U.S. v. Washington

Decision Date23 June 2005
Docket NumberNo. C01-0047Z.,C01-0047Z.
Citation375 F.Supp.2d 1050
PartiesUNITED STATES, in its own right and on behalf of the Lummi Indian Nation Plaintiff, Lummi Indian Nation Plaintiff-Intervenor, v. State of WASHINGTON, Department of Ecology, et al., Defendants.
CourtU.S. District Court — Western District of Washington

Brian C. Kipnis, US Attorney's Office, Seattle, WA, James B. Cooney, Charles E. O'Connell, Jr., US Department of Justice, Washington, DC, Charles B. Roe, Jr., Perkins Coie, Charles W. Lean, Olympia, WA, for Plaintiffs.

Jane Marx, Law Office of Jane Marx, Albuquerque, NM, Judith K. Bush, Lummi Indian Nation, Harry L. Johnsen, III, Raas Johnsen & Stuen, Bellingham, WA, Susan M. Williams, Williams & Works PA, Corrales, NM, for Plaintiff-Intervenor.

Barbara A. Markham, Thomas C. Morrill, Attorney General's Office, Thomas J. Young, James Martin Johnson, James M. Johnson, Olympia, WA, Lucy Isaki, Attorney General's Office Public Counsel, Gary Jan Strauss, Garvey Schubert Barer, Robert McKevitt Zoffel, Mark J. Phelps, Washington Mutual Legal Services, Seattle, WA, John Timothy Slater, Slater Law Firm PS, Rolf G. Beckhusen, Jr., James G. Bell, John Steffan Ludwigson Ludwigson, Thompson, Hayes & Bell, Carl F. Roehl, Jr., David M. Grant, Randall J. Watts, Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, Frank Joseph Chmelik, Chmelik Sitkin & Davis, Bellingham, WA, Gregory L. Kosanke, Smith Kosanke & Wright, Lynden, WA, Catherine L. Brabson, Jody L. Williams, Steven J. Vuyovich, Holme Roberts & Owen, Salt Lake City, UT, for Defendants.

Leeward-Northgate Water Association, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Dale Bartel, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Angie Bartel, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Michael G. Bezona, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Kim D. Bezona, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Robert D. Bezona, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Edith L. Costello, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Richard Dawson, Ferndale, WA, pro se.

Marlene Dawson, Ferndale, WA, pro se.

John W. Friday, Gretna, LA, pro se.

Larry A. Gustafson, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Robyn G. Gustafson, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Michael R. Heintz, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Kristine A. Heintz, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Steve H. Hovander, Ferndale, WA, pro se.

Ervin J. Jindrich, Mill Valley, CA, pro se.

Denise L. Jindrich, Mill Valley, CA, pro se.

Richard L. King, Belligham, WA, pro se.

Linda L. King, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Terry Knight, Freeland, WA, pro se.

Richard Schleitweiler, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Debra J. Schleitweiler, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

David E. Snead, Ferndale, WA, pro se.

Ruth L. Snead, Ferndale, WA, pro se.

Terry N. Taylor, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Wayne W. Walker, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Kimberlee S. Walker, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

John W. Whiteley, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Lillian G. Whitney, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

1659 Holdings Ltd., Port Coquitlam, Canada, pro se.

Concetta J. Blaine, Kenmore, WA, pro se.

Lois Aminikharrazi Lois Rev Trust, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Scott D. Bartl, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Bert Family Trust, Deming, WA, pro se.

Jeremy W. Bert, Deming, WA, pro se.

Colette A. Bert, Deming, WA, pro se.

Christina Boersma, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Richard J. Borsini, Port Ludlow, WA, pro se.

Richard Bremer, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Marion Bremer, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Carol Bull, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Cynthia S. Buttrick, Lynnwood, WA, pro se.

Jerry Miller, Lynnwood, WA, pro se.

Rebecca Miller, Lynnwood, WA, pro se.

Jeffrey Clark, Highlands Range, CO, pro se.

Mildred K. Clark, Highlands Ranch, CO, pro se.

Gretchen Lux, Seattle, WA, pro se.

Nechemjah Cohen, Vancouver, Canada, pro se.

Frank Dance, Regina, Canada, pro se.

Terry A. Daughters, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Joeen K. Daughters, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Kenneth G. Dawson, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Anna J. Dawson, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Kevin M. Dickerson, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Phillip J. Elgin, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Betty M. Ewing, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Clifford D. Fisher, Hanover, IN, pro se.

Damien Fisher, Lake Stevens, WA, pro se.

Britt Fisher, Lake Stevens, WA, pro se.

Shawn Hillis, Mill Creek, WA, pro se.

Laura Hillis, Mill Creek, WA, pro se.

Lucena A. Ellis, Kennewick, WA, pro se.

Dennis L. Hoofnagle, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Max W. Hurren, North Vancouver, Canada, pro se.

George E. Johnson, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Marion E. Johnson, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Raymond R. Kendall, Ferndale, WA, pro se.

Barbara A. Kendall, Ferndale, WA, pro se.

Monte R. Littleton, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Edward A. McCaffery, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Jean G. McCaffery, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

James E. Miles, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Jeffrey K. Mock, Bellevue, WA, pro se.

Erin Osborn, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Dee A. Powell, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Lowell G. Radder, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Carl F. Roehl, Jr., Bellingham, WA, pro se.

William D. Smith, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Linnea G. Smith, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Peter E. Stephenson, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Ellen S. Stephenson, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Daniel J. Vanweerdhuizen, Ferndale, WA, pro se.

Michael M. Vendiola, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Michelle J. Vendiola, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

James K. Vermillion, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Mary E. Vermillion, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Owen B. Walker, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Mark R. Weinberg, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Marguerite F. Whichtalum, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Larry J. White, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Beverly M. White, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Helmut C. Wilck, Oceanside, CA, pro se.

David A. Williams, Ferndale, WA, pro se.

Bruce D. Wonder, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Claire L. Carlin, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Shirley M. Bezona, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Rory Swedelius, Ferndale, WA, pro se.

Zena Morton, Spokane, WA, pro se.

Don Williams, Bellingham, WA, pro se.

Paul W. Meckna, Yorba Linda, CA, pro se.

Jan Blaauw, Murrieta, CA, pro se.

Eugene H. Knapp, Jr., Brett & Daugert, Bellingham, WA.

AMENDED ORDER

ZILLY, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff United States brings this action in its own right and on behalf of Plaintiff-Intervenor Lummi Indian Nation (collectively, "Plaintiffs"), seeking a declaration that the Treaty of Point Elliott impliedly reserved the groundwater under the Lummi Peninsula for the use and benefit of the Lummi Nation. Defendant State of Washington, Department of Ecology ("Ecology") issues permits to withdraw groundwater on the Lummi Peninsula, and contends that the Treaty of Point Elliott does not impliedly reserve groundwater under the Lummi Peninsula in the amounts claimed by the Lummi Nation ("Lummi" or "the Nation"). Defendant fee landowners and water associations assert a right to withdraw groundwater from the Lummi Peninsula under a claim of right under federal and state law. This action seeks to clarify the rights of the parties to groundwater under the Lummi Peninsula.

On February 18, 2005, the Court heard oral argument on various pending motions. At the hearing, the Court determined that numerous legal issues should be resolved before trial. The Court ordered the parties to meet, following the hearing, and prepare a list of issues. The parties prepared a list of ten legal issues, with subparts, to be addressed by the Court on summary judgment. The Court then met informally with the parties to set a briefing schedule for additional cross-motions for summary judgment. See Minute Entry, docket no. 602.

This matter now comes before the Court on cross-motions for summary judgment, docket nos. 718, 723, 726, and 732. The Court has reviewed the briefs, declarations, and materials submitted by the various represented and pro se parties. The Court heard oral argument on April 18, 2005, and took the matter under advisement. The Court being fully advised issued an Order dated May 20, 2005, docket no. 779.

Plaintiff Lummi Nation now seeks reconsideration of those aspects of the Court's Order of May 20, 2005, which referenced Skokomish Indian Tribe v. United States, 401 F.3d 979, 989-90 (9th Cir.2005) (en banc), amended, 410 F.3d 506 (9th Cir.2005), on the ground that the sections referenced in the Order have been withdrawn. See Lummi Motion for Reconsideration, docket no. 780. Plaintiff United States also moves to reconsider and/or clarify, docket no. 781. The State of Washington, Department of Ecology, also moves the Court to revise its prior Order in light of the Skokomish revised Order. See Ecology Response, docket no. 789. The Defendant Homeowners and Water Associations also contend the Court should amend its Order in light of the Skokomish decision. See Homeowner & Water Association Response, docket no. 786. The Court has also reviewed the Pro Se Response, docket no. 787.

The Court GRANTS the Motions to Reconsider, dockets no. 780 and 781. The Court now being fully advised amends and clarifies its prior Order, in light of the Skokomish decision.

II. BACKGROUND

The Lummi Indian Reservation was established in 1855 by the Treaty of Point Elliott (the "Treaty"). 12 Stat. 927. Article II of the Treaty "reserved for the present use and occupation" of the Lummi Nation the land comprising the Reservation and its resources. Id. at 928. The Treaty reserved the island of Cha-Cho-Sen (now known as the Lummi Peninsula) for the exclusive use of the Lummi Nation. At the time of the Treaty, the Lummi people numbered about 500. See Kennedy Decl., docket no. 219, Ex. 5 at 433. The Lummi Tribe lived mostly in the San Juan Islands and Bellingham Bay areas. United States v. Washington, 384 F.Supp. 312, 360-63 (W.D.Wash.1974).

The Treaty of Point Elliott was one of a number of treaties negotiated by Isaac Stevens, the first governor of the Washington Territory. See Friday Decl., docket no. 733, Ex. 4, at 10 (Response to Richards' Report). The purpose of these treaties was to "extinguish Indian claims to the land in Washington Territory and provide for peaceful and compatible coexistence of Indians and...

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