University of Colorado at Boulder
BMP of Oil and Gas Development

The Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes of the Wind River Reservation Laws

The United States government settled the Northern Band of the Arapaho on the Eastern Shoshone’s Wind River Reservation in 1868. Although the government assured the tribe that the settlement was "temporary," the tribe has shared the Wind River Reservation with the Eastern Shoshone ever since.  Today the Wind River Indian Reservation is jointly owned by both tribes and each tribe has 50 percent interest in natural resources.  Accordingly, the two tribes share many regulations affecting oil and gas development in addition to their own tribal codes as well as the shared law and order code.

The Law and Order Code of the Shoshone and Arapaho Tribes of the Wind River Indian Reservation, Wyoming

Below are highlighted and particularly important parts of the Code regarding oil and gas development. Please see TITLE XI REGULATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND LAND for the comprehensive code

Chapter 2 - Tribal Mineral Department

§ 11-2-5 Inspection of Tribal Leases and Filing of Certain Production Records -
In order to ensure that the Shoshone and Arapaho Tribes are receiving the proper
royalties on production and sales from their leases, it is resolved that:

(1) The employees of the Tribal Minerals Department shall be permitted to witness
all LACT meter readings and tank gauging at the end of the month and all LACT meter provings on tribal leases.

(2) The employees of the Tribal Mineral Department shall, upon notice to the lessee
(or operator), be permitted to gauge the sales or bad oil tanks on any tribal lease and to conduct their own samplings for measurement of gravity and BS&W.

(3) The lessee (or operator) and purchaser of crude oil shall each submit to the Tribal
Minerals Department, within thirty (30) days after the end of each production month, one copy of all LACT and run tickets, all monthly meter readings, and all LACT meter proving reports.

(4) If either the lessee (or operator) or the purchase of crude oil knowingly fails to
comply with the foregoing requirements, the Joint Business Council shall place the lessee (or operator), or purchaser of crude oil on the list of individuals and companies ineligible to do business with the Tribes.

(5) If the lessee fails to comply with the foregoing requirements, the Tribal Minerals
Department shall document the lessee*s noncompliance with this resolution and shall forward the documentation to the Superintendent of the reservation and the USGS supervisor with a recommendation that regulatory sanctions be taken pursuant to 25 CFR, Sections 171.22 and 184.24.

Chapter 3 - Civil Penalty Regarding Run Ticket

§ 11-3-1 Enforcement - The Bureau of Indian Affairs Police Department, the Tribal Minerals Department and the Tribal Fish and Game Department are authorized to establish random check points anywhere within the exterior boundaries of the Wind River Reservation, at any time of the day or night, and make random stops of all vehicles capable of hauling crude oil, for the purpose of checking the run tickets of haulers of crude oil operating on the reservation. Any such hauler failing to stop at a checkpoint will be subject to a $10,000.00 civil penalty and barred from further crude oil hauling on the reservation. Any crude oil hauler not having a properly and completely filledout run ticket will subject to a $10,000.00 civil penalty and debarred from further crude oil hauling on the reservation.

§ 11-3-2 Detention of Truck - If an appropriate authorization cannot be produced by the driver, the truck should be detained and turned over to the appropriate federal authorities.

§ 11-3-3 Impoundment - If any crude oil hauler fails to pay such civil penalty, the equipment of such hauler will be impounded if found on the reservation, and held until such time as the civil penalty is paid.

Chapter 8 – Wind River Water Code

§ 11-8-1(E) Beneficial Uses - Resource development is named one of the beneficial uses for which the Reservation water may be used.

§ 11-8-3(A) Permit or License Required – A permit or license must be obtained before the drilling or modification of any oil or gas development. 

(1) No person shall divert Treaty-based water or undertake an activity affecting or involving such water without first obtaining a permit or license under this Part. Except when such diversion or activity is preemptively allowed by federal law, a permit or license is required for any of the following activities:

b) Drilling of any new well or modification of any existing well, including domestic, irrigation, industrial, municipal, or oil and gas development-related wells;

c) Discharging, injecting, or depositing any waste, wastewater, or other contaminant into Reservation water;

Additional Resources