Gillette, WY

LJ: “See, your split estate ownership– which we have in most of the West, and definitely Wyoming–is that each of these sections, whenever it was homesteaded, well, the government kept half of all the minerals. And they have access. The government reserves the right to go in and access those minerals. Then they lease the mineral rights to an oil company, and so the oil company assumes this right– that they can access the minerals, and go onto your land, and go do it.”

Karen: “Split estate means somebody owns the surface land, and somebody else owns the minerals. So, that’s where problems come in. Like, in this section here, let’s say. If that was homesteaded by whoever, Joe Blow, back whenever, okay– at the time, whoever homesteaded got half the minerals, and the government kept half the minerals. So, even though Joe Blow’s family now owns all the land, they don’t own all the minerals. So you can’t keep them out.”

LJ: “The government has a right to access their property. Their property being the minerals.”

Karen: “So, you try to make the best deal you can, but you really can’t keep them out, because you don’t own the minerals. If you own all the minerals and all the land, you can keep ‘em out. But that’s very rare.”

LJ & Karen Turner
Gillette, WY

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