Superior Court >General Stream Adjudication >Adjudication Bulletin

Arizona General Stream Adjudication Bulletin
Vol. 16, No. 3
September-December 2008

Welcome to the Online Arizona General Stream Adjudication Bulletin

The Bulletin is published three times a year by the Office of the Special Master to provide information about proceedings in the Gila River Adjudication and the Little Colorado River Adjudication.

Departments:

Calendar
Archive

Office of the Special Master
Maricopa Superior Court
Central Court Building 5B
201 West Jefferson
Phoenix, AZ 85003-2205
Tel. 602-372-4115

The Bulletin relies on links as we believe that making a copy of the entire document available to our readers is better than a short summary. Always check our What's New page for up-to-date notices and documents.

Judge Allen G. Minker
(September 17, 1945 - September 25, 2008)

Judge Allen G. Minker, who presided in the Little Colorado River Adjudication for twelve years, passed away on September 25, 2008. On January 20, 1986, the Arizona Supreme Court appointed Judge Minker to preside over the Adjudication which he did with impressive patience, deliberation, and intellect. Even after moving to California, Judge Minker was interested in the Adjudication. He enjoyed hearing what was happening and encouraged progress.

His brother Jeffrey, an attorney in Tucson, wrote the following as part of the obituary: "Judge Minker graduated from Stanford University, served in the armed forces during the Vietnam Era, and briefly studied journalism before getting his law degree from the University of San Diego in 1973. He moved to Arizona, where he earned the highest score on the 1974 State Bar exam. As a lawyer he handled both civil and criminal litigation.

In 1985, Allen was appointed Superior Court judge for Greenlee County. In addition to his duties as Superior Court judge, Allen served on the state Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals and wrote several published opinions. He also served as tribal judge from time to time for the White Mountain Apache Tribe, whose council had requested his assistance.

While serving on the bench in Arizona, Allen continued to pursue his lifelong interest in state and national history. He provided leadership for the Greenlee County Historical Society, spearheading its successful campaign in 1997 to preserve and restore the historic county courthouse (c. 1911) in Clifton. He also served as a consultant for textbooks and other publications on California and Native American history.

Allen was a man of strong character and deep wisdom. His mind was that of a philosopher - eagerly open to new ideas, cautiously critical of easy answers, and ever mindful of the need for careful reflection and review. His sense of humor was finely tuned and easily present. He was warm hearted and consistently loyal to those whom he loved; he maintained friendships that endured. Above all, he was a man of abiding compassion with a profound love of life."

Arizona Supreme Court Interlocutory Appeals

In re Proposed Gila River Indian Community Water Rights Settlement, Interlocutory Appeals No. WC-07-0001-IR and WC-07-0003-IR (Contested Case No. W1-207), Gila River Adjudication: These appeals involve the petitions for interlocutory review filed by the Apache Tribes (San Carlos Apache Tribe, Yavapai-Apache Nation, and Tonto Apache Tribe), the Lower Gila Water Users, and ASARCO LLC which seek review of the Superior Court's approval of the settlement agreement.

On September 25, 2008, the Supreme Court granted a motion for clarification of its August 15, 2008, order to provide that in both WC-07-0001-IR and WC-07-0003-IR other respondents involved in these appeals may file responses to the petitions. The Court also ruled that a motion concerning the scheduling of oral argument and additional briefing was moot.

On October 9, 2008, the Court granted similar motions in both appeals and extended the times to file opening briefs, responses, and replies. On December 15, 2008, the Court granted similar motions in both appeals and extended the time to file responses and replies. The Court allowed the San Carlos Apache Tribe and the Tonto Apache Tribe to file a corrected opening brief. The Court will announce the date and time of oral argument after the completion of the briefing.

Joint Hearing on Department Funding, Staffing and Work

The Bella Vista Water Company, Inc., Pueblo Del Sol Water Company, City of Sierra Vista, and the Salt River Project filed comments to the report that the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) filed on July 11, 2007. On October 15, 2008, ADWR filed a memorandum responding to the comments and setting forth its views as to the completion of an updated hydrographic survey report (HSR) for the entire San Pedro River Watershed.

ADWR believes that five steps must be undertaken in order to update the 1991 San Pedro Final River Watershed Hydrographic Survey Report. These are (1) mapping the subflow zone for the San Pedro River, (2) preparing water right abstracts for existing and new de minimis uses, (3) preparing watershed file reports (WFRs) for new uses with recommended water rights abstracts, (4) conducting cone of depression tests for existing and new wells, and (5) updating existing WFRs with new information and recommended water rights abstracts. The "Department believes that some of these steps should be done for the entire watershed, while others could be done on a subwatershed basis."

The Court has not indicated when it will consider the memorandum report. At press time, discussion was ensuing regarding a meeting of the Court and ADWR's Director.

Court Approved Mailing Lists

The mailing lists posted online are updated as changes occur. Although the list date remains the same, the posted lists contain all changes. Changes are promptly posted on the Special Master's Web site in the What's New page under Recent Address Changes.

The corporate name of Phelps Dodge Corporation has changed to Freeport-McMoRan Corporation.

Little Colorado River Adjudication

Hopi Tribe Claimed Rights to Off-Reservation Surface Water: The Court held oral argument on the issue of whether the United States and the Hopi Tribe "are precluded from claiming a right to water from surface streams that are located within the Little Colorado River Basin, but do not traverse any part of the Hopi Reservation." On December 15, 2008, the United States and the Hopi Tribe filed responsive memoranda to the supplemental brief filed by the Salt River Project. The issue presented in these briefs is whether an Indian reservation must be physically in contact with a water source in order to obtain a reserved water right in the source. A decision is pending.

In re Hopi Tribe Priority: The Special Master commenced a contested case to resolve a question referred by the Court. The issue is "whether the claims to water rights asserted by, or on behalf of the Hopi Tribe in this adjudication have a priority of 'time immemorial' or are otherwise senior to the claims of all other claimants." After considering comments from the parties, the Special Master designated seven issues for briefing and set timelines for disclosure statements, discovery, and motions. On October 31, 2008, the Special Master extended the date for exchange of expert reports and modified the Disclosure Input Form to be used with the electronic data base for disclosure statements.

Gila River Adjudication

In re Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness Area: The Special Master requested a report from the United States and comments from claimants in the San Pedro River Watershed concerning organizing a new contested case for the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness Area. The United States claims a federal reserved water right for numerous uses inside the wilderness area that comprises approximately 20,000 acres of land located southeast of Winkelman, Arizona.

The Hydrographic Survey Report (HSR) for the San Pedro River Watershed reports the technical findings of the Arizona Department of Water Resources in Watershed File Report (WFR) No. 115-05-019. The report provides some of the history of the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness Area, and the WFR identifies water rights filings, made by the United States and private persons, associated with water uses inside the wilderness area. The San Pedro HSR's summary of "potential water rights" lists 18 stockponds (each having an estimated volume of less than or equal to 15 acre-feet), one instream right for stockwatering and wildlife uses from Aravaipa Creek, and nine springs for wildlife watering uses.

Because the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness Area involves a federal reserved water rights claim, appears to concern primarily surface water, and involves stockponds, the Special Master wants to consider whether it is feasible to consolidate certain objections for resolution in a new contested case.

In re San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area: The Special Master held oral argument on the initial issues set for briefing. ASARCO LLC, Bella Vista Water Company, Inc., Freeport-McMoRan Corporation, Pueblo Del Sol Water Company, Salt River Project, City of Sierra Vista, and the United States presented argument. A decision is pending.

In re Fort Huachuca: ASARCO LLC, Arizona Water Company, Bella Vista Water Company, Inc., Freeport-McMoRan Corporation, Pueblo Del Sol Water Company, City of Sierra Vista, and the United States filed objections and responses to the Special Master's report. The Court has not set a hearing to consider them. The Special Master found that certain areas of the fort, but not others, may hold federal reserved water rights.

In re PWR 107 Claims: The Special Master requested a status report from the San Carlos Apache Tribe concerning its Reservation's southwest boundary issue raised in this contested case. The resolution of the boundary issue has deferred the adjudication of federal reserved water rights claimed by the United States to sixteen springs.

In re Applications of Salt River Project for Injunctive Relief Re Respondents NBJ Ranch, L. P., Kovacovich Investment, L. P., and Wiertzema Family Trust: The applications involve claims to surface water rights, including subflow, in the Verde River Watershed. Pursuant to the stipulation of the parties, the Court set a new schedule leading to an evidentiary hearing in April 2009. Parties have exchanged expert witness reports and engaged in discovery. The Court granted the motion of Freeport-McMoRan Corporation, Arizona Public Service, and Roosevelt Water Conservation District to intervene in the evidentiary hearing.

Belsher Investments, L. P.'s Application for Injunctive Relief Re Respondent Michael L. Golder: This matter involves claims to surface water rights in the Upper Salt River Watershed. On December 1, 2008, the Court issued findings of fact, conclusions of law, and an injunction. The injunction prohibits Mr. Golder from blocking, diverting, or redirecting water from Greenback Creek or from an adjoining irrigation ditch for use in Golder Pond or on Mr. Golder's property, with an exception, and interfering with the use of water on the Belsher property.

Other News

Susan B. Montgomery and Robyn L. Interpreter have established their law firm Montgomery & Interpreter, P.L.C. They are counsel for the Yavapai-Apache Nation.

Patrick B. Sigl, who represented various State of Arizona agencies in both adjudications, has moved from the Attorney General's Office to the Salt River Project.

Giannina Franco, who was the Gila River Adjudication Deputy Clerk, took a new position as Human Resources Specialist at the Maricopa County Public Defender's Office. Giannina maintained the adjudication court files, prepared the monthly dockets, and answered inquiries. Her performance was exemplary.

Calendar

Link here to the calendar of proceedings.

Index
Arizona General Stream Adjudication Bulletin
January 2007 - December 2008

From the first issue in April 1993, through 1997, the Bulletin was published 10 times each year (monthly, except July and December). From January 1998 to July 2000, the Bulletin was published quarterly. After that time, printed editions were published for August-December 2000 and January-May 2001. The first online edition was dated June-August 2001. Subsequent issues will be published only online in January, May, and September (or more frequently as events warrant). All issues since October 1996 are available on our Web site; contact the Office of the Special Master for earlier issues.

Previous indexes are in the following issues: April 1995, April 1996, April-May 1997, April-July 1998, March-April 1999, April-July 2000, September-December 2001, September-December 2003, January-April 2005, and May-August 2007.

Arizona Supreme Court Interlocutory Appeals

In re the Preclusive Effect of the Globe Equity No. 59 Decree on Specified Parties,
Contested Case No. W1-206
January-April 2007

In re Proposed Gila River Indian Community Water Rights Settlement Agreement,
Contested Case No. W1-207
January-April 2007; May-August 2007; September-December 2007;
January-April 2008; May-August 2008, September-December 2008

In re Proposed Tohono O'odham Nation Water Rights Settlement, Contested Case
No. W1-208
May-August 2007; September-December 2007

In re Subflow Technical Report, San Pedro River Watershed, Contested Case No. W1-103
January-April 2007; May-August 2007

In re State Trust Lands, Contested Case No. W1-104 and 6417-100

September-December 2007; January-April 2008; May-August 2008

Little Colorado River Adjudication

Hopi Tribe Claimed Rights to Off-Reservation Surface Water
January-April 2008; May-August 2008; September-December 2008

In re Hopi Tribe Priority, Contested Case No. CV 6417-201
January-April 2008; May-August 2008; September-December 2008

Gila River Adjudication

Contested Case No. W1-205
May-August 2008

In re Proposed Gila River Indian Community Water Rights Settlement Agreement,
Contested Case No. W1-207
January-April 2007; May-August 2007; September-December 2007; January-April 2008

In re Proposed Tohono O'odham Nation Water Rights Settlement, Contested Case No. W1-208
January-April 2007; May-August 2007

In re San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, Contested Case No. W1-11-232
January-April 2007; May-August 2007; January-April 2008; May-August 2008;
September-December 2008

In re Fort Huachuca, Contested Case No. W1-11-605
January-April 2007; May-August 2007; September-December 2007;
January-April 2008; May-August 2008; September-December 2008

In re PWR 107 Claims, Contested Case No. W1-11-1174
January-April 2007; May-August 2007; September-December 2007;
January-April 2008; September-December 2008

In re Powers Garden Administrative Site, Contested Case No. W1-11-3423
September-December 2007; January-April 2008; May-August 2008

In re Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness Area
September-December 2008

Salt River Project's Applications for Injunctive Relief Re Respondents Henry M. Shill and Don H. Shill dba Shield Ranch, Inc.
January-April 2007

In re Applications of Salt River Project for Injunctive Relief Re Respondents NBJ Ranch, L. P., Kovacovich
Investment, L. P., and Wiertzema Family Trust
May-August 2007; September-December 2007; January-April 2008; May-August 2008; September-December 2008

Belcher Investments, L. P.'s Application for Injunctive Relief Re Respondent Michael L. Golder
May-August 2007; September-December 2007; January-April 2008; May-August 2008; September-December 2008

Other News

Joint Adjudications Hearing on Departmental Funding and Staffing
May-August 2007; September-December 2007; January-April 2008; May-August 2008; September-December 2008

Practice Tip-Court Approved Mailing Lists
January-April 2007

The Court Meets with Director Guenther
January-April 2007

Gila River Adjudication Monthly Dockets
January-April 2007

Integrated Court Information System
January-April 2007

Court Approved Mailing Lists
January-April 2008; May-August 2008; September-December 2008

Changes of Address
May-August 2007

Public Access to Gila River Adjudication Monthly Dockets
May-August 2008

Statements of Claimants
May-August 2008

Patti Connolly
January-April 2008

Joseph E. Clifford, Esq.
May-August 2008

Susan B. Montgomery and Robyn L. Interpreter
September-December 2008

Patrick B. Sigl
September-December 2008

Giannina Franco
September-December 2008

Site Requirements This site requires a PDF reader (such as Adobe Reader or another PDF reader) to view and print the prepared documents.
return to top