The Good News
Pg 3 - The Sunshine Express
2013 February
Discovery (continued from pg1)
Brunot Agreement
drilling and
hydraulic fract-
Gov. Hickenlooper and Ute
uring to produce
Mountain Ute Tribe
natural gas from
sign Brunot Agreement
shale and other
Gov. John Hickenlooper joined
Gary Hayes, Tribal Chairman,
resource plays.
Ute Mountain; Rick Cables,
It involves pumping
Director, Division of Parks and
a mixture of more than 99 percent water and sand,
Wildlife; and John Singletary,
along with less than one percent of chemical ad-
Chair of the Parks & Wildlife
ditives, into a geologic formation to create minute
Commission in January, to sign a
spaces in rocks so that oil and gas can flow up the
memorandum of understanding
wellbore into a pipeline. Typical wells are drilled
(MOU) concerning wildlife man-
to depths of 4,000-14,000 feet, well below ground-
agement and enforcement in an
water aquifers that generally occur at less than 500
area known as the Brunot area.
feet below the surface. These aquifers are isolated
"We are proud to sign this agree-
due to natural barriers from overlying and under-
ment with the Ute Mountain Ute
lying impermeable rock formations. Steel pipe and
Tribe," Hickenlooper said. "The
casing also are used to protect groundwater.
state and the tribe have worked
You hear a lot about water in the E&P industry.
together to preserve the tribal
In the Piceance Basin, WPX recycles 100 percent
hunting, fishing and gathering
of their water. Traditionally in this industry, a lot
rights.Today's agreement helps
of water hauling is done by trucks, lots of trucks.
to preserve Colorado's heritage
Instead, WPX built their own state-of-the-art water
and customs of the Ute Mountain
management systems in Parachute and Rulison.
Ute tribe."
It's not only less expensive to recycle the water and
In 1874, Congress approved an
reuse it in their Colorado operations, it also cuts
agreement between the United
truck traffic and noise significantly. For example,
States and certain Ute Indians in
they've eliminated some 90,000 truckloads.
Colorado, known as the "Brunot
Not only does that result in less wear and tear
Agreement." Under this agree-
on the roads, it's more environmentally friendly
ment, the Utes ceded certain land
to continue to use that same water, especially in
to the United States but reserved a right to hunt
in a manner consistent with its existing practices.
drought years. By recycling and reusing their pro-
on those lands for "so long as the game lasts and
These rules include seasons for tribal member
duced water, they don't have to pull fresh water
the Indians are at peace with the white people."
hunting, methods of take, species to be harvested
from local water supplies.
The Brunot Agreement covers land now known
and other regulations. The MOU includes agree-
WPX goes beyond regulatory requirements. Re-
as the Brunot Area, which roughly extends from
ment regarding the types of species to be taken
using and recycling water is just one example.
U.S. 160 on the south to the southern boundaries
and a process by which allocation of rare game
In Colorado, where they're the largest producer,
of Montrose and Gunnison counties on the north
species such as moose, bighorn sheep, and moun-
many of the rules and regulations are modeled
and from the middle of Mineral County on the
tain goats will be equitably allocated between
after what WPX decided to do on their own.
east to just west of Cortez on the west.
tribal hunters and hunters licensed by Colorado
"The native people of Colorado have a special
Parks and Wildlife. Importantly, the Brunot
WPX takes an active role by investing both time
relationship and long history with wildlife and
Agreement does not give members of the tribe
and financial resources to make these increasingly
we're glad to have the opportunity to work with
any rights to hunt on private land in the Brunot
better places to live.
them into the future," Cables said. "This agree-
area without first obtaining landowner permission
For example, WPX is partnering with the Colorado
ment protects the Ute Mountain Ute's sover-
and Brunot hunting rights are not transferable to
Division of Wildlife to study and track mule deer.
eign rights to hunt and fish these lands while it
other hunters who do not belong to Ute Mountain
In fact, the Colorado Mule Deer Association says
enhances the communication and coordination
or Southern Ute tribes.
that without the participation and assistance of the
between our wildlife managers and the tribal
oil and gas industry, western deer herds would not
Area NCAs Improved
wildlife managers."
be as healthy and vibrant as they are now.
The Tribe and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife
The Bureau of Land Management recently com-
WPX has received close to three dozen national,
Commission worked together to develop an
pleted work at local National Conservation Areas
state and local awards for protecting air, land, wa-
MOU in recognition of the parties' shared re-
to improve user experience with better parking
ter and quality of life, including six in 2012 alone.
sponsibility for the well-being and perpetuation
and accessibility. Future visitors to McInnis Can-
Honors include: A Best Management Practices
of the wildlife resources and habitat of the area.
yons and Dominguez-Escalante NCAs will find
Award from the national Bureau of Land Manage-
This MOU mirrors a similar agreement reached
new or improved features designed to enhance
ment, HydroCarbon Producer of the Year from
between Gov. Bill Ritter and the Southern Ute
sustainability and visitor experience.
Platts Global Energy Awards, Carson National For-
Tribe in 2008.
The Rabbit Valley project in the McInnis Canyons
est Award from the U.S. National Forest Service for
The parties have agreed in the MOU to main-
NCA improved an existing trailhead, replaced an
our work in New Mexico, Outstanding Operations
tain a strong and cooperative dialog regarding
old restroom and reoriented the trailhead to make
honors from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conserva-
wildlife, especially related to the harvest of game
best use of space. Members of the public embark-
tion Commission and recognition from the New
species and management within the Brunot area.
ing on adventures from the Rabbit Valley parking
Mexico Bureau of Land Management for protecting
The Tribe and the State also agreed to recognize
lot will also find a better delineated parking area.
deer and fish habitats.
and respect the jurisdiction of each other and to
Users can access this feature by exiting US I-70 at
WPX Energy specializes in producing natural gas,
work cooperatively in the conduct of law en-
the Rabbit Valley exit.
natural gas liquids and oil from non-conventional
forcement operations of mutual interest.
The BLM also has plans to redesign and improve
resources such as tight-sands and shale formations,
The Tribe has managed and operated a profes-
the northernmost developed campground in
as well as from coalbed methane reserves. They're
sional wildlife management program on its
Rabbit Valley in the spring. The future project is
in the best natural gas, natural gas liquids and oil
reservation in southwest Colorado for a number
designed to enlarge the campground footprint
basins in the nation: the Piceance, the Marcellus
of years which include rules for hunting and
and redesign the camp spots and vehicle access.
and the Bakken.
fishing by tribal members within the Brunot area
The Dominguez-Escalante NCA project features
A top 10 natural gas producer in the U.S., WPX is
a new parking area at Bridgeport with a new
based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with operations and
restroom that is further from the railroad and will
interests in Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota,
add separate parking for hikers, buses and horse
Pennsylvania and Wyoming, as well as Argentina
trailers. While there is parking for horse trailers,
and Colombia. In addition to their exploration and
horses are currently not allowed on the trails at
development activities, they also engage in natural
Bridgeport until restoration from 2011 water dam-
gas sales and marketing.
age is complete.
WPX Energy, previously a wholly owned subsid-
"The projects are designed to enhance the experi-
iary of Williams, became a separate, independent
ence for visitors," said Stevens. "We want people
company as of year end 2011. After their first full
to enjoy recreating on public lands. It's important
year of operation, they are already a strong, mid-
to update our facilities to meet the needs of people
sized independent with the goal of becoming a
recreating today."
super-independent in the next 10 years.
Land area covered by the Brunot Agreement
For more information, call 970.210.2126.