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Columbia River Tribal Housing: Federal Progress Addressing Long Unmet Obligations

Native American tribes in the Northwest once centered entire societies around the Columbia River, living on its shores and fishing salmon from its waters. Beginning in the 1930s, however, the United States built a series of hydroelectric dams on the river, flooding tribal villages and destroying traditional tribal access to the river for fishing. Despite promises, these tribes were never compensated properly for their losses.

Mar 26, 2020
Stephanie Phillips

People v. Rinehart: No Preemption of State Environmental Regulations under the Mining Act of 1872

In People v. Rinehart, the California Supreme Court unanimously upheld a gold miner’s criminal conviction for using a suction dredge to mine the riverbed of a waterway on federal land in violation of a state moratorium on that mining method. The court reversed the California Court of Appeal’s holding that the federal Mining Act of 1872 (Mining Act) preempts state regulations that render mining on federal land “commercially impracticable.”

Mar 26, 2020
Jonathan Rosenthal

AquAlliance v. United States Bureau of Reclamation: The Impact of Withholding Information from the Public

In AquAlliance v. United States Bureau of Reclamation, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the United States Bureau of Reclamation’s (Bureau) decision to withhold information about the construction and location of water wells from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. However, the court did not overturn the District Court’s ruling required the agency to disclose the names and addresses of various water transfer program participants.

Mar 26, 2020
Taylor Wetzel

Home Rule in an Era of Local Environmental Innovation

As 2016’s national election made clear, striking ideological differences between cities and their surrounding states exist in many parts of the country. One way in which this divide manifests itself is in state governments passing laws with the sole purpose of outlawing particular local conduct. For instance, recent state legislation has prohibited local governments from establishing a minimum wage, from prohibiting the use of plastic bags, and from protecting the rights of transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their identified gender.

Mar 26, 2020
Sarah Fox