 and October 2 have been postponed until next year. Along with our partners the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators and the Institute for Energy Law, we will hold these courses in Houston on September 27-October 8, 2021.


  • The Special Institute on Public Land Law, Regulation, and Management, that was rescheduled to October 8-9, 2020, in Denver, will again be rescheduled to May 13-14, 2021, in Santa Fe (where the course was originally scheduled to be held in May 2020).


  • The Oil and Gas Law Short Course, scheduled to be held in Houston on October 19-23 has been postponed until October 18-22, 2021, in Westminster, Colorado, when we will hold this course along with the Federal Oil and Gas Leasing Short Course. We appreciate the help and support of our partners, the Institute for Energy Law and the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation.


  • The Water Law Institute, scheduled to be held in San Diego on November 18-19, 2020, has been postponed and will now be held on November 4-5, 2021, in Santa Fe. We plan to hold this annual event, again, in 2022 in San Diego. We appreciate the support of our co-sponsor, the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. To maintain the engagement and involvement of the water law community, we are planning a shortened virtual Water Law Institute to be held on November 19, 2020.


  • The Special Institute on International Mining and Oil & Gas Law, Development, and Investment, scheduled to be held in Mexico City on April 21-23, 2021, is postponed until April 2023. In making this decision, we coordinated with our co-sponsor, the International Bar Association Section of Energy, Environment, Natural Resources and Infrastructure Law, to avoid any conflicts with their biennial program.

We are working hard to respond to the challenges presented by COVID-19. The Foundation’s Board is focused on the future – what can we do now to adapt to the change that is coming because of the pandemic? The Board continues to move forward aggressively to implement new initiatives under our 2018 Strategic Plan to better connect and engage members and support their educational and career-building needs. To keep serving our membership in 2020, the Foundation moved to ramp up on-line CLE offerings including webinars and bundled, subject-area focused video replays of critical content. We started publishing a member’s newsletter, Natural Resources Law Network, including member-authored content on current legal issues.

In addition to the upcoming Virtual Annual Institute (200 signed up the day registration opened), watch for the virtual two-day Special Institute on Distress and Bankruptcy in the Oil & Gas Industry on October 21-23, 2020. The Special Institutes Committee and the Board are hard at work on programming and our current plan is to emerge in 2021 and beyond with a slate of new, timely, and innovative live programs. 

Although the pandemic has had significant impacts on the Foundation and many of its constituents, because of the prudent planning and management of our leaders over the past 66 years, we will emerge strongly from this crisis. Thank you for your continued support of the Foundation and its time-tested model of in-depth scholarly programs and collegiality.

We welcome any thoughts or questions you might have on our COVID-19 response, which you may send to [email protected]. We are here to continue to serve our members and constituency during these challenging times. 



Rebecca W. Watson




2020-2021 Scholarships Awards Announcement



The Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (RMMLF) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020-2019 Joe Rudd, FHDOS, Richard H. Bate, Catherine J. Boggs, and RMMLF Scholarships, including the David P. Phillips Scholarship.

These tuition scholarships encourage and support well-qualified law students from the Foundation’s Constituent Law Schools who have the potential to make significant contributions to scholarship in the field of natural resources law. To date, 609 scholarships have been awarded, totaling over $3.4 million.

Twenty-two scholars from 10 Constituent Law Schools were awarded scholarships this year:

Joe Rudd Scholarship Awards

Austin Sevalrud, University of Calgary
Desiree Smith, Washburn University

FHDO Scholarship Awards

Holly Hayes, University of Tulsa
Alexandra Rayment, University of Calgary

Richard H. Bate Scholarship Award

Natalie Boldt, University of Denver

Catherine J. Boggs Scholarship Award

Martine Ventello, University of Denver

RMMLF Scholarship Awards

Chinonso Anozie, Southern Methodist University
Allison Barnwell, University of Montana
Nielsen Beatty, University of Calgary
Natalie Boldt, University of Denver
Robert D'Andrea, University of Utah
Nicholas Ettinger, University of Calgary
Rachel Grabenstein, University of New Mexico
*Trevor Gruwell, University of Utah
Phillip Hanna, University of Calgary
Danielle Hartley, University of Denver
Holly Hayes, University of Tulsa
Tyler Laudick, Washburn University
Katherine Marshall, University of Minnesota
Erin McKlusky, University of Calgary
Benjamin Moore, Southern Methodist University
Cole Morgan, University of Utah
Vitus Ngaanuma, University of Calgary
Olaitan Oyekunle, University of Texas
Natalie Pedroza, University of Tulsa
William Shelden, University of Tulsa
Desiree Smith, Washburn University
Zach Wright, University of Minnesota

*David P. Phillips Scholarship

The Foundation congratulates the recipients and thanks all the applicants for their interest and efforts.



