(Continued): What is the Public Trust and how does it affect beach access in Fairfield?
Gracie: graceful, affable... emissary of joy
6] ORIGINS & HISTORY OF THE PUBLIC TRUST DOCTRINE (PART III)
Court rulings at both the federal and state levels— and legislation including the relatively recent federal Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Act and Environmental Protection Act— adjoined hunting to the scope of the Public Trust doctrine.More recently, courts have added swimming, recreational boating, and preservation of lands (in their naturalstatus) in order to protect scenic and wildlife habitat values as codified elements of the trust.
Of contemporary developments, the definition of the doctrine has been further refined by the California courts, as providing the public the right to use water resources (additionally) for: commerce, environmental preservation and recreation, as ecological units for scientific study, as open space, as environments which provide food and habitats for birds and marine life; and as environments which favorably affect the aesthetic characteristics (scenery)
and climate of the area.
Rufio & Oreo: dapper duo
In 1983 the California Supreme Court established the effect of the Public Trust Doctrine for consumptive water resources rights in National Audubon Society v. Superior Court of Alpine County, (33 C3rd 419: the “Mono Lake Case”).The court opined that the State has an “affirmative duty to take the public trust into account” in making decisions affecting public trust resources, and a further duty of continuing supervision over these resources which allows and may require modification of such decisions (see below: “Duties of Trustees”).Summoning protective measures against actions that would degrade the trust resource (the waterway), a New York State Court wrote “The entire ecological system supporting the waterways is an integral part of them and must necessarily be included within the purview of the trust.”
A state court in Iowa observed that the Public Trust Doctrine had “emerged from the watery depths (of navigable waters) to embrace the dry sand area of a beach, rural parklands, a historic battlefield, wildlife, archeological remains, and even a downtown area.”On Earth Day (22 April 1998), the New York State Supreme Court, (Suffolk County: W.J.F Realty Corporation and Reed Rubin v. the State of New York) upheld the Long Island Pine Barrens Protection Act against a “regulatory takings challenge” by relying on the Public Trust Doctrine. The Act is a comprehensive planning law that established a 50,000 acre protected preserve surrounded by a 50,000 acre managed growth area in Long Island. In its opinion, the court examined the concept of common law thoroughly, concluding that “… the Common Law did speak on the subject of environmental regulation.”
Plaintiffs contended that the Act amounted to a de facto appropriation (taking) of private properties for public use without compensation, in violation of 5th Amendment Federal and State “due process.” A regulatory taking objection asserts that a (state) regulation over-reaches, by restricting the use of the land, and denying a landowner all economically viable uses. (A “categorical taking” refers to situations when government physically occupies a property, and under the rule of eminent domain this requires fair market value compensation. See also:Nollan v. California Coastal Commission, 483 U.S. 825, 97 L. Ed.2d 677; and Dolan v. City of Tigard, Oregon, 512 U.S. 687 (1994).)
Sophie: shaking off some mirth!
More recently, the significance of the Public Trust Doctrine can be seen in its application by state and federal administrative and natural resource management agencies that are charged with responsibility for protecting public health, safety, and welfare; and prevention/limiting of flooding, erosion, and water pollution. The doctrine requires state government to exercise its responsibilities to protect the trust when making decisions about allocating resources to private uses: if it fails to do so, this may result in the reversal of a decision, even years later and without mitigation of costs or losses, (Bingham and Gould, 1992). Generally at the forefront of discourse on this issue, California courts have held a requirement to integrate—rather than choose—between the trust, and the state’s (competing or mitigating) “reasonable use doctrine” for the general public welfare.
ENDNOTES (this page):  Bray, Paul M., An Introduction to the Public Trust Doctrine, Government Law Center, Albany Law School, 80 New Scotland Ave., Albany, New York 12208.
Abel: racing to join the fray...
 Duties of Trustees. In locales where it applies, the Public Trust Doctrine creates a duty of administrative (supervisory) control over the waters of navigable streams, their non-navigable tributaries, and fishery and wildlife resources.As discussed above, trust purposes and obligations have been extended to land resources.Though these waters are broadly appropriated for drinking, industrial, agricultural supply, or other regulatory uses, the doctrine requires that harm to trust purposes be prevented or minimized whenever feasible.Water rights or other regulatory approvals for private uses cannot be vested in a manner harmful to these purposes, and no private uses are grandfathered against continuing supervision.
In the Mono Lake case, The California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) had unconditionally granted appropriation rights of all flows of the non-navigable tributaries to Mono Lake (a terminal lake on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada in CA) to the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) in 1941.The SWRCB based its granting of these rights on its interpretation that the California Water Code did not authorize any mitigation of foreseeable harm to environmental quality.
Enzo: hot pursuit...
However, after 42 years of exploitation, the water quality and level of the lake had declined to an extent that invertebrate, migratory waterfowl, and fish habitats in tributary streams had suffered immensely, becoming “dry washes.” Fearing further loss, in 1979, the National Audubon Society, Friends of the Earth, the Sierra Club, and the Mono Lake Committee sued the city to halt the export of water: citing stipulations of the public trust doctrine.
