Federal Court Allows Gila River Indian Community Effort to Enforce Gila River Water Rights to Proceed

Here are the materials so far in Gila River Indian Community v. Cranford (D. Ariz.):

1 Complaint

14 Motion to Dismiss

15 Response

16 Reply

20 Defendants Supp Brief

21 GRIC Supp Brief

22 DCT Order

Cert Petition by Western Ranchers and Farmers Challenging Reserved Water Rights [updated]

Here is the petition in Bales v. United States:


Question presented:

Whether, against the legal backdrop of Congress’s and this Court’s recognition of the primacy of state law to determine, quantify, and administer water rights, a federal court may deem federal agency regulatory action under the Endangered Species Act to constitute the adjudication and administration of water rights for tribal purposes.

Lower court materials here.


05142020-1 PacificCoastFedFishermen Opposition Brief

OpposBriefUSA-20200514173954985_19-1134 Baley

Federal Circuit Decides Baley v. United States [Indian reserved water rights to Klamath River water predate farmers]

Here is the opinion.

Here are the briefs:











Idaho SCT Decides Coeur d’Alene Tribe Water Rights Matter Largely in Tribe’s Favor

Here is the opinion in In re:CSRBA Case No. 49576 (Idaho S. Ct.).


Idaho Opening Brief

Appellants Opening Brief

US Response Brief

Coeur d’Alene Tribe Response Brief

HECLA Response Brief

North Idaho Water Rights Alliance Response Brief

Idaho Response Brief

Coeur d’Alene Tribe Reply

US Reply Brief

Appellants Reply

Idaho Reply Brief

Ninth Circuit Restores Navajo Nation Trust Breach Claim in Colorado River Water Rights Matter

Here is the opinion in Navajo Nation v. Dept. of the Interior.

An excerpt:

The panel held that the Nation’s breach of trust claim was not barred by sovereign immunity, and remanded to the district court to consider the claim on its merits. The panel held that the broad waiver of sovereign immunity found in § 702 of the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) waived sovereign immunity for all non-monetary claims, and § 704 of the APA’s final agency action requirement constrained only actions brought under the APA. The panel concluded that the Nation’s breach of trust claim sought relief other than money damages, and the waiver of sovereign immunity in § 702 applied squarely to the claim.

Lower court materials here.

Montana SCT Affirms Constitutionality of CSKT Water Rights Compact

Here is the opinion in Flathead Joint Board of Control v. State.


Board brief

State brief

Tribe brief

Board reply

State reply

Crow Allottees Challenge to Crow Water Compact Dismissed on Federal Immunity Grounds

Here are the materials in Crow Allottees Association v. Bureau of Indian Affairs (D. Mont.):

35 BIA Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings

38 Response

42 BIA Reply

59 DCT Order

New Scholarship in Wyoming’s Big Horn River General Stream Adjudication

Jason Robison has posted his forthcoming paper, “Wyoming’s Big Horn General Stream Adjudication, 1977-2014,” on SSRN. It is forthcoming in the Wyoming Law Review.

An excerpt:

Aimed at addressing water rights in the State of Wyoming’s portion of the Wind/Big Horn Basin, including those held by the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapahoe tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation, the Big Horn general stream adjudication is currently poised to draw to a close after 37 years. This article offers an overview of this complex and often contentious legal proceeding, relying mainly on primary sources contained in a digital archive, and situates the adjudication within the broader context of western water law.