This time appealing to the full panel of the 9th Circuit, the state of Washington has again challenged treaty rights in court.
The state of Washington urged the Ninth Circuit on Thursday to reconsider its decision that the state must replace roughly 1,000 culverts to protect tribal salmon fishing rights, saying the state would be forced to spend billions of dollars to remedy culverts that were designed by the federal government and often don’t need replacing anyway.
In asking the circuit court for a panel rehearing or rehearing en banc, the state said that the federal government should pay for some of the culvert replacement because it was responsible for designing almost all the culverts at issue, and that the state would have to replace many culverts that don’t affect salmon because federal culverts block salmon either upstream or downstream.
One tribal attorney weighed in on the continuing case:
Mason D. Morisset, who represents the Tulalip Tribes in the case, said he was “disappointed” the state continues to file appeals in the litigation, but added “we’re confident that there won’t be any major changes in the ruling of the court on this matter.”
The appeal court’s entire decision from June is available here.