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Lander Field Office
Release Date: 02/28/14
Contacts: Sarah Beckwith    

Tribes, BIA and BLM Collaborate on Oil and Gas Operations

The Arapaho and Shoshone Tribes of the Wind River Indian Reservation and the Department of the Interior through the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) together signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on February 25 in Fort Washakie, Wyo.


Parties sign the MOU.
BLM Wyoming State Director Don Simpson, Eastern Shoshone Business Council Co-Chairman Mike La Jeunesse, Northern Arapaho Council Chairman Darrel O'Neil Sr., and BIA Acting Rocky Mountain Regional Director Darryl LaCounte sign the MOU in Fort Washakie.

Through the MOU, the parties will engage in a cooperative environmental program to promote compliance on oil and gas properties by lessees and operators on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

“This MOU is a good opportunity for all of us to start fresh, to be on the same page and to work toward the same goals,” said BIA Acting Rocky Mountain Regional Director Darryl LaCounte.

Specifically, the MOU outlines a process and timelines for the parties to:

  • review all ongoing oil and gas operations on the reservation with tribal ownership interest to identify actual or potential adverse environmental effects;
  • identify prospective sources of federal funding to the tribes to support monitoring, inspection and enforcement;
  • develop an environmental plan for oil and gas operations; and
  • formalize a structure for future communications between the parties regarding environmental concerns arising from oil and gas operations.

“We look forward to working collaboratively with the Arapaho and Shoshone Tribes, as well as with the BIA, to manage oil and gas activities on the Wind River Indian Reservation,” said BLM Wyoming State Director Don Simpson.

For more information, please contact BIA Realty Officer Marietta Shortbull at 307-332-4639 or BLM Resource Adviser Stuart Cerovski at 307-332-8400.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

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Last updated: 02-28-2014