Natural Resources

Robins Kaplan partner Tim Purdon has unique experience when it comes to Indian Country and natural resources. Tim was the United States Attorney in North Dakota at the beginning of the Bakken oil boom and saw first-hand the risks to the environment, the water supply, the American Indian people, and to the Native way of life when reservation land becomes a target for the energy extraction industry. The increase in crime due to exploding non-Native population growth, the improper dumping of oil field waste, and the arrival of fraudsters looking to take advantage of the local reservation population were all unwanted byproducts of the oil boom in Indian Country. Tim fought back for the Tribes during this time, breaking up a 60-member heroin trafficking ring in Operation Winter’s End, helping secure additional law enforcement resources, and prosecuting environmental crime cases. This experience allows Tim and South Dakota’s former United States Attorney, Brendan Johnson, to offer proactive strategic advice to Tribes facing the “gold rush” mentality that can accompany an energy extraction boom on Tribal lands and powerful advocacy when Tribes are forced to litigate against the energy extraction industry.