Washington SCT Decides Wild Fish Conservancy v. Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife



Sauk-Suiattle Tribe Brings Rights of Nature Claims against City of Seattle in Tribal Court over Skagit River Dams

Here is the complaint in Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe v. City of Seattle (Sauk-Suiattle Tribal Court):

SAU-CIV-01-22-001 Civil Complaint

SAU-CIV-01-22-001 Summons

Oklahoma Federal Court Denies Oklahoma’s Bid for Injunction on Creek Mining Regulation

Here is the order in State of Oklahoma v. Dept. of the Interior (W.D. Okla.):

Will post the complete briefs later on. Prior post here.

Keep the UP Wild: The Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC)

Keep the UP Wild

The Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC) and their Michigan partners are currently working on a project to designate four areas in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as federal Wilderness areas – three new areas and one addition to an existing Wilderness area.

View a brief project memo describing this effort as well as the current crop of Existing Michigan Wilderness Areas in the state. Please visit their project website which lists the more than 125 existing organizations already supporting this effort. Indigenous voices, tribes, and the broader business community have been two of their highest prioritizations on this project.

Nevada Federal Court Declines Reconsideration Motion in Lithium Case

Here are the new materials in Bartell Ranch LLC v. McCullough (D. Nev.):

96 Motion for Reconsideration

105 Interior Response

106 Lithium Corp Response

107 Reply

117 DCT Order Denying Reconsideration


Oklahoma Federal Court Bars Creek Nation from Oklahoma Mining Jurisdiction Suit against Interior

Here are the materials (so far) in State of Oklahoma v. Dept. of the Interior (W.D. Okla.):

17 State Motion for PI

22 Muscogee (Creek) Nation Motion to Intervene

22-1 Proposed Motion to Dismiss

34 Federal Response to 17

42 Reply in Support of 17

44 Federal Opposition to 22

45 State Opposition to 22

48 Tribe Reply in Support of 22

61 DCT Order Denying 22

We posted the complaint here.

Kevin Washburn on Tribal Co-Management of Federal Public Lands

Kevin Washburn has posted “Simple Tribal Co-Management: Using Existing Authority to Engage Tribal Nations in Co-Management of Federal Public Lands” on SSRN.


Each year Native American tribal nations enter hundreds of federal contracts worth billions of dollars to run federal Indian programs. By substituting tribal governments for federal agencies, these “self-determination contracts” have been enormously successful in improving the effective delivery of federal programs in Indian country. However, tribal governments wish to do more. Tribes wish to co-manage federal public lands, including lands that lie outside their reservations, and they have a lot to offer in this area. For example, a tribe might seek to contract with the Fish & Wildlife Service to operate a wildlife refuge, or with the National Park Service to manage a park or monument or even with the Bureau of Reclamation to operate a federal dam. Tribes are natural partners for much of this work. Many federal units are located on lands that are, or were, tribal aboriginal lands. Although the federal government has had the legal authority to enter such contracts since 1994, federal agencies have been slow to enlist tribes in the management of federal public lands. A review of the few existing successful cases suggests that tribes confront dramatically different dynamics when seeking to contract functions with agencies beyond the Bureau of Indian Affairs or Indian Health Service and other agencies providing services to Indian people. At a time when indigenous-led conservation is crucial to addressing climate change and our national conservation goals, this article examines the obstacles to tribal co-management of public lands and proposes solutions.

Always good to see new scholarship from Dean Washburn.

Eighth Circuit Briefs in Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources v. White Earth Band of Ojibwe


Opening Brief

Answer Brief

Amicus Brief

Lower court materials here.