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United Statesl v. State

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

March 5, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
STATE OF WASHINGTON, et al., Defendants.

         Subproceeding No. 09-01

          ORDER REGARDING BOUNDARIES OF QUINAULT AND QUILEUTE U&As

          RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On July 9, 2015, the Court entered lengthy Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, determining that the western boundary of the Quinault Indian Nation's usual and accustomed fishing ground in the Pacific Ocean is 30 miles from shore, that the western boundary of the Quileute Tribe's usual and accustomed fishing ground in the Pacific Ocean is 40 miles offshore, and the northern boundary of the Quileute Tribe's usual and accustomed fishing ground is a line drawn westerly from Cape Alava. Dkt. #369. However, the Court also noted that it had not received evidence at trial specifying the longitudes associated with the U&A boundaries determined therein. Accordingly, in order to delineate the boundaries with certainty, the Court directed the parties and interested parties to brief the precise longitudinal coordinates associated with the boundaries set forth herein. Id. The Quileute, joined by the Quinault and Hoh Indian Tribes, submitted proposed longitudinal coordinates of its longitudinal boundaries. Dkts. #372, #374 and #376. The Makah proposed different longitudinal boundaries. Dkt. #377. The State of Washington also filed a response, generally concurring with the Makah, but proposing still different boundaries. Dkt. #381.

         In consideration of its prior Orders, the Court adopted the longitudinal and latitudinal boundaries proposed by the Quileute, Quinault and Hoh. Dkt. #394. The Court explained:

All parties agree that the latitude of Quileute's northern boundary at Cape Alava is 48°10'00” N. latitude, and that the longitude of Quileute's western boundary begins in the north at 125°44'00” W. The parties also agree that the latitude of Quinault's northern boundary is 47°40'06” N. latitude, and the longitude of Quinault's western boundary begins in the north at 125°08´30”W. The dispute is how the parties believe the Western boundary for the Quileute and Quinault should be demarcated as the line proceeds south. The Court agrees with the Quileute, Quinault and Hoh that the methodology applied by this Court in the Makah's prior ocean RFD, see U.S. v. Washington, 626 F.Supp. 1405, 1467 (W.D. Wash. 1985), is the appropriate method to use in the instant case. The Court finds that equity and fairness demand the same methodology for delineating the boundary at issue here, and agrees that it is the status quo method of delineating U&A ocean boundaries by this Court.

Dkt. #394 at 2. Accordingly, the Court found that:

         1. Quileute's usual and accustomed ocean fishing boundaries are:

a. Northern boundary: 48°10'00” N. latitude (Cape Alava).
b. Western boundary: 125°44'00” W. longitude.
c. Southern boundary: 47°3'70” N. latitude (Queets River).

         2. Quinault's usual and accustomed western fishing boundary as determined by the Court is 30 nautical miles offshore at longitude 125°08'30” W. and runs in a straight line running north to south between Quinault's northern boundary (47°40'06” N. latitude) and its southern boundary (46°53'18” N. latitude). Quinault's ocean U&A is:

a. Northern boundary: 47°40'06” N. latitude.
b. Western boundary: 125°08'30” W. longitude.
c. Southern boundary: 46°53'18” N. latitude. ...

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