Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Hopi Tribe v. Ariz. Snowbowl Resort LLP

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20019
Nos. 1 CA-CV 16-0521, (Ariz. Ct. App., 02/08/2018)

The Arizona Court of Appeals held that a tribe may proceed with its nuisance claim against a ski resort for its use of reclaimed wastewater to make artificial snow. In 2002, the ski resort contracted to purchase reclaimed wastewater for the purpose of making artificial snow. In 2005, the Forest Service approved the use of reclaimed wastewater for snowmaking on the ski runs. The tribe brought a nuisance suit opposing the use of the reclaimed wastewater, which it believed would interfere with places of special cultural and religious significance to the tribe. The ski resort moved to dismiss the claims, arguing that the tribe failed to sufficiently allege the type of damages necessary to maintain a public nuisance claim. The court ruled for the tribe, finding that the tribe distinguished its cultural and religious interest in the peaks from the recreational interests of the public at large sufficiently to state a public nuisance claim.