Karen Budd-Falen is an attorney, and with her husband Frank Falen, is the owner of the Budd-Falen Law Offices, L.L.C. located in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Before moving back to Wyoming, Karen served for three years in the Reagan Administration, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C., as a Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management. While at Interior, she assisted with the oversight of the Bureau of Land Management, the Minerals Management Service and the Office of Surface Mining. She later served as a law clerk to the Assistant Solicitor for Water and Power. Karen has also worked as an attorney at Mountain States Legal Foundation, a conservative public interest legal foundation located in Denver, Colorado.
In addition to representing local governments and private citizens, Karen currently serves as legal counsel to the Arizona/New Mexico Coalition of Counties for Stable Economic Growth. Karen, along with past County Attorney Jim Catron, also represents Catron County, New Mexico, the first local government to recognize its right to full participation as a decision maker in federal agency decision making processes. Karen also represents one of the first private citizens to successfully sue individual federal employees for a violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). See, Robbins v. Wilkie, 300 F.3d 1208 (10th Cir. 2002); Robbins v. Bureau of Land Management, 252 F.Supp.2d 1286 (D. Wyo. 2003); Robbins v. Wilkie, 289 F.Supp.2d 1307 (D. Wyo. 2003); and Order Denying Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment, Robbins v. Wilkie, No. 98-CV-201-B (D. Wyo. Jan. 16, 2004).
Karen's most recent publications include, How To Survive the Bureaucratic Maze A Guide to the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management Appeals Process, 1989; Ecosystem Management: Will National Forests be "Managed" Into National Parks?, 1991; The Right to Graze Livestock on the Federal Lands: The Historical Development of Western Grazing Rights, Idaho Law Review, Spring, 1994 and Protecting Community Stability and Local Economies: Opportunities for County Government Influence in Federal Decision and Policy Making Processes, Whitman College, 1996.
Karen has been featured in Newsweek Magazine's "Who's Who: 20 for the Future" for her work on property rights issues (September 30, 1991). Karen was awarded Wyoming's Outstanding Ag Citizen from the State of Wyoming's agriculture citizens in 2001and the "Always There Helping" award from the New Mexico Stock Growers Association in 2003. Karen has also presented testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Forest Health, Washington, D.C., April 8, 1997, and the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Resources, October 26, 1998.
Karen grew up as a fifth generation rancher on a family-owned
ranch in Big Piney, Wyoming, which is 150 miles south of Yellowstone
National Park. Her ranch includes both BLM and Forest Service
managed lands. She received her undergraduate degrees and her
law degree in 1987 from the University of Wyoming. Karen and Frank
have two children, Isaac and Sarah.