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Our successful negotiation of a water rights compact for the Seminole Tribe resulted in the recognition of Winters Doctrine rights for an Eastern Tribe located in a riparian state.

Natural Resources

Tribal Self-Determination in a Low-Carbon Economy

Attorney Biography - Stephen V. Quesenberry

Of Counsel
Tel: 916.442.9444
Fax: 916.442.8344


  • Represent tribes in litigation to protect tribal rights to natural resources.
  • Provide council and representation to protect habitat supporting fish and wildlife protected under treaty.
  • Assist tribes to pursue litigation to halt degradation of tribal lands.

Cultural Preservation

  • Provide counsel to tribes on the right to preserve, manage and have access to places where cultural resources are located, including places that have religious significance.
  • Assist tribes on methods to protect and preserve their cultural values and sacred sites.
  • Provide counsel on federal statutes, including:
    • National Historic Preservation Act
    • Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act

Water Rights

  • Advise tribes on federally reserved water rights.
  • Draft tribal water code.
  • Develop strategies for tribes to secure reserved and state-law based water rights to engage in water marketing activities, and analyze the scope of federal Indian reserved water rights.


  • Participate in drafting and implementation of energy and regulatory laws that govern the process by which Indian tribes may exercise greater control and development of their natural resources such as oil and gas, coal and renewable resources including wind, solar and geothermal energy.
  • Provide counsel and advice on Tribal Energy Resource Agreements (TERAs) which allow tribes to eliminate many federal hurdles that stymie development of non-renewable and renewable energy resources on Indian lands.

Cooperative Agreements

  • Assist tribes with negotiating intergovernmental agreements with federal and state agencies to protect tribal interests regarding natural and cultural resources.
  • Negotiate comprehensive water rights compacts between tribes and states.

Tribal Environmental Programs, Laws & Regulations

  • Provide counsel on tribal environmental programs to protecting and preserving the natural environment and to maintain sovereign governmental authority over tribal lands.
  • Assist tribes in developing tribal environmental, natural resources and cultural and historic preservation laws and regulations.

Federal Legislation & Rulemaking

  • Monitor and assist tribes in promoting federal legislation for tribal-specific resource legislation, including land-transfers, energy issues, and grant programs for tribal governments.
  • Provide legislative advocacy in Congress to include tribal governments in its broad energy and environmental legislative initiatives, such as legislation relating to climate change.
  • Address tribal concerns to federal agencies during the rulemaking process.
  • Monitor proposed federal

Environmental & Natural Resources Law

  • Assist with navigating the regulatory processes impacting fishing, water, forest, and other natural resource rights, such as those impacted by the following federal laws:
    • Endangered Species Act
    • Clean Water Act
    • Clean Air Act
    • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
    • Safe Drinking Water Act
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