President's Message: April 2020



Dear Valued Member of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation,

I am so disappointed to write to tell you that the Board of Directors of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation has made the difficult decision to cancel the 66th Annual Institute in July, 2020. This decision was not made lightly. This will be the first Annual Institute cancelled by the Foundation in its 66-year history.

In telling you about this tough decision, I want to recognize the significant contributions made by Connie Rogers, the 66th Annual Institutes Program Chair, her team of Section Chairs, the presenters, and our members who participated in recommending topics. The program and roster of speakers is exceptional. The Board, however, felt we had no realistic option to cancelling the Annual Institute.

Since I last wrote to you a few weeks ago, the novel coronavirus pandemic has progressed with lightning speed. The U.S. has become the epicenter of the outbreak, unemployment claims have reached record levels, and other events scheduled for the summer, including the 2020 Olympics and the Democratic National Convention, have been cancelled or postponed. Sadly, many people have been hospitalized or lost their lives to this virus. The unprecedented coronavirus outbreak and its related impacts on in-person gatherings, travel, and budgets have called for unprecedented action. Although the Board discussed waiting longer to make a decision, based on these recent events, it has already become clear that the Foundation could not hold an Annual Institute in July resembling the premier, collegial, live natural resources legal conference our members and registrants have come to expect.

For those of you who have paid to register for the 66th Annual Institute we will begin processing registration refunds right away. In addition, if you have made a room reservation at the Grand America or the Little America Hotel, we will cancel those reservations for you.

We won’t let July 23-25, 2020 pass without a Rocky connection to our members. We are all becoming more adept at video-conferencing and webinars and the Board is exploring what we can offer virtually in July. We are looking at some ideas for virtual networking and offering some of the scheduled presentations as live webinars during that week. For those of you who are trustees, we will plan to hold a shorter Trustees Council meeting online. We appreciate that these virtual offerings can’t match the feel of a live Annual Institute, but we hope they are a way to keep your connection to the Foundation and its members strong while we work our way through this pandemic. More information will follow over the next few months, but we hope what we offer virtually in July will attract your interest and participation.

We do not intend to let the hard work on the 66th Annual Institute be lost. We are looking at several options to make this work available to the members for their education and reference. We will let you know about those plans as they are completed. In the meantime, the Board and Special Institutes Committee is working on the Foundation’s schedule for fall 2020 and spring and fall 2021. We are rearranging institutes and developing new institutes that will better respond to the legal education needs of our members in this time of a global pandemic and its extraordinary economic impacts. Finally, as I mentioned in my last message to you, I encourage you to take advantage of our extensive library of 148 CLE/CPE presentations that are available on our Online Natural Resources Education platform. The member price for each presentation is only $60, and bundled purchases are available at a substantial discount. Access online, on-demand education here.

Stay safe, and thank you for your continued support of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation.



Rebecca W. Watson







Denver, CO.    Alex Ritchie, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation is pleased to announce another webinar to help attorneys and other professionals in the oil and gas industry address some of the fundamental changes that are a result of COVID-19 and WTI oil prices going negative for the first time in history.   Last week, the Foundation offered members and non-members the opportunity to hear a candid conversation with experts in the industry on Oil and Gas Companies in Crisis: Working with Lenders, Contractors, Suppliers, and Regulatory Agencies.


This week, members and non-members will have the opportunity to hear from three panelists who have expertise in the area of bankruptcy law and will be discussing Basic Legal Concepts for the Oil and Gas Industry.  Demetra Liggins with Thompson & Knight LLP, Mark Brannum with Jonah Energy LLC, and Jessica Peet with Vinson & Elkins LLP will spend an hour discussing Chapter 7 versus Chapter 11, bankruptcy code provisions, the treatment of contracts, creditor claims, existing bankruptcy and more.  


The program will be held on May 8, 2020 and CLE credits will be available. You can find more about the webinar and all of the Foundation’s programs at www.rmmlf.org.


The Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation is a collaborative educational non-profit organization dedicated to the scholarly and practical study of the law and regulations relating to oil and gas, mining, water, public lands, energy, and related areas of environmental and international law.





Robert C. Mathes, Program Chair of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (the “Foundation”) Public Land Law, Regulation, and Management Special Institute is pleased to announce that registration just opened for this outstanding legal program.  


The Foundation will once again hold a Special Institute on Public Land Law, Regulation, and Management for those engaged in mineral or commodity extraction, renewable energy, infrastructure, and other projects involving Federal lands and minerals. The program will build on the Foundation’s previous programs regarding public lands held in 1992, 1997, 2003, 2014, and 2017. With recent changes in administrations and the potential for even more changes in the coming years, anyone with operations or activities on public lands, including government officials, academics, regulatory specialists, and public land practitioners should attend. 


The program will begin on October 8, 2020 with an introduction to Public Land Law and end on October 9, 2020.  Speakers will be coming from all over the United States to present at The Eldorado Hotel & Spa in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  CLE credits will be available. You can find more about the conference and all of the Foundation’s programs at www.rmmlf.org.


The Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation is a collaborative educational non-profit organization dedicated to the scholarly and practical study of the law and regulations relating to oil and gas, mining, water, public lands, energy, and related areas of environmental and international law.




For the 7th Annual Martz Winter Symposium, legal scholars, political appointees, and practitioners across a range of specialties will address the new legal challenges facing public lands law. Managing public lands for a diverse population, impacts on local communities, recreational disputes, and potential litigation all have broad practical import for policymakers, litigators, the outdoor recreation industry, and those who enjoy our public lands.


For more information about the Seventh Annual Clyde O. Martz Winter Symposium being held on Friday, February 28, 2020 in the Wolf Law Building, Wittemyer Courtroom at the University of Colorado School of Law






Public Land Policy after the Trump Administration: Is This a Turning Point?

The Trump Administration has moved aggressively to open previously protected public lands to fossil fuel and other forms of intensive development and to roll back protections in a host of other ways, including starving and shrinking the agencies that manage these lands. Is this the harbinger of fundamental change in the trajectory of public land policy, or is it an aberration? Distinguished Lecturer, Professor John Leshy will be drawing upon material from his much anticipated book, Our Common Ground: A History of America's Public Lands.


For more information about The 2020 Ruth Wright Distinguished Lecture in Natural Resources being held on Thursday, February 27, 2020 in the Wolf Law Building, Wittemyer Courtroom at the University of Colorado School of Law






The Trustees of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (the “Foundation”) are pleased to announce that the University of Minnesota Law School has been admitted to the Foundation’s Trustees Council as a new Constituent Law School.


Professor Alexandra Klass will be the first Trustee from the University of Minnesota. Professor Klass teaches and writes in the areas of energy law, environmental law, natural resources law, tort law, and property law, She is a co-author of Energy Law: Concepts and Insights Series (Foundation Press 2017), Energy Law and Policy (West Academic Publishing 2d ed. 2018), Natural Resources Law: A Place-Based Book of Problems and Cases (Wolters Kluwer, 4th ed., 2018), and The Practice and Policy of Environmental Law (Foundation Press, 4th ed. 2017). Professor Klass was named the Stanley V. Kinyon Teacher of the Year for 2009-2010, and she served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2010-2012.


The Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation is a collaborative educational non-profit organization dedicated to the scholarly and practical study of the law and regulations relating to oil and gas, mining, water, public lands, energy, and related areas of environmental and international law. The Foundation’s Constituent Organizations promote these educational objectives. 


The Trustees Council now includes 66 Constituent Organizations, including 34 law schools, 13 bar associations, and 19 oil and gas and mining associations.






The Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Announces the 2019 Recipients of the CLYDE O. MARTZ TEACHING AWARD






primary mission of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation is to promote the teaching of the law of oil and gas, mining, water, public lands, energy, environmental protection, international, and other related areas of natural resources law. The greatest source of encouragement of knowledge of the law of natural resources development is through inspiration instilled by professors and other teachers of natural resources law.




