Supreme Court Allows Significant Watershed Restoration Decision to Stand

With a split decision announced on June 11, 2018 the U.S. Supreme court lets stand a ruling in the Washington v. United States ‘culvert’ case that has immediate impact for stream restorations in the State of Washington and potential long term implications for watershed protection in Colorado and the nation.  In commitments made by the U.S. in the 1850s in treaties with tribal nations salmon fishing rights were established and then reaffirmed in federal cases in the 1970s.  The affirmed ruling requires the State of Washington to repair salmon access and habitat that is degraded by 900+ road culverts.  The anticipated cost is in excess of $2.4B.  The implications for other watersheds, the Public Trust Doctrine and Rights of Nature arguments are still being evaluated.