Law Seminars International Presents:

The Fourth Annual Comprehensive Conference on

Tribal Water in Arizona

Major new developments for Indian water rights policy, regulations, and settlement processes

February 9 & 10, 2017

Phoenix, AZ

Download PDF Brochure
Phoenix - AZ


Who Should Order

Attorneys, Tribal, local, state and federal governmental representatives, environmental professionals, industry executives, water users and their representatives

Why You Should Order

Tribal lands make up a significant portion of the southwestern landscape, so it is no surprise that Tribal water rights are an important consideration for water planning and resource allocation throughout the region. This includes ongoing State general stream adjudications, which must address both federal reserved water rights for Tribal Reservations and water rights established by Tribes under state law.

Tribal water settlements, as an important vehicle for resolving disputes among stakeholders, must address water infrastructure and delivery challenges for both Indian and non-Indian communities. The issues can be very complex due to regional water scarcity and the need to reconcile federal environmental law with Tribal and private water use. Implementation requires a cooperative effort to obtain enactment of water settlement legislation that typically must include some federal funding to make the agreement work.

This Conference will present a comprehensive and current overview of the legal and practical issues impacting Tribal water rights and the development of Tribal water projects. It is particularly timely as we transition to a Trump administration with the attendant uncertainty at the federal level. We hope you'll be able to join us for a lively and informative discussion.

Program Co-Chairs: Cynthia M. Chandley, Esq., Snell & Wilmer LLP and Steven J.W. Heeley, Esq., Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

What You Will Learn

  • ~What the precipitation forecast tells us about water supplies moving forward
  • ~The science of how ground and surface water flows interact
  • ~Lessons from the evolution of Indian water rights settlements
  • ~Policy options for resolving tensions between conjunctive management of Tribes and States
  • ~Quantification of Indian water rights
  • ~The impact of Clean Water Act regulations on Tribal water
  • ~Drafting Tribal water codes
  • ~Standing Rock Sioux vs. Energy Transfer Partners
  • ~Post-election shifts in federal Tribal Policy
  • ~Pending Tribal/state water settlements
  • ~Roles of the DOI and OMB
  • ~Tips from the trenches for working on settlement issues

What Attendees Said

  • Very informative and entertaining!
  • Thanks for organizing this great conference!
  • I'm new to water issues so the conference was helpful in identifying what they are.
  • Good presentations, enjoyed all info!

Agenda Day 1

Thursday, February 09, 2017

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Introduction & Overview

Cynthia M. Chandley, Esq. , VP and General Counsel
CMOC International / Phoenix, AZ

Steven J. W. Heeley, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP / Phoenix, AZ

8:45 am

Water Supplies: Update on the Long Range Regional Precipitation Forecast for the Southwest

Ongoing development of forecasting science: What does it tell us about water supplies for the near and long term future?

Nancy J. Selover, Ph.D. , State Climatologist
Office of Climatology - Arizona State University / Tempe, AZ

9:30 am

Conjunctive Management: The