Clyde O. Martz, the eighth president of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, was a teacher whose casebook pioneered the teaching of the law of natural resources development as a whole, and who made many other contributions to the growth and stature of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation and the study of the law of natural resources development, including the editing of the first edition of the American Law of Mining. In 1993 the Trustees of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation established the Clyde O. Martz Teaching Award to honor those who have performed meritorious teaching in natural resources law or development to students either in a classroom setting or at courses sponsored by the Foundation or other not-for-profit organizations. Excellence in teaching performance is the primary criterion for the award, and consideration is given to the fostering of a broad understanding of the law, mentoring of students, and innovative style.


The Trustees of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation are pleased to announce that the 2019 recipients of the Clyde O. Martz Teaching Award are K.K. DuVivier and James R. Rasband.


K.K. DuVivier


After practicing natural resources law with two Denver firms and working as an Assistant City Attorney, K.K. DuVivier joined the full-time faculty at the University of Denver in 1990. She has received a number of accolades for her teaching and scholarship at the University of Denver, including AALS DU Teacher of the Year, Mentorship Award, Hughes-Ruud Research Professor, and the Sturm Faculty Excellence Award for “Best Professor.” Professor DuVivier has served as the Director of the University of Denver’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program and taught Energy Law, Renewable Energy Law, Civil Procedure, Mining Law, and Environmental Law. She also has taught energy and renewable energy courses as a visiting professor at Lewis and Clark Law School and at the University of Houston Law Center.


Professor DuVivier is the author of two books, THE RENEWABLE ENERGY READER (2011), and ENERGY LAW BASICS (Carolina 2017). She has served as a Trustee of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, the Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Natural Resources and Energy Section, Vice-Chair of the Renewable, Alternative, and Distributed Energy Resources Committee of the Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER) Section of the American Bar Association (ABA), and Vice-Chair of the Hard Minerals Committee of the SEER Section of the ABA. She continues to present in numerous national and international forums and has published over one hundred articles in bar journals and law reviews.


James R. Rasband


James R. Rasband joined the Brigham Young University (BYU) J. Reuben Clark Law School faculty in 1995. During his 25 years at BYU, Professor Rasband has been a renowned teacher, mentor, administrator, and leader, known by students and peers alike for his thoughtfulness, insight, and intellect. He has taught courses in water law, wildlife law, public lands and natural resources law, and international environmental law. His teaching awards have included BYU Law’s First Year Class Teacher of the Year and Teacher of the Year, Phi Alpha Delta, and his teaching evaluations have consistently been exceptional. He has also published many articles and book chapters on natural resources law. He is a coauthor, with James Salzman, Mark Squillace, and Sam Kalen, of NATURAL RESOURCES LAW AND POLICY (3d ed., 2016) and prior editions, an important casebook in the field.


Professor Rasband’s accomplishments in teaching and scholarship are all the more impressive given his overlapping administrative duties, first as the Associate Academic Vice President for Faculty for the University and the Associate Dean for Research and Academic Affairs at the Law School, and then as Dean of the Law School from 2009 – 2016.   Most recently, he was the Academic Vice President for the entire University. He served as a Trustee of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation for 23 years, and also served on its Board of Directors and on numerous committees, and was Chair of the Natural Resources Law Teachers Institute and Public Lands Chair of the 53rd Annual Institute. In April, Professor Rasband was sustained as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.





The Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation is pleased to announce the election by the Trustees Council of the following slate of Officers, Members-at-Large of the Board of Directors, and Trustees-at-Large for 2019-2020.


OFFICERS 2019-2020


President            Rebecca W. Watson, Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley, P.C., Denver, CO

Vice President   Stuart R. Butzier, Modrall Sperling, Santa Fe, NM

Secretary            Michael J. Bourassa, Fasken, Toronto, ON

Treasurer           Scot W. Anderson, Hogan Lovells US LLP, Denver, CO




Reed D. Benson, University of New Mexico School of Law, Albuquerque, NM

Monika U. Ehrman, University of Oklahoma College of Law, Norman, OK

Jana L. Grauberger, Liskow & Lewis, Houston, TX

Ann E. Lane, WPX Energy, Inc., Denver, CO

Matthew J. Salzman, Stinson LLP, Kansas City, MO

Carlos Vilhena, Pinheiro Neto Advogados, Brasilia, Brazil




Kevin C. Abbott, Reed Smith LLP, Pittsburgh, PA

Juan Martin Allende, Allende & Brea, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Ana Elizabeth Bastida, Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy, University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland

Susan Miller Bisong, Modrall Sperling, Albuquerque, NM

Joshua B. Cook, Crowley Fleck PLLP, Billings, MT

Robin Kundis Craig, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, Salt Lake City, UT

Michel E. Curry, Henry Resources LLC, Midland, TX

Ana M. Gutierrez, Hogan Lovells US LLP, Denver, CO

David B. Hatch, Holland & Hart LLP, Salt Lake City, UT

Alison J. Lacy, Fasken, Toronto, ON

Lamont C. Larsen, Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, Denver, CO

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

Eric L. Martin, Stoel Rives LLP, Portland, OR

David W. Miller, Miller Land Professionals, LLC, Jackson, MS

Tara K. Righetti, University of Wyoming College of Law, Laramie, WY

Abby L. Risner, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C., St. Louis, MO

Heidi K. Ruckriegle, WilmerHale, Denver, CO

Elizabeth A. Schulte, U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of the Solicitor, Salt Lake City, UT

Shanisha Y. Smith, Baker & Hostetler LLP, Houston, TX

Sarah Sorum, Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley, P.C., Denver, CO

Robert L. Theriot, Liskow & Lewis, Houston, TX

Pilar M. Thomas, Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP, Tucson, AZ

Adam M. Vela, Cimarex Energy Company, Denver, CO

Stevia M. Walther, Denver, CO

Jeff Weems, Staff Weems LLP, Houston, TX





Editors Tom Dimitroff and Kim Talus are preparing a Special Issue focusing on laws and contracts relating to the construction and operation of natural gas pipelines. Send your proposals to the editors at [email protected] and [email protected]. OGEL Article Guidelines & Sample papers available upon request via [email protected].  More info at https://www.ogel.org/news.asp?key=597.




The Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (the Foundation) is proud to announce that Rob Risley, Senior Counsel at Freeport-McMoRan, has made donations to the Foundation’s scholarship program of $40,000 last year and $20,000 this year. The Freeport-McMoRan Foundation is generously matching these gifts through its Employee Matching Gifts program for total funding of $120,000.


Although most people know the Foundation for its Annual Institutes and its other high-quality conferences, the Foundation also has an Outreach Program, which provides almost $350,000 annually to further legal education in oil and gas, mining, energy, public lands, water, environmental, and related international law. This funding includes scholarships to law students interested in these areas of law, attendance at Foundation educational programs, networking grants to introduce students to practitioners and professionals, and grants to professors to fund research and scholarship.


The Foundation funds most of the Outreach Program from operations, but given current market conditions, it will need to rely on donations like those from Rob and the Freeport Foundation to maintain current funding levels.


Rob’s contribution will fund the new Frances Hartogh Diversity Outreach Scholarship Program. Under this Program, the Foundation will award scholarships each year to mineral law students who meet certain eligibility criteria, including the the potential to contribute to the mineral law community and potential to increase diversity in the practice of mineral law.


Rob said, “The Foundation has greatly enhanced my career and given me the opportunity to work closely with some amazing people. The Foundation doesn’t take policy positions, but it is the best and most effective place to educate lawyers and others who will make legal and policy decisions about mineral and other natural resources. The Foundation has an extremely important philanthropic function that is not well funded. I wanted to fund a new scholarship that recognizes the importance of both diversity and education in mineral law practice. Having worked with our Scholarships Committee for several years, I have the utmost confidence that the Committee will administer my gift with integrity and diligence.”


Rob made his gift in the form of appreciated stock, which he said “can be an incredible way to maximize a gift while getting great tax savings.” Rob also noted how thankful he was for the Freeport Foundation’s extremely generous matching program for employees. The Foundation will apply the Freeport matching gift to fund student scholarships.


About Frances Hartogh

We’ve named the newly funded scholarship program to recognize Frances Hartogh, the Foundation’s Associate Director and Director of Outreach. Frances graduated from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 1982, and began her legal practice with Colorado Interstate Gas, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She then became the Senior Counsel at Gold Fields Mining in Lakewood, Colorado. She also served as an Assistant Attorney General with the Colorado Attorney General’s office before coming to work for the Foundation in 2009. Frances has been instrumental in the expansion of the Outreach Program and a leader in diversity outreach. Frances intends to retire in June, and to continue her 37 years of involvement with the Foundation into retirement.




Memorial – Rand Case