As a nationally-recognized leader on land use, real estate, public lands, natural resources, and environmental issues, Van Ness Feldman’s Native Affairs practice is able to leverage the firm’s expertise to serve Indian Nations and Alaska Native interests in acquiring, protecting, and responsibly developing their homelands and other land assets. The firm has over four decades of experience in advising Alaska Native Corporations and other Alaska Native interests on ANCSA and ANILCA lands issues, making our attorneys some of the foremost authorities in this area. In the lower 48 states, Van Ness Feldman has served tribal organizations, non-profit groups, and corporate partners working with Indian Country on a range of lands issues, including negotiating land access, acquisition, and exchanges, and scoping development agreements for natural resources. With industry-recognized leaders in environmental regulation related to air, water, and climate change, and substantial expertise and experience in land and natural resources issues, Van Ness Feldman is able to advise clients on complex environmental permitting and enforcement issues that can be further complicated when operating in Indian Country. We have significant experience in:
- Negotiating right-of-ways, business leases, oil and gas leases, and renewable energy leases on and through Indian Country;
- Working with the Department of the Interior and its constituent Bureaus and Services—including the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and National Park Service—and with the U.S. Forest Service to advocate for client interests;
- Advising clients on the potential implications of federal efforts to take land into trust;
- Collaborating with Members of Congress and federal agencies on behalf of tribes and ANCs seeking to engage in land exchanges;
- Representing clients’ interests with regard to the sharing of their cultural heritage and the provision of visitor services in the National Parks and on other federal lands; and
- Counseling tribal governments and corporate clients on environmental regulation of air, water, and climate change.