Mineral County, Nevada and Walker Lake Working Group Sean A.
Rowe Mineral County District Attorney
M. Herskovits Advocates for Community & Environment
Attorneys for Mineral County, Nevada and Walker Lake Working
County, Nevada et al. (Centennial Livestock, Bridgeport
Ranchers and the Schroeder Group) Stephen B. Rye, District
County Attorney for Lyon County
M. Snyder Attorney for Lyon County
Roderick E. Walston Steven G. Martin Best Best & Krieger
LLP Attorneys for Centennial Livestock
Therese A. Ure Schroeder Law Offices, P.C. Attorney for the
Schroeder Group Walker River Irrigation District Gordon H.
DePaoli Dale E. Ferguson Woodburn and Wedge Attorneys for
Walker River Irrigation District Nevada Department of
Paul Laxalt, Attorney General Bryan L. Stockton, Senior
Deputy Attorney General Attorneys for Nevada Department of
Wildlife County of Mono, California
Simon, Acting County Counsel Stephen M. Kerins, Deputy County
Counsel Office of the County Counsel Attorneys for County of
Before: A. Wallace Tashima, Raymond C. Fisher and Jay S.
Bybee, Circuit Judges.
CERTIFYING A QUESTION TO THE SUPREME COURT OF NEVADA
appeal raising issues pertaining to Nevada state water law,
the panel certified to the Supreme Court of Nevada the
Does the public trust doctrine apply to rights already
adjudicated and settled under the doctrine of prior
appropriation and, if so, to what extent?
light of its decision to certify the issue, the panel
withdrew submission of this appeal for decision, and stayed
all further proceedings in this case pending final action by
the Supreme Court of Nevada, save for any petition for
rehearing regarding this order or a concurrently filed
Bybee, United States Circuit Judge, Presiding
to Rule 5 of the Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure, we
respectfully certify to the Supreme Court of Nevada the
question of law set forth in Section III of this order. The
answer to the certified question may determine an issue
pending before this court and its resolution will have
significant implications for Nevada state water law. There is
no clearly controlling precedent in the decisions of the
Nevada Supreme Court.
Mineral County's public trust claim for the reallocation
of the waters of Walker River and the Takings Clause claim in
abeyance pending the result of certification.
circumstances here are virtually identical to those that led
to the Nevada Supreme Court's decision in Mineral
County v. Nevada Department of Conservation & Natural
Resources, 20 P.3d 800, 802-05 (Nev. 2001), in which
Mineral County and the Walker Lake Working Group (the
"Working Group") brought essentially the same suit
as this one. In Mineral County, the Nevada Supreme
Court ultimately declined to exercise jurisdiction in light
of the federal district court's continuing and exclusive