Gage focuses his practice on multiple aspects of natural resource development, energy, water, and environmental law. In these arenas, he partners with both corporate and individual clients to understand their business goals and provide efficient focused results.His varied experience includes assisting in the purchase and sale of public and private oil & gas and mining assets, negotiating easements on public land, permitting water supply and water disposal sites, assisting clients with compliance under Section 6 of the NHPA, and performing large scale due diligence for property acquisition and divestiture. Gage also regularly assists clients in permitting water rights and defending water supply before the respective state agencies throughout the Rocky Mountain and Great Basin regions.
- Represented a major mining company in disposition of end of life asset by negotiating USFS and FLPMA easements, establishing a conservation easement, and transferring water rights to third-party environmental non-profit in Montana.
- Advised oil and gas, mining, quasi-public, and private parties in Montana, North Dakota, and Nevada through the maze of regulations for permitting water rights for agricultural, mining, industrial, and municipal uses.
- Represented an oil & gas company in permitting salt water disposal wells, securing access, and permitting water rights for fracing supply in Montana.
- Negotiated settlement of water challenges regarding federally decreed hydroelectric water and storage rights on Montana’s Georgetown Lake
- Assisted major mining company in purchase of nine-figure mining asset in Nevada by coordinating all due diligence on water supply and permitting.
- Assisted major mining company in defending itself from potential CERCLA action by determining present and historic ownership of mining assets.
- Worked with landowners, corporations, and various Montana tribes on issues regarding the statewide water adjudication and tribal water compacts
- Assisted numerous clients to permit 310 streambed modifications before the various local conservation districts and defended the same from 310 enforcement actions
- Represented the multiple irrigation districts in expansion of district boundaries and assisted in districts’ defense of ESA lawsuit regarding the pallid sturgeon
- Counseled client during due diligence stage as to legal issues regarding sage grouse habitat and potential need for bank enabling agreement
- Represented mining company in securing public and private access to remote properties for water quality testing.
- Represented multiple mining companies in due diligence review of water assets at mining properties and secured water supply with state agencies in Nevada and Montana.
- Represented multiple oil & gas, mining, and private agricultural clients in drafting various water, drilling, division order, and mining title opinions in Montana, Nevada, and North Dakota.
- Represented individuals in various disputes with state agencies in securing public access to public lands.
- Represented multiple individuals and companies in defending water rights in state adjudications and enforcement actions in Nevada and Montana.
News & Resources
- Presenting at Montana Tech’s 2018 Annual Mine Design, Operations & Closure Conference on CERLCA 108(b) Updates.
- Co-Chairing and Presenting at the Seminar Group’s 2018 3rd Annual Buying & Selling Ranches in Montana on Environmental Due Diligence and Negotiating USFS and FLPMA Easements.
- Presented at the 2017 Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Annual Institute on Oil &Gas Produced Water.
- Presented at the 2017 American Exploration and Mining Association Annual Institute on Developments in Federal CERCLA Liability for Historic Mining Properties.
- Presented at the 2017 Montana Mining Association Annual Meeting on CERCLA 108(b) Developments.
- Presented at the 2015 Seminar Group’s 1st Annual Buying & Selling Ranches in Montana on Conservation Easements.
Industries & Practices
- Development & Infrastructure
- Energy & Natural Resources
- Food, Beverage & Agribusiness
- Oil & Gas
- Real Estate & Land Use
Professional & Civic
- American Bar Association
- American Exploration and Mining Association
- Montana Mining Association
- Nevada Water Resource Association
- Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
- American Exploration of Mining, Environmental / Mining / Public Lands Committee member
- (former) President – Eagle Mount Billings
- (former) President – J. Reuben Clark Law Society, Montana Chapter