Washington Federal Court Orders Insurance Company to Exhaust Tribal Court Remedies

Here are the materials in Allstate Insurance Co. v. Cornelson (W.D. Wash.):

Great Hall of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe

New Scholarship on Dam Removal on Ottaway, Penobscot, and Elwha Rivers

Coleen A. Fox, Nicholas J. Reo, Brett Fessell, and Frank Dituri have published “Native American Tribes and Dam Removal: Restoring the Ottaway, Penobscot and Elwha Rivers.

From the article.

The abstract:

Since the early 1900s, more than 1700 dams have been removed from rivers in the United States. Native American Tribes have played a key role in many significant removals, bringing cultural, economic, and legal resources to bear on the process. Their involvement contrasts with the displacement and marginalisation that have historically characterised the relationship between Native Americans and the dams built by settler – colonial governments on their rivers. Our research investigates Tribal involvement in dam removals, with examples from the Ottaway, Penobscot, and Elwha rivers. We ask the following: what roles have Tribes played in successful removals? How do dam removals affect and reflect shifting relations between Tribal governments and non-Tribal actors? Our research finds that Tribal involvement provides opportunities for inserting underacknowledged values and resource claims into dam removal efforts, and that it facilitates new collaborations and alliances. We also find evidence of Tribal involvement affecting the nature and practice of river restoration through dam removal. We conclude that the involvement of Tribes in dam removal contributes to important shifts in environmental politics in the US, and that it also creates opportunities for restorative environmental justice for Native Americans and their rivers.

HIGHLY recommended.

The Elwha River, deep in the Olympic National Forest of Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, flattens out here but will narrow and add rapid as it heads toward Madison Falls.
From the article.
From the article.

Ninth Circuit Briefs in Lummi Tribe U& A

Here are the materials in United States v. Washington, subproceeding 11-02 (W.D. Wash.):

Lummi Tribe Brief

Port Gamble and Jamestown S’Kllalam Tribes Brief

Tulalip Brief

Lower Elwha Tribe Brief


Lower court materials here.

Federal Court Concludes U.S. v. Washington 11-02 Subproceeding [Lummi + S’Klallam Tribes]

Here are the new materials in United States v. Washington (W.D. Wash.) [subproceeding 11-02]:

238 Jamestown and Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribes Motion

240 Lummi Response

244 Lower Elwha Response

247 Jamestown and Port Gamble Reply

252 Lower Elwha Motion

254 Lummi Response

255 Jamestown and Port Gamble Response

260 Lower Elwha Reply

262 Jamestown and Port Gamble Surreply

264 DCT Order

Ninth Circuit materials here and here.

Previous lower court court materials here.

Lower Elwha and Federal Government Prevail in NEPA/ESA Suit in the 9th Circuit

NEPA and ESA challenges to hatchery approvals after removal of the Elwha Dam were brought by anti-hatchery environmental groups. The unpublished decision is here.


Motion for Injunction

Opening Brief

Tribal Answer Brief

Federal Answer Brief


Lower court materials here.

Ninth Circuit Briefs in U.S. v. Washington Subproceeding 11-02 (Lummi v. S’Klallam Tribes & Tulalip)

Here are the materials in United States v. Washington (subproceeding 11-02):

Lummi Nation Brief

Tulalip Tribes Answer Brief

Port Gamble and Jamestown S’Klallam Tribes Brief

Lower Elwha Brief

Lummi Reply

Suquamish Tribe Brief

Oral argument video here.

S’Klallam Tribes Prevail over Lummi in U.S. v. Washington U&A Subproceeding

Here are the materials in United States v. Washington subproceeding 11-2 (W.D. Wash.):

164 Jamestown and Port Gamble Motion

167 Lummi Motion

168 Lower Elwha Motion

176 Jamestown and Port Gamble Response

178 Suquamish Response

183 Lower Elwha Response

186 Jamestown and Port Gamble Reply

189 Lummi Reply

193 Lower Elwha Reply

210-Order on SJ

This matter is on remand from the Ninth Circuit, materials here.

Ninth Circuit Rules in Favor of Lummi Tribe in Treaty Fishing Dispute

Here is the court’s opinion in United States (Lower Elwha Klallam Indian Tribe) v. Lummi Tribe:

CA9 Opinion

The court’s syllabus:

The panel reversed the district court’s summary judgment entered in favor of the Klallam Tribe in a case involving a fishing territory dispute between two sets of Indian Tribes, brought pursuant to the continuing jurisdiction of the 1974 “Boldt Decree” issued by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

The panel held that the issue of whether the waters immediately to the west of northern Whidbey Island were part of the Lummi Tribe’s usual and accustomed fishing grounds had not yet been determined. The panel held, therefore, that the district court erred in concluding that the issue was controlled by law of the case. The panel remanded to the district court for further proceedings.

Judge Rawlinson dissented because she would hold that the district court properly applied the law of the case doctrine where the fishing rights issue was addressed in the prior opinion United States v. Lummi Indian Tribe, 235 F.3d 443 (9th Cir. 2000).

Briefs and other materials here.

NYTs OpEd on Unsustainable Dams


An excerpt:

A case in point is the Elwha River on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, where two hydroelectric dams built early in the last century exacted huge environmental costs but were no longer important as power generators. Salmon runs that once reached about 400,000 fish a year dropped to fewer than 3,000. A year after the Elwha Dam was removed, Chinook salmon returned to the river in numbers not seen in decades, with three-quarters of them observed spawning upstream of the former dam site. Today, the river runs free from its headwaters in Olympic National Park to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and a terrible wrong imposed on the salmon-dependent Lower Elwha Klallam tribe has been righted.

Ninth Circuit Materials in U.S. v. Washington Subproceeding — Klallam Tribes v. Lummi Tribe


Lummi Opening Brief

Klallam Tribes Answer Brief

Lummi Reply

Oral argument audio here.

Lower court materials here.

Prior CA9 opinion and materials here.