Hawaii News Now
Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Department of Land and Natural Resources
State of Hawai’i, Office of Hawaiian Affairs: “Mauna Kea is a deeply sacred place that is revered in Hawaiian traditions. It’s regarded as a shrine for worship, as a home to the gods, and as the piko of Hawaiʻi Island.
Mauna Kea is also a critical part of the ceded lands trust that the State of Hawaiʻi must protect and preserve for future generations, pursuant to its kuleana as a trustee.
Despite four state audits and generations of Native Hawaiians expressing concern about the threats to Mauna Kea, the state and the University of Hawaiʻi have continuously neglected their legal duties to adequately manage the mountain. Instead, they have prioritized astronomical development at the expense of properly caring for Mauna Kea’s natural and cultural resources.”
Materials in the matter of Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians of California, et al v. United States Department of Transportation et al, 15-cv-04987 (N.D. Cal. 2016):
Link to previously posted complaint here.
Here is the complaint in Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians of California v. United States Dept. of Transportation (N.D. Cal.):
Defendants in this case must not be allowed to destroy historic properties, cultural resources, and sacred sites to build the Willits Bypass Project. This case challenges Defendants’ ongoing failure to properly identify and protect Plaintiffs’ ancestral, sacred, cultural, and archaeological sites and resources in the construction of the Willits Bypass Project. As a result of Defendants’ ground-disturbing activity both along the route and in the mitigation lands of the Willits Bypass Project, Defendants have destroyed the ancestral Native American sacred and cultural sites of Plaintiffs the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians and the Round Valley Indian Tribes of California and failed to protect such places in the area of the Project, including the mitigation lands.
Here is the opinion. An excerpt from the court’s syllabus:
The panel reversed the district court’s order granting judgment on the pleadings in an action brought by environmental organizations challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s continuation of 26 geothermal leases in northeastern California’s Medicine Lake Highlands.
The panel held that the district court incorrectly treated the environmental organizations’ claims as arising under only § 1005(a) of the Geothermal Steam Act. BLM’s 1998 decision to continue the 26 unproven leases in the Glass Mountain Unit under § 1005(a) was issued simultaneously with its decision to reverse and vacate its earlier decision to extend those leases on a lease-by-lease basis under § 1005(g). The panel held, thus, that the environmental organizations’ challenge to BLM’s decisions issued on May 18, 1998 implicated both § 1005(a) and § 1005(g).
Because BLM must conduct environmental, historical, and cultural review under the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act before granting lease extensions under § 1005(g), the panel held that the environmental organizations’ claim fell within § 1005(g)’s zone-of-interests, and the organizations had
stated a claim under § 1005(g).
The panel declined the environmental organizations’ invitation to rule on the merits of its Geothermal Steam Act claims, and remanded for further proceedings.