Does the federal government possess final decision-making authority over the management of water rights held in trust for an Indian tribe?
Lower court materials here.
Here is the complaint in Yurok Tribe v. Bureau of Reclamation (N.D. Cal.):
From the court’s syllabus:
The panel affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court’s judgment, and held that the Bureau of Reclamation had the authority to implement the 2013 release of Trinity River water from the Lewiston Dam, above and beyond the amount designated in the applicable water release schedule.
Reversing the district court, the panel held that the Act of August 12, 1955, gave the Bureau the authority to implement the 2013 flow augmentation release to protect fish in the lower Klamath River. Affirming the district court, the panel also held that the 2013 flow augmentation release did not violate Central Valley Project Improvement Act (“CVPIA”) section 3406(b)(23), which called for a permanent water release that would serve only the Trinity River basin. The panel further held that the 2013 flow augmentation release did not violate California water law and, in turn, did not violate the Reclamation Act of 1902 or CVPIA section 3411(a), both of which require the Bureau to comply with state water permitting requirements.
Materials and briefs in the matter of Hoopa Valley Indian Tribe v. Bureau of Reclamation of the Department of the Interior of the United States of America et al, 16-cv-04294 (N.D. Cali.):