Barney White

Charles (“Barney”) White has thirty-five years of experience in the areas of water rights, public land law and real property
litigation.  His work includes transactions and litigation involving water rights and real property, as well as disputes over the use of and access to private lands.

Barney has assisted a wide variety of clients in water rights transactions and litigation of new appropriations, changes of water rights, plans for augmentation and exchanges for municipal, industrial, agricultural, and conservation interests.  Representative projects in which he has been involved include:

  • Litigation concerning the export of water from the western slope and negotiation of the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement;
  • Intrastate and interstate water banking and Colorado River Compact administration;
  • Litigation, policy development, and U.S. Supreme Court briefing on state and federal law of navigation and public access to waterways.
  • Planning, adjudication, and development of water rights for public water providers, ski areas, golf courses, and fisheries;
  • Litigation and settlement of the claims of the United States for the Black Canyon reserved water right in the Gunnison River;
  • Negotiation of federal legislation concerning wilderness reserved water rights and wild and scenic river designation;
  • Bureau of Reclamation project contracting and operations;
  • Evaluation of water rights in connection with purchases and sales of land and water;
  • Negotiation and litigation of claims related to instream flow rights and recreational in-channel diversions, including new appropriations, injury with mitigation agreements, and inundation proposals; and
  • Augmentation plans for environmental remediation.

Barney’s public land practice includes the full spectrum of permit applications, land exchanges, administrative proceedings, and litigation in state and federal courts.  These matters often involve the application of water quality, wetland, and other environmental regulations.  He has served as counsel on a variety of public land issues, including:

  • Administrative proceedings concerning water project permitting, national forest timber sales, grazing permits, and land use planning;
  • U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Corps of Engineers, and State Health Department permitting and master planning for ski resorts in Colorado;
  • Land exchange transactions and related litigation with the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management in Colorado, Wyoming, and Washington State;
  • Permitting of communications facilities on Forest Service and BLM lands in Colorado and Arizona; and
  • Negotiation and permitting of timber harvests, land exchanges, and ski resort development on lands administered by the Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners.

Barney’s experience in the area of private land transactions and litigation includes purchases and sales of real property, documentation of conservation easements, and litigation of disputes regarding property boundaries and express and implied access easements.  These matters include:

  • Acquisition of rights-of-way for real estate and water development projects;
  • Determination and vacation of public road rights-of-way under state and federal laws;
  • Quieting title to real property, water rights, easements, and constructive trusts;
  • Adjudication of prescriptive easements and easements of necessity; and
  • Negotiation and drafting of conservation easements.

Barney is a founding member of Petros & White, LLC.  He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1975 from Stanford University and his J.D. in 1978 from Stanford Law School, where he was President of the Environmental Law Society and Editor of the Stanford Environmental Law Annual.  Barney is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the Byron R. White Center for the Study of American Constitutional Law at the University of Colorado School of Law and the City of Denver Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee.  He previously served as a member of the Governor’s River Access Dispute Resolution Task Force, the Board of Directors of Western Resource Advocates, and the Advisory Board of the University of Colorado Natural Resource Law Center.  He has taught water law at the University of Denver College of Law and has published a number of articles and given presentations on water, environmental, and public land law.  Barney has been named as a Colorado Super Lawyer in the areas of environmental and natural resources law.

Contact Barney White

Petros & White, LLC
1999 Broadway
Suite 3200
Denver, Colorado  80202
Phone: (303) 825-1980
Fax: (303) 825-1983


Service Area

Statewide service provider in:
  • Colorado

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