Author:Totland, Colton M.

I am proud to present the 2017-2018 Ninth Circuit Environmental Review. This review contains twenty-three summaries of decisions by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, opinions issued between January 2017 and January 2018, in cases that impact natural resources and the environment. This review also contains two chapters authored by Ninth Circuit Review members that more deeply explore legal issues affecting the Ninth Circuit.

In the first chapter, Zeslie Zaban examines the water rights of Native American tribes under the Winters Doctrine in light of the Ninth Circuit's recent decision to extend these rights to groundwater sources. After tracing the origins of the Winters Doctrine, this chapter summarizes two different applications of the doctrine to groundwater by state supreme courts. This chapter concludes by arguing that, should this issue ever reach the United States Supreme Court, the Court would be inclined to follow the approach taken by the Ninth Circuit this past year--though whether this would result in an unequivocal right to groundwater for tribes remains uncertain.

In the second chapter, Elias Kohn examines the abundance and variety of wildfire litigation and how these cases in turn shape wildfire management. This chapter argues that fire suppression, in addition to...

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