Wednesday, March 18, 2015

9th Circuit Hears Oral Arguments In Tribe's Attempt To Protect Medicine Lake Highlands

On March 12, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments (video of full oral arguments) in Pit River Tribe v. Bureau of Land Management, (Case No.13-16961).  Appellants' brief in the case asserts:
This case may well decide the fate of the Medicine Lake Highlands, a place of deep religious significance and spiritual renewal for countless generations of Native Americans. This remote forested landscape is tucked into the far northeastern corner of California just south of Lava Beds National Monument....
Among the issues raised on appeal is whether tribal members' spiritual, environmental, recreational, and economic interests in protecting the Medicine Lake Highlands give plaintiffs standing to assert claims under the Geothermal Steam Act. Counter Punch has more on the arguments and the background of the case.