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Hopi Tribe v. Arizona Snowbowl Resort Limited Partnership

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20201
Nos. CV-18-0057-PR, (Ariz., 11/29/2018)

The Arizona Supreme Court vacated a ruling that a Native American tribe sufficiently alleged standing to bring a public nuisance claim against a resort using reclaimed wastewater to make artificial snow on the San Francisco Peaks in northern Arizona. Before the lower court, the tribe argued that the resort's interference with the Peaks caused it special injury because of the tribe's cultural and religious connection to the land. The lower court found that the tribe distinguished its cultural and religious interests from the recreational interests of the public at large and thus sufficiently alleged a special injury to support its claim. However, the high court concluded that the tribe's alleged injury was different in degree from the general public, but not in kind, and thus did not constitute a special injury for public nuisance purposes. The high court therefore vacated the decision.