384 F.Supp. 312 (W.D.Wash. 1974), Civ. 9213, United States v. State of Washington

Docket Nº:Civ. 9213
Citation:384 F.Supp. 312
Party Name:United States v. State of Washington
Case Date:February 12, 1974
Court:United States District Courts, 9th Circuit, Western District of Washington

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384 F.Supp. 312 (W.D.Wash. 1974)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff, Quinault Tribe of Indians on its own behalf and on behalf of the Queets Band of Indians, et al., Intervenor-Plaintiffs,


STATE OF WASHINGTON, Defendant, Thor C. Tollefson, Director, Washington State Department of Fisheries, et al., Intervenor-Defendants.

Civ. No. 9213.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington at Tacoma.

Feb. 12, 1974.

On Question Per Reconsideration Motion March 22, 1974, Injunction March 22, 1974.

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Stan Pitkin, U.S. Atty., Stuart F. Pierson, Sp. Asst. U.S. Atty., Seattle, Wash., for the U.S.; George D. Dysart, Asst. Regional Sol., U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Portland, Or., of counsel.

David H. Getches, Native American Rights Fund, Boulder, Colo., and John H. Sennhauser, Legal Services Center, Seattle, Wash., for Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Squaxin Island Tribe of Indians, Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe, Skokomish Indian Tribe, Stillaguamish Indian Tribe.

Alvin J. Ziontz, Ziontz, Pirtle, Morisset & Ernstoff, Seattle, Wash., for Makah Indian Tribe, Lummi Indian Tribe, Quileute Indian Tribe.

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Michael Taylor, Taholah, Wash., for Quinault Tribe of Indians.

James B. Hovis, Hovis, Cockrill & Roy, Yakima, Wash., for Yakima Indian Tribe.

Lester Stritmatter, Stritmatter & Stritmatter, Hoquiam, Wash., for Hoh Tribe of Indians.

William A. Stiles, Jr., Sedro-Woolley, Wash., for Upper Skagit River Tribe.

Slade Gorton, Atty. Gen., Edward B. Mackie, Deputy Atty. Gen., Olympia, Wash., for State of Wash.

Joseph Larry Coniff, Jr., Asst. Atty. Gen., Dept. of Game, Olympia, Wash., for Game Defendants & Carl Crouse.

Earl R. McGimpsey, Asst. Atty. Gen., Dept. of Fisheries, Olympia, Wash., for Thor Tollefson.

David E. Rhea, Amundson, Rhea & Atwood, Bellingham, Wash., for Wash. Reef Net Owners Ass'n.

Lawrence C. Smith, Smith, Smith & Smith, Spokane, Wash., for amicus curiae The Ass'n of Northwest Steelheaders, Inc.

William N. Moloney, Davis, Wright, Todd, Riese & Jones, Seattle, Wash., for amicus curiae Wash. State Sportsmen's Council, Inc.

T. J. Jones, III, Sp. Counsel, Jones & Jones, Boise, Idaho, for amicus curiae Idaho Fish and Game Dept.


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BOLDT, Senior District Judge.

In September, 1970 the United States, on its own behalf and as trustee for several Western Washington Indian Tribes, 1 later joined as intervenor plaintiffs by additional tribes, 2 filed the complaint initiating this action against the State of Washington. Shortly later the State Department of Fisheries (Fisheries) and the State Game Commission (Game), their respective directors, and the Washington Reef Net Owners Association (Reef Net Owners) were included as defendants. By state statute Fisheries is charged with exercising regulatory authority over fishing for all anadromous food fish. Regulation of anadromous steelhead trout is vested in Game. Plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201 and 2202 concerning off reservation treaty right fishing within the case area by plaintiff tribes, which long has been and now is in controversy, and for injunctive

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relief to provide enforcement of those fishing rights as they previously have been or herein may be judicially determined. The case area is that portion of the State of Washington west of the Cascade Mountains and north of the Columbia River drainage area, and includes the American portion of the Puget Sound watershed, the watersheds of the Olympic Peninsula north of the Grays Harbor watershed, and the offshore waters adjacent to those areas.

Plaintiffs also assert claims for relief concerning alleged destruction or impairment of treaty right fishing due to state authorization of, or failure to prevent, logging and other industrial pollution and obstruction of treaty right fishing streams. Separation of those claims for pretrial and trial after trial of the issues determined in this decision was stipulated and approved by the court.

Venue is properly laid in this court under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b). Jurisdiction is alleged as to all tribes under one or more of the following provisions: 28 U.S.C. §§ 1345, 1331, 1343(3) and (4) and 1362. 3 All of these allegations were conceded by all defendants, subject to their contention that exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine the issues in this case is in the Indian Claims Commission under 25 U.S.C. §§ 70-70v and Game's denial of jurisdiction as to the Puyallup Tribe. This court has previously held and hereby affirms that both of these contentions are without merit and denied. It is hereby found and held that jurisdiction and venue have been established in all particulars as detailed in Part One of the Final Pretrial Order.

Fisheries contends the Muckleshoot, Stillaguamish and Upper Skagit tribes do not hold a special treaty status to harvest anadromous fish. Game joins in this contention and makes the same contention regarding the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe. These contentions are considered and denied in the written Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.

Shortly after appearance in the action by all defendants the first of a considerable number of pretrial conferences was held. Among many preliminary matters considered at that time were the court's suggestions that so far as possible all tribes, agencies or organizations having or claiming direct or indirect justiciable interest in treaty fishing rights in this judicial district be brought into the case either as parties or as amicus curiae; and that every issue of substantial direct or indirect significance to the contentions of any party be raised and adjudicated in this case. Both suggestions were acceptable to all parties and to a great extent they have been put into effect. Thus every interested agency and organization not joined as a party has had an opportunity to present its views on any of the issues in the case. 4

For more than three years, at the expenditure by many people of great time, effort and expense, plaintiffs and defendants have conducted exhaustive research in anthropology, biology, fishery management and other fields of expertise, and also have made extreme efforts to find and present by witnesses and exhibits as much information as possible that pertains directly or indirectly to each issue in the case. As a consequence of this extensive pretrial preparation, all parties joined in stipulating to a great many agreed facts which are stated in exhibits or included in the Final Pretrial Order. The Joint Biological Statement, Exhibit JX-2a, jointly proposed and admitted in evidence as agreed facts applicable as indicated therein, was prepared by and agreed to by highly qualified experts employed by and representing both plaintiffs and defendants and is of exceptional importance

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and practical value. It is believed considerable historic and scientific information never before presented in a case involving treaty rights is now recorded and may prove of value in later proceedings in this case and possibly in others.

To great advantage, all procedures recommended in the Manual for Complex Litigation have been followed by counsel in the particulars and to the extent found applicable and practicable by the court. With approval of court and counsel upon its entry the Final Pretrial Order became the final statement of all issues to be heard and determined in this decision, and pleadings pertaining to those issues passed out of the case, subject only to amendment by the court to prevent manifest injustice. Such amendments have been included in the text of the Final Pretrial Order.

Every attorney in the case has vigorously and effectively presented the particular interests and contentions of each client he represents to the maximum extent professional duty requires. On the other hand there has been a remarkable degree of highly responsible and most commendable cooperation on the part of all counsel throughout trial preparation and trial which has greatly expedited discovery and full presentation of the issues and evidence in the case. All of the legal issues have been researched in depth and effectively presented and argued in the pretrial briefs, and in the final briefs submitted after the presentation of evidence was concluded and before final argument, which also was exceptional in professional quality. By direction of the court all parties either individually or jointly, as they chose, prepared and submitted proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law referenced to the record and also drafts of a proposed decree. Each proposed finding, conclusion and decree has been closely examined and considered by review of the evidence and the portions of the briefs pertaining to each item. All fact findings and legal rulings stated herein and the detailed Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Decree signed and entered by the court are hereby made a part of this decision.

On January 11, 1974, when Game filed the final version of its proposed findings, conclusions and decree the issues tried were finally submitted for decision.

This court is confident the vast majority of the residents of this state, whether of Indian heritage or otherwise, and regardless of...

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