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public trust doctrine

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement v. Iowa

ELR Case

The Iowa Supreme Court reversed, 4-3, a lower court order denying Iowa's motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by nonprofit groups seeking to reduce fertilizer and waste runoff from farms into the Racoon River. The groups sought to force...

United States v. Walker River Irrigation District

ELR Case

The Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and vacated in part a district court's dismissal of a county's complaint in long-standing litigation over appropriation of water in the Walker River Basin. The county argued the public interest and...

The Public Trust in Wildlife: Closing the Implementation Gap in 13 Western States

ELR Article

State wildlife agencies commonly claim they are entitled to manage wildlife under the public trust doctrine (PTD). This assertion is frequently made in judicial proceedings, with state requests that their managerial authority be given...

Chernaik v. Brown

ELR Case

The Oregon Supreme Court affirmed, 6-1, an appellate court decision vacating a lower court ruling that no trial was needed in a climate change lawsuit concerning Oregon's obligations to protect natural resources under the public trust...

Mineral County v. Lyon County

ELR Case

The Nevada Supreme Court held that the public trust doctrine did not permit reallocation of water rights already adjudicated and settled under the doctrine of prior appropriation in a lawsuit concerning established water rights for a...

Expertise and Discretion: New Jersey's Approach to Natural Resource Damages

ELR Article

With a Department of Environmental Protection that predates the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, New Jersey has always been at the forefront of combating pollution, becoming only the third state to consolidate all environmental...

Chernaik v. Brown

ELR Case

An Oregon appellate court upheld a lower court's finding that the public trust doctrine does not require the state to defend the environment from climate change. Plaintiff children had sought declaratory relief for the state's failure...

Environmental Law Foundation v. State Water Resources Control Board

ELR Case

A California appellate court affirmed a trial court decision concerning application of the state's public trust doctrine to the state's extraction of groundwater in the Scott River watershed. Environmental groups argued that groundwater...

Gunderson v. State: The Indiana Supreme Court Strengthens the Public Trust Doctrine’s Potential for Conservation in the Great Lakes

ELR Article

The Indiana Supreme Court recently delivered a landmark public trust decision, Gunderson v. State, ruling that the state acquired and still owns Indiana’s bed of Lake Michigan below the ordinary high water mark, including...

Juliana v. United States

ELR Case

A district court adopted a magistrate judge's recommendations and denied motions to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a group of young people against the U.S....