Energy development, whether conventional or alternative, can have significant implications for landowners. In some cases, energy development provides positive financial returns that have enabled working lands to remain intact and in family ownership. In other cases, particularly if poorly executed, it can adversely impact working lands and quality of life. At Western Landowners Alliance, we work to provide the knowledge and resources landowners need to make informed decisions.

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A Primer on Oil and Gas Leases

Written by Dan C. Perry, an oil and gas attorney and Western Landowners Energy Council member, this is a must read resource written specifically to inform landowners about oil and gas leases and surface use agreements. The first section walks landowners through three different potential situations related to oil and gas development on their land including 1) mineral owner does not want to lease its land, 2) accepting a proposed oil and gas lease without any negotiation, and 3) negotiating an acceptable oil and gas lease for your particular land. The second section provides information on and three examples of surface use agreements.

What Every Westerner Should Know about Energy from the Center of the American West.

The Bureau of Land Management Gold Book

This guide is provided by BLM to energy developers and split estate owners to help them understand the requirements for obtaining permit approval and how to best conduct environmentally responsible oil and gas operations on federal lands and on private surface over federal minerals.

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Surface Use Agreements

This article from The Cattleman+ details the intricacies of crafting useful surface use agreements to protect your right to use your lands while energy development is underway.

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Bureau of Land Management Colorado Master Leasing Plans

Despite their name, these planning processes may apply in any state where there is the potential for a high-profile resource concern associated with energy development.

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Bureau of Land Management: Split Estate Management

Here, BLM hosts information regarding its processes and policies for split estates in which the surface rights are privately held, but the mineral rights belong to the public.

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Landowners Guide to Pipelines

The Pipeline Safety Trust promotes pipeline safety through education and advocacy, increased access to information, and partnerships with residents, safety advocates, government, and industry, resulting in safer communities and a healthier environment.

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Wind Energy Resources:

Drilling Done Right – This story describes ecologically sustainable energy development at Vermejo Park Ranch and was originally published at High Country News on July 19, 2004.

Wind Energy Leasing Handbook – This handbook from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service helps landowners understand wind energy leasing in great detail.

Negotiating Wind Energy Property Agreements – This guide from Farmers’ Legal Action Group provides a more condensed look at the basics of leasing wind on one’s property.

A Landowners' Guide to Commercial Wind Energy Contracts – This white paper from Purdue University serves as a guide to commercial wind energy contracts for landowners.

Legal Brief: Wind Energy Production – This brief from Iowa State University’s Center for Agricultural Law & Taxation discusses legal questions and liability concerns for landowners leasing wind energy on their property.

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