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United States Department of the Interior
Montana State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, Montana 59101-4669

 November 20, 2008


3100 (922.KJ) P



Instruction Memorandum No. MT-2009-014
Expires: 9/30/2010
To:             Field Manager, North Dakota
From:         State Director
Subject:     Joint Settlement Agreement/Oil and Gas Lease Parcel Reviews
Program Areas: Oil and Gas Leasing, Fluid Minerals and Cultural Resources
Purpose: This instruction memorandum confirms the process for consultation with the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation for lands within the exterior boundaries of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.
Policy/Action: Attached is the signed Joint Settlement Agreement (Attachment 1) that affects the procedures for oil and gas lease parcel reviews by the North Dakota Field Office (NDFO) for federal minerals within the exterior boundaries of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. The agreement provides that, upon receipt of lease nominations, the NDFO will notify by letter the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation Tribal Chairperson and Tribal Historic Preservation Officer. The letter will contain the legal description of each parcel and request that the Nation provide any information regarding concerns it may have in leasing the parcel. If, after 30 days, the Tribal Chairperson or the Tribal Historic Preservation Office has not brought any issues to the attention of the NDFO, the BLM will proceed with processing the nomination and consultation for the lease phase is considered complete. The agreement provides that we will attach a copy of the Cultural Resources Lease Stipulation (Attachment 2) to all leases we issue within the exterior boundaries of the Fort Berthold Reservation.
Timeframe: This IM is effective immediately. 
Budget Impact: None
Background: On September 27, 2005, Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker, LLP, protested on behalf of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, all parcels advertised on the October 12, 2005 Competitive Oil and Gas Lease Sale. We dismissed the protest on December 5, 2005. The protestor subsequently filed an appeal affecting three of the parcels on the sale, serialized NDM 95210, NDM 95211 and NDM 95212 (IBLA Docket No. 2006-92). By Order dated April 14, 2006, the Board directed the BLM or its counsel to contact the appellants to attempt to settle the dispute. The negotiations that followed resulted in execution of the Joint Settlement Agreement. The Board dismissed the appeal on October 22, 2008.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: Montana State Office Handbook 3101-1 – Issuance of Leases.
Coordination: The Solicitor’s Office coordinated with the Branch of Fluid Minerals, the Branch of Land Resources (Gary Smith, Archeologist) and the North Dakota Field Office during the development of the Joint Settlement Agreement.
Contact: Karen Johnson, Chief, Fluids Adjudication Section, (406) 896-5098.
Signed by: Gene R. Terland
Authenticated by: Kathy Ray (MT-922)
2 Attachments
Distribution (w/attms.)
WO(310), LS, Rm. 501
WO(240), LS, Rm. 204



Last updated: 02-28-2013