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Public Land & Resources Law Review

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Arizona V. Navajo Nation, Sarah K. Yarlott Feb 2024

Arizona V. Navajo Nation, Sarah K. Yarlott

Public Land & Resources Law Review

Arizona v. Navajo Nation clarified the United States’ trust duties to protect tribal water rights under the Winters doctrine and the 1868 Treaty with the Navajo. Under the Winters doctrine, Indian reservations are permanent homes that include an implicit reservation of water rights. However, Winters did not elaborate on the United States’ role in securing those rights. In Navajo Nation, the Court settled whether the United States has an implied duty under its trust obligations to take affirmative steps in securing water rights for tribes; the Court held no such implied duty exists.


Sackett V. Environmental Protection Agency, Meridian Wappett Feb 2024

Sackett V. Environmental Protection Agency, Meridian Wappett

Public Land & Resources Law Review

In 2007, the Sacketts began developing a property a few hundred feet from Priest Lake in Northern Idaho by filling their lot with gravel. The EPA determined the lot constituted a federally protected wetland under the WOTUS definition because the lot was near a ditch that fed into a creek flowing into Priest Lake, a navigable intrastate lake. The EPA halted the construction. The Sacketts sued the EPA, arguing the CWA did not apply to their property. The Supreme Court held that the CWA did not apply to the Sacketts property because the CWA only covers wetlands and streams that …


Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo V. Texas, Sawyer J. Connelly May 2023

Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo V. Texas, Sawyer J. Connelly

Public Land & Resources Law Review

The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo and Alabama and Coushatta Indian Tribes. The Court’s decision settles a conflict around bingo stemming from a long series of conflicts between Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and Texas gaming officials dating back to the 1980s. The court held the Texas Restoration Act bans only gaming on tribal lands that is also banned in Texas. This decision upholds previous caselaw that states cannot bar tribes from gaming that is not categorically banned in the state.


Environmental Defense Center V. Bureau Of Ocean Energy Management, Eliot M. Thompson May 2023

Environmental Defense Center V. Bureau Of Ocean Energy Management, Eliot M. Thompson

Public Land & Resources Law Review

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the district court’s grants of summary judgment and injunctive relief against BOEM for violating the ESA and CZMA. The Ninth Circuit found BOEM violated NEPA, CZMA, and the APA by failing to adequately consider the environmental impacts of well stimulation treatments. The Ninth Circuit also reversed the lower court’s grant of summary judgment against the Environmental Defense Center for their NEPA claims.


Metlakatla Indian Community V. Dunleavy, Elizabeth L. Orvis May 2023

Metlakatla Indian Community V. Dunleavy, Elizabeth L. Orvis

Public Land & Resources Law Review

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the District Court of Alaska’s judgment that dismissed the Metlakatla Indian Community’s suit against Alaska’s limited entry program. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit addressed whether and to what extent the 1891 Act preserved an implied off-reservation fishing right for members of the Metlakatla Indian Community. The Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of the Metlakatla Indian Community but remanded to the district court to determine the boundaries of the traditional off-reservation fishing grounds. Motions for rehearing and rehearing en banc were denied.


Minnesota Dep’T Of Nat. Res. V. Manoomin, Anna Belinski May 2023

Minnesota Dep’T Of Nat. Res. V. Manoomin, Anna Belinski

Public Land & Resources Law Review

In 2021 manoomin (wild rice), a legally recognized person in White Earth Band tribal law, brought a case in White Earth Band of Ojibwe Tribal Court against the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Wild rice brought this case against the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ over its issuance of a water permit to Enbridge Inc. for the construction of the Line 3 oil pipeline. Though ultimately ruling that the Tribal Court did not have subject matter jurisdiction because the activity at issue occurred by non-Indians outside of the reservation boundaries, this case still brings a novel consideration in the tribal …


Ctr. For Biological Diversity V. United States Fish & Wildlife Serv., Ali Stapleton Apr 2023

Ctr. For Biological Diversity V. United States Fish & Wildlife Serv., Ali Stapleton

Public Land & Resources Law Review

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court of Arizona’s decision to deny a proposed mining plan becuase the operations exceeded the boundaries of a valid mining claim. The issue the court addressed is whether a permanent occupancy of waste rock and tailings on land, absent the discovery of valuable minerals, is a reasonable use related to mining activities. The Ninth Circuit decision effectively prevented mining companies from amending the 1872 Mining Law on the administrative record. Motions for a rehearing and a rehearing en banc were denied.


Solenex, Llc V. Haaland, Jennifer Kieffer Jensen Feb 2023

Solenex, Llc V. Haaland, Jennifer Kieffer Jensen

Public Land & Resources Law Review

In 1982, BLM issued an oil and gas lease in the Badger-Two Medicine to Solenex’s predecessor. The Badger-Two Medicine, located in the Lewis and Clark National Forest, is an area of cultural and spiritual importance to the Blackfeet Tribe. After four decades of disagreement as to whether the lease was validly issued, the Secretary of the Interior found that the lease violated the National Historic Preservation Act. Accordingly, she canceled Solenex’s lease and revoked Solenex’s Application for Permit to Drill. The District Court for the District of Columbia held the Secretary did not possess the authority to cancel Solenex’s lease. …


W. Org. Res. Councils, Et Al. V. U.S. Bureau Of Land Mgmt., Sawyer J. Connelly, Sawyer J. Connelly Nov 2022

W. Org. Res. Councils, Et Al. V. U.S. Bureau Of Land Mgmt., Sawyer J. Connelly, Sawyer J. Connelly

Public Land & Resources Law Review

The United States District Court for the District of Montana granted Plaintiffs summary judgment against BLM and the State of Wyoming. The court ruled that BLM violated NEPA and the APA because it failed to consider alternative leasing programs and the broad downstream impacts of coal, oil, and gas leasing in two Powder River Basin resource management plans. This decision followed WORC I & II, in which the court remanded the same plans to BLM to correct deficiencies. Following BLM’s revisions, Plaintiffs again sued in this case, arguing the revisions were still deficient under NEPA.


West Virginia V. Epa, Amanda Spear, Amanda Spear Nov 2022

West Virginia V. Epa, Amanda Spear, Amanda Spear

Public Land & Resources Law Review

The EPA created the Clean Power Plan in an effort to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions generated by coal-fired power plants. The EPA determined that the Best System of Emission Reduction for existing coal-fired power plants included generation shifting methods, meaning a shift from coal to cleaner sources. The Supreme Court held, under the major questions doctrine, that Congress had not intended for the EPA to use generation shifting methods for the Best System of Emission Reduction and that the EPA had exceeded its authority in doing so. This note will explore how the decision may impact administrative …


Treaty-Based Climate Change Claims: Litigation Pathways In The Face Of Cultural Devastation, Kirsten D. Gerbatsch Jun 2022

Treaty-Based Climate Change Claims: Litigation Pathways In The Face Of Cultural Devastation, Kirsten D. Gerbatsch

Public Land & Resources Law Review

No abstract provided.


Do It For The Kids: Protecting Future Generations From Climate Change Impacts And Future Pandemics In Maryland Using An Environmental Rights Amendment, Johanna Adashek Jun 2022

Do It For The Kids: Protecting Future Generations From Climate Change Impacts And Future Pandemics In Maryland Using An Environmental Rights Amendment, Johanna Adashek

Public Land & Resources Law Review

No abstract provided.


Youth And Indigenous Voices In Climate Justice: Leveraging Best Practices From U.S. And Canadian Litigation, Randall S. Abate Jun 2022

Youth And Indigenous Voices In Climate Justice: Leveraging Best Practices From U.S. And Canadian Litigation, Randall S. Abate

Public Land & Resources Law Review

No abstract provided.


Water Justice Under The Big Sky: Locating A Human Right To Water In Montana Law, Abigail R. Brown Jun 2022

Water Justice Under The Big Sky: Locating A Human Right To Water In Montana Law, Abigail R. Brown

Public Land & Resources Law Review

No abstract provided.


A Judicial Duty: Interpreting And Enforcing Montanans' Inalienable Right To A Clean And Healthful Environment, Nate Bellinger, Roger Sullivan Jun 2022

A Judicial Duty: Interpreting And Enforcing Montanans' Inalienable Right To A Clean And Healthful Environment, Nate Bellinger, Roger Sullivan

Public Land & Resources Law Review

No abstract provided.


Letter To The Reader Jun 2022

Letter To The Reader

Public Land & Resources Law Review

No abstract provided.


Table Of Contents Jun 2022

Table Of Contents

Public Land & Resources Law Review

No abstract provided.


Editors And Staff Members Jun 2022

Editors And Staff Members

Public Land & Resources Law Review

No abstract provided.


Friends Of The Earth V. Haaland Case Summary, Valan Anthos May 2022

Friends Of The Earth V. Haaland Case Summary, Valan Anthos

Public Land & Resources Law Review

A federal district court vacated the U.S.’s largest offshore oil and gas lease sale ever because of an inadequate NEPA analysis. The court found that the BOEM’s decision to exclude estimations of reductions in foreign oil consumption if no lease took place was arbitrary and capricious.


Preview—Oklahoma V. Castro-Huerta: A Test Of State And Tribal Sovereignty, Genevieve Antonioli Schmit Apr 2022

Preview—Oklahoma V. Castro-Huerta: A Test Of State And Tribal Sovereignty, Genevieve Antonioli Schmit

Public Land & Resources Law Review

Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta challenges the reach of the United States Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma and tests the settled criminal jurisdiction scheme within Indian Country. On April 27, 2022, beginning at 10:00 a.m. EST., the U.S. Supreme Court will hear argument on the sole question of whether a state court has concurrent jurisdiction with a federal court to prosecute non-Indians who commit crimes against Indians in Indian country. The State of Oklahoma (“Petitioner”) argues that it has concurrent jurisdiction to prosecute such crimes. Castro-Huerta (“Respondent”) argues that the Court should adopt the current understanding that the …


Upper Missouri Waterkeeper V. Epa, Clare Ols Apr 2022

Upper Missouri Waterkeeper V. Epa, Clare Ols

Public Land & Resources Law Review

State water quality standards developed under the Clean Water Act play a key role in curtailing the negative environmental, economic, and human health impacts of water pollution. Under the state water quality regulatory framework, EPA may grant variances to state standards should the state demonstrate the compliance with its standards is infeasible for a certain pollutant discharger or waterbody. Montana DEQ developed a variance for nutrients based on evidence that compliance with those standards would cause economic harm. EPA approved Montana's nutrient pollutant variance, and Upper Missouri Waterkeeper challenged EPA's approval on the grounds that the variance violates the Clean …


Preview — Denezpi V. United States (2022). Double Jeopardy In Indian Country, Paul A. Hutton Iii Feb 2022

Preview — Denezpi V. United States (2022). Double Jeopardy In Indian Country, Paul A. Hutton Iii

Public Land & Resources Law Review

On February 22, the Supreme Court of the United States will decide the single issue of whether a Court of Indian Offenses constitutes a federal entity and, therefore, separate prosecutions in federal district court and a Court of Indian Offenses for the same act violates the Double Jeopardy Clause as prosecutions for the same offense.


Ute Indian Tribe Of The Uintah & Ouray Reservation V. U.S. Dep't Of Interior, Valan Anthos Dec 2021

Ute Indian Tribe Of The Uintah & Ouray Reservation V. U.S. Dep't Of Interior, Valan Anthos

Public Land & Resources Law Review

The Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah & Ouray Reservation brought 16 claims against federal agencies and the State of Utah for alleged mismanagement of water resources held in trust and for alleged discrimination in water allocation. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed several of the claims as time-barred and others as lacking a proper statutory basis to create an enforceable trust duty. The remaining claims were transferred to the United States District Court of the District of Utah because the events occurred in Utah and most of the parties reside there.


Bahr V. Regan, Aspen B. Ward Nov 2021

Bahr V. Regan, Aspen B. Ward

Public Land & Resources Law Review

In June 2015, the Lake Fire burned through California’s San Bernardino National Forest. Three hundred miles east of the fire, six air quality monitors exceeded NAAQS in Phoenix, Arizona. Arizona’s Department of Environmental Quality petitioned the EPA to exclude those exceedances to avoid stricter regulatory burdens and the need for contingency measures. Applying the Exceptional Events Rule, the EPA permitted the petition to exclude the data therefore allowing Phoenix to successfully demonstrate attainment of the ozone NAAQS by the July 2018 deadline. Petitioners sought review of the EPA’s final decision and were denied their petition for review by the Ninth …


Preview—Lac Courte Orielles Band Of Lake Superior Chippewa V. Evers: Just How Special Is Indian Law?, Zachary M. Krumm Nov 2021

Preview—Lac Courte Orielles Band Of Lake Superior Chippewa V. Evers: Just How Special Is Indian Law?, Zachary M. Krumm

Public Land & Resources Law Review

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on Monday, November 8, 2021, at 9:30 a.m. at Everett McKinley Dirksen Courthouse in Chicago, Illinois. This case asks whether states may assess property taxes on Indian-owned reservation fee lands that were allotted under treaty, not the General Allotment Act. The lower court held that reservation allotments which had at any time been owned by non-tribal-members could be subject to state property tax. Allotments always held by members remained exempt. While this issue is somewhat narrow, it raises broad questions about applying the well-established Indian canons of construction.


Held V. State, Alec D. Skuntz Oct 2021

Held V. State, Alec D. Skuntz

Public Land & Resources Law Review

On March 13, 2020, a group of 16 Montana children and teenagers filed a complaint in the First Judicial District, Lewis and Clark County against the State of Montana and several state agencies. These young Plaintiffs sought injunctive and declaratory relief against Defendants for their complicity in continuing to extract and release harmful amounts of greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change. Plaintiffs premised their argument on the Montana Constitution’s robust environmental rights and protections. The Defendants filed a motion to dismiss which the District Court granted in-part and denied in-part. Held provides a roadmap for future litigation by elucidating …


Park County Environmental Council V. Montana Department Of Environmental Quality, 477 P.3d 288 (Mont. 2020), Holly Seymour Sep 2021

Park County Environmental Council V. Montana Department Of Environmental Quality, 477 P.3d 288 (Mont. 2020), Holly Seymour

Public Land & Resources Law Review

The Montana Supreme Court held in 2020 that loopholes in the Montana Environmental Procedure Act ("MEPA") review process violate Montana's constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment. The holding sets a strong precedent requiring statutory protections to prevent harm to the environment before it occurs.


Vecinos Para El Bienestar De La Comunidad Costera V. Ferc, Malcolm M. Gilbert Aug 2021

Vecinos Para El Bienestar De La Comunidad Costera V. Ferc, Malcolm M. Gilbert

Public Land & Resources Law Review

The D.C. Circuit Court remanded three Brownsville, TX LNG approval orders to FERC for failing to adequately explain conclusions around environmental justice and climate concerns. The Court ordered FERC to reevaluate whether the projects are in the public interest. The LNG terminals and pipeline will disproportionately impact low-income, minority communities, and substantial greenhouse gas emissions from production and export will contribute to anthropogenic climate change. This case note explores the role that environmental justice and climate change play in federal agency decision-making processes, analyzes the legal framework for the Court's decision, and discusses how the outcome of this litigation could …


Free, Prior, And Informed Consent: A Struggling International Principle, Emily M. Mcculloch Jun 2021

Free, Prior, And Informed Consent: A Struggling International Principle, Emily M. Mcculloch

Public Land & Resources Law Review

No abstract provided.


Localizing Energy Independence: How Purpa And Community Power Legislation Can Drive Development Of Resilient And Reliable Local Clean Energy Projects, Lowell J. Chandler Jun 2021

Localizing Energy Independence: How Purpa And Community Power Legislation Can Drive Development Of Resilient And Reliable Local Clean Energy Projects, Lowell J. Chandler

Public Land & Resources Law Review

No abstract provided.