In 1983 (see: above), the California Supreme Court held that LADWP’s rights remained subject to review and amendment under fiduciary charge of the doctrine.The court mandated that the SWRCB undertake an objective review to determine whether the trust purposes of the lake and tributaries could be restored and protected; and if such restoration would harmonize with LADWP’s legitimate need to provide water supply. Later, the SWRCB determined it was necessary to reduce LADWP’s water diversions from the lake tributaries by 75%, in order to raise and maintain the lake to a level sufficient to protect waterfowl and other affected species.
Numerous court cases followed for more than a decade, as the antagonists debated the extent and nature of Los Angeles’s water rights. Meanwhile, the water level in the lake continued to drop, and riparian/aquatic habitats remained unrestored. The LADWP estimated that it had spent nearly $12 million on legal and consultancy fees by 1991. In 1994, the state halted any further withdrawal of water from the Mono Basin for 20 years: presumably until the lake reached a targeted level. The LADWP estimated the value of the lost water and hydroelectric power to be nearly $36 million annually, with the costs borne by Los Angeles. The ruling invigorated advocacy groups to move aggressively to extend the public trust to other areas and uses.
Tanner: the quiet observer...
In City of Waterbury v. Town of Washington No. X01-UWY-CV97-140886 (2000), registration of the City of Waterbury, CT’s 70-year old water diversion program under Connecticut’s 1982 Water Diversion Act was challenged.The diversion significantly diminished natural flows, adversely affecting aquatic biota and recreation in the Shepaug River.The court held that the CT Environmental Protection Act prohibited long-term diversion at a level that impaired the Shepaug River when prudent and viable alternatives existed.CT Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, stated “. . . the decision is important because it explicitly recognizes that a river is an important and protected natural resource, regardless of its commercial value,and that neither older laws nor older contracts can
take precedence over our broad
environmental protection laws.”
This essay is written for informational purposes, not as legal scholarship, researched from publicly available sources and government documents.
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Lulu: "Who's just arrived?"
Around the turn of the 19th century, a warm attitude toward dogs spread through all classes of society. Although dogs continued to perform essential economic functions, they were now thought of primarily as companions. It became generally acceptable to express deep affections for one’s dog and to glorify the virtues of the whole species, sometimes with a sentimentality that would have been dismissed as absurd in earlier periods.
Robert Southey’s “On the Death of a Favorite Spaniel” (1796) illustrates the new non-utilitarian view of dogs. Phillis’s sight and hearing were dim; she was certainly no use in the field or, one might argue, anywhere else. So while Southey was away, leaving no one to plead “For the old age of brute fidelity,” she was drowned. This was the traditional practice for superannuated dogs, yet Sothey protests it as he would similar treatment of a person. Had he been home, he would have pleaded earnestly for her, for he remembers her from his boyhood. Still, though he deploys her execution, he consoles himself with the asurance that she has gone to a better world.
—Katherine Rogers: (Dogs in the Nineteeth Century) First Friend, a History of Dogs and Humans
On The Death Of A Favourite Old Spaniel “And they have drown'd thee then at last! Poor Phillis! The burthen of old age was heavy on thee. And yet thou should'st have lived! What tho' thine eye was dim,
and watch'd no more with eager joy the wonted call that on thy dull sense sunk with fruitless repetition,
the warm sun would still have cheer'd thy slumber, thou didst love to lick the hand that fed thee,
and tho' past youth's active season, even life itself was comfort.
Poor old friend! most earnestly would I have pleaded for thee: thou hadst been still the companion of my childish sports, and, as I roam'd o'er Avon's woody clifts, from many a day-dream has thy short quick bark recall'd my wandering soul.
I have beguil'd often the melancholy hours at school, sour'd by some little tyrant, with the thought of distant home,
and I remember'd then thy faithful fondness: for not mean the joy, returning at the pleasant holydays, I felt from thy dumb welcome.
Jackson: "How long do I have to 'stay'?"
Pensively sometimes have I remark'd
thy slow decay, Feeling myself changed too, and musing much on many a sad vicissitude of life! Ah poor companion!
When thou followedst last thy master's parting footsteps to the gate that clos'd for ever on him, thou didst lose thy truest friend, and none was left to plead for the old age of brute fidelity!
But fare thee well! mine is no narrow creed, And HE who gave thee being did not frame the mystery of life to be the sport of merciless man!
There is another world for all that live and move— a better one!
Where the proud bipeds, who would fain confine ININITE GOODNESS to the little bounds of their own charity,
You can brighten the long, lonely day of a needy dog:consider volunteering at a shelter. Your used but servicable linens, towels, bathmats, or cushions can provide comfort while he waits. Need help affording veterinary care? click HERE • Find low-cost spay neuter services: click HERE
Food & Safety Recalls/FDA Advisories for Dog Foods: click HERE
To think about: American taxpayers spend more than $1 billion annually to fund municipal animal shelters.
In those facilities, 14,000 animals are killed each day, often brutally: even in archaic gas chambers...
many within merely hours of their arrival: why are they called shelters?