Franklin J. Falen
Franklin J. Falen along with his wife Karen Budd-Falen founded Budd-Falen Law Offices L.L.C. in 1992. The firm, located in Cheyenne, Wyoming, focuses its law practice on helping private property owners protect and defend their private property rights whether from over-zealous or erroneous enforcement of federal or state environmental laws or local zoning ordinances. The firm also works with rural counties and conservation districts in participating in federal agency decision-making through consistency review, cooperating agency status or coordination.
Frank’s practice includes litigation regarding zoning and land use issues, public and federal lands issues, environmental laws, and negotiation of wind contracts, pipelines and transmission line rights-of-way, and oil and gas leases on behalf of landowners. Frank has spent years working on cost affective approaches for landowners to create better protections and less risk for agricultural operations when their land is impacted by long term easements. The financial benefits to landowners of most easements is short term while the legal burden and potential liability to the land owner tend to increase. Toward that end, Frank pioneered the concept of large landowner group negotiation on major rights-of-way such as the ones for Keystone XL, ONEOK, Hiland, Black Hills Power, Phillips 66 and others. His concept creating and negotiating through landowner groups was based on his previous experience as Chief Administrative Officer for the Washington State Cattlemen’s Association. Under Frank’s direction, using negotiating boards of landowners evens the bargaining leverage between individual landowners and large corporations, ensuring that easements and rights-of-way protect individual landowner ownership rights and land uses. Frank has also represented private landowners and groups opposing exactions or other methods of forcing “voluntary” relinquishment of private property as a condition of a regulatory program.
Frank has taught Continuing Legal Education classes on the topics of zoning and land use planning and is a frequent presenter at wind related seminars and meetings. Frank also focuses his practice on estate and succession planning, ensuring that the landowners’ wishes are implemented and assisting with passing the agriculture operation on to future generations.
Frank was awarded the Wyoming Outstanding Ag Citizen and has Honorary Chapter Degrees from the Frontier Chapter of the Future Farmers of America (FFA).
Frank grew up in Northern Nevada where he and his family own and operate a large cattle ranch which includes both federal and private lands. He is personally involved with all areas of his family’s business including planning, production, marketing and quality assurance. Frank and Karen also own and operate a ranch north of Cheyenne, Wyoming. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from University of Nevada at Reno, and his law degree from the University of Wyoming. Frank is also licensed before the Courts in North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska. Frank and his wife Karen have two grown children, Isaac and Sarah and a grandson, Wesley.