Buena Vista Rancheria Brings Federal Common Law Nuisance Action against Surface Lands Strip Mining Company

Here is the complaint in Buena Vista Rancheria of the Me-Wuk Indians v. Pacific Coast Building Products Inc. (E.D. Cal.):

Biden Administration Repeals the 2020 Roadless Rule in the Tongass


Repealing the 2020 Alaska Roadless Rule, which exempted the Tongass from roadless protections, will return the inventoried roadless areas of the forest to management under the 2001 Roadless Rule, which prohibits road construction, reconstruction, and timber harvest in inventoried roadless areas, with limited exceptions. USDA determined that the underlying goals and purposes of the 2001 Roadless Rule continue to be a critical part of conserving the many resources of the Tongass, especially when it comes to the values that roadless areas represent for local, rural communities, Alaska Native peoples, and the economy of Southeast Alaska.

WaPo coverage here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2023/01/25/tongass-forest-protections-alaska-biden/

“The Tongass Roadless Rule is important to everyone,” said Joel Jackson, president of the Organized Village of Kake, which sits on the forest edge on an island south of the capital, Juneau.

“The old-growth timber is a carbon sink, one of the best in the world,” Jackson said in a statement. “It’s important to OUR WAY OF LIFE — the streams, salmon, deer, and all the forest animals and plants.”

Tribal leaders and Native organizers made a huge push to get these protections back in place. According to the press release, the Administration received more than 112,000 comments during this rulemaking (that is a *lot* of comments), a majority of which were in support of this change.

Eighth Circuit Briefs in Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation v. Dept. of the Interior [opposition to Trump-era approval of non-Indian mining on shores of Lake Sakakawea]


Lower court materials here.

Screen shot from “Before and After the Flood: Property and Sovereignty at Fort Berthold.

Ninth Circuit Panel Affirms City of Seattle’s Removal of Sauk-Suiattle Dam Suit to Federal Court, Asks for En Banc Review of Circuit Precedent on Removal . . . Good for procedure nerds, I’m sure.

Here is the opinion in Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe v. City of Seattle.

Briefs here.

Impressionist painting of the removal of a state court complaint to federal court — DALL-E

Blumm on Salmon and Climate Change

Michael C. Blumm has posted “Salmon, Climate Change, and the Future,” forthcoming in the Environmental Law Reporter, on SSRN.

Here is the abstract:

This article examines salmon law and policy in the context of ongoing climate change. The article examines the nature of the threats that climate change poses and will continue to pose for salmon recovery, as well as possible legal responses to combat these threats. It also considers the future prospects of Pacific salmon in a world that will include significant climate change and other threats to preserving and equitably apportioning the salmon resource, whose environmental sensitivity and expansive life cycle will continue to pose substantial challenges for the foreseeable future. The Article is excerpted from “Pacific Salmon Law and the Environment: Treaties, Endangered Species, Dam Removal, Climate Change, and Beyond” (ELI Press 2022).

Washington Federal Court Rejects Teck Caminco Defenses in CERCLA Suit [Colville]

Here are newish materials in Pakootas v. Teck Caminco Metals (E.D. Wash.):

Ninth Circuit Rejects Challenge to Tribal Wind Farm

Here is the unpublished opinion in Backcountry Against Dumps v. Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Briefs here.

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