By Northwest Property Owners Alliance
The Idaho Supreme Court ruled on the appeal by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe.
Here is a summary of our win at the Idaho Supreme Court from our Attorney Norman Semanko on our water right Appeal decision.
“The Idaho Supreme Court issued its decision regarding the Coeur D’Alene Tribe’s water right claims in the North Idaho Adjudication on September 5. Here are the three major points from the Court’s decision:
(1) The tribe has no federal reserved water rights for lake levels and does not control the entire lake. The Court rejected the argument that tribe should be able to control the entirety of the lake due to its ownership of a “small fraction” of the submerged lands in the lake. This is critically important.
(2) The tribe has no federal reserved water rights outside the current boundaries of the reservation. Again, this is very important. Note here that this issue was decided on a 3-2 vote. The two Justices in the minority on this issue would have recognized certain tribal claims outside of the reservation. Fortunately, the other three Justices supported our position.
(3) The tribe has no federal reserved water rights for industrial or commercial purposes. The only rights recognized are for domestic, agriculture, fishing and hunting, gathering and ceremonial uses – and those will need to be quantified by the Adjudication Court on remand, using the strict “test of necessity.”
THANK YOU to those of you that filed to be objectors. Thank you to Norm Semanko for representing us in court. Thank you to everyone for your support.