Still No Water for the Woods

Still No Water for the Woods
As the Fairfax and Tarlock article pointed out, and as most everyone who lives in the Western United States knows, in the West, the availability of water determines the value of land.6 Given the importance of water to the value of land, it is timely today to take a look at the protections available to water on National Forest System (“NFS”) lands and to see how well the water resources on federal lands have been protected in our legal and judicial systems.
This paper will examine the federal government's track record in protecting aquatic resources on federally reserved lands in the West,using lands administered by the Forest Service as an example.8 It will look at how the Forest Service has fared in securing instream flows on NFS lands under the implied federal reserved water rights doctrine,9 state appropriate water laws, federal land management statutes, and the Endangered Species Act.10
Begin Date
Originator Name
Lois G. Witte,
ALI-ABA Federal Lands Law Conference
October 19, 2001
Salt Lake City, Utah
Ordering Information
Stream Systems Technology Center USDA, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 2150 Centre Ave, Bldg. A, Suite 368, Fort Collins, CO 80526. Email us at
Endangered Species Act, Forest, Water supply
Resource Type
Update Frequency
None Planned
Resource Owner

To the owner of Still No Water for the Woods

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