Dear Members and Other Constituents of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation,
These are challenging times for many and we hope you and yours are in good health. Like most organizations, the leadership of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (the “Foundation”) has been closely monitoring the developments arising from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We take the health of our members and Foundation staff seriously, and are following the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and federal, state, and local governments to social distance and use alternate means, when possible, to meet virtually. Unfortunately, the leadership of the Foundation has had to make difficult decisions resulting in the cancellation or postponement of many of our live 2020 courses. These include the following:
The 66th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute
The Special Institute on Financing Oil & Gas and Mining Acquisitions and Projects
The Special Institute on Oil & Gas Agreements: Purchase and Sale Agreements
The International Mining Law Short Course
The Short Course on International Oil & Gas Law, Contracts, and Negotiations – Parts 1 and 2 (which is being held in 2021)
The Oil and Gas Law Short Course
The Federal Offshore Oil & Gas Leasing and Development (which is being held in 2022)
The Petroleum Marketing Attorneys Meeting (which is being held in 2022)
The virus and the related economic impacts to travel, conferences, and the substantial drop in the price of oil has a tremendous impact on natural resource industries and their service providers, but also on legal education nonprofits like the Foundation. The Foundation’s DNA focuses on live natural resources programs that bring people together to foster collegiality and community. Our work depends on member driven committees and programs. That model is under challenge today. The good news is that the Foundation is in a fortunate position because of the prudent planning and management of our leaders over the past 66 years. We have the financial resources and a strategic plan to navigate these challenges. With the continued strong support of YOU, our members, we have the resources and resiliency to emerge from this crisis and continue our mission to further legal education in natural resources law, scholarship, and collegiality.
In the meantime, we are working hard to respond to the challenges presented by COVID-19 by continuing to provide member value through means other than live programs. These efforts include offering our first Virtual Annual Institute free to members, providing more of our timely and engaging webinars, providing online on-demand natural resources education at discounted rates and in bundles, and planning new virtual programs, such as a virtual Special Institute on Distress and Bankruptcy that will open soon. In addition, we continue to offer free publications and resources to members, such as our Mineral Law Newsletter, Water Law Newsletter, and Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Journal, Natural Resources Law Network e-newsletter, and the papers from our 66 years of programs remain available on Westlaw, Lexis, and our Digital Library. We are also continuing to support or students and natural resources programs at our constituent law schools by providing student scholarships, offering free online education to support virtual teaching, and providing grants for research and scholarship. We welcome any thoughts or questions you might have on our COVID-19 response, which you may send to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to continue to serve our members and constituency during these unprecedented times.
Rebecca Watson, President
Alex Ritchie, Executive Director