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Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt

Frank Erisman

Frank Erisman

Of Counsel


  • Water Law
  • Public Lands and Endangered Species
  • Agency Actions and Rulemaking

WSG Practice Industries



Frank Erisman assists the extractive industries in the location, exploration, development and production of minerals from public, private and Native lands. Frank’s mineral know-how extends to most minerals, from argentite in Colorado to zeolites in Wyoming and most of the commercial minerals in between. His main experience has been working with clients advancing coal, uranium, and precious and base metal as well as industrial mineral projects.

An accomplished arbitrator, Frank has been involved in numerous American Arbitration Association and party-appointed arbitration matters involving disputes over the ownership of mineral interests and the interpretation of mineral transaction documents.

Additionally, Frank has negotiated on behalf of small and large landowners in transactions with parties desiring to explore and potentially develop their land’s private mineral interests.

Frank has decades of experience of working on land use, governmental leases and concessions, acquisition and sale of mineral properties, the financing and security of mining properties and mining claims. He assists clients with their interests worldwide, including Russia, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador and Suriname.

Bar Admissions

  • Oregon State Courts
  • Colorado State Courts
  • United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • United States District Court, Colorado


  • University of Denver, Juris Doctor degree (1968)
  • Colorado School of Mines, Metallurgical Engineer (1965)
Areas of Practice

Agency Actions and Rulemaking | Public Lands and Endangered Species | Water Law

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

Large Landowner Mineral Work

  • Assisted the Doyon Native Regional Corporation for over 35 years on land selection, ANSCA 7(i), mineral transaction and land use issues pertaining to Doyon’s 12 million acres of land in central Alaska.
  • Advised Oregon mineral owner of the potential of more than 300,000 acres of mineral rights owned in Eastern Oregon.
  • Negotiated and drafted mineral exploration agreements for ranchers to monetize large holdings of mineral rights.
  • Assisted several Northwest timber companies in negotiating and preparing transactions to allow the development of their mineral holdings.
  • Prepared a gold mining lease and option to lease for a Southern Oregon gold exploration project.

Mineral Company Work

  • Performed a due diligence review in anticipation of purchases of large operating coal, gold and copper mines in Nevada, Montana and Utah.
  • Planned, oversaw and accomplished the “land rush” staking of federal mining claims in Wyoming and successfully litigated the resulting disputes.
  • Negotiated and documented numerous Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Form 5 LLC mining joint ventures.
  • Advised and argued in favor of coal mining and land use permits in two Colorado counties based upon the theory of preemption of local law by SCMR.


  • Twice arbitrated ownership and operating disputes pertaining to Colorado’s sole diamond mine.
  • Chaired an arbitration panel challenged with resolving operational charges in a Northwest wind generation project. 


  • 6 Pieces of Practical Advice for Resolving Grazing Issues on Public Land
  • Dormant No More: Fracking Boom Causes States To Revisit Dormant Mineral Statutes
  • Dormant No More: Fracking Boom Causes States to Revist Dormant Mineral Statutes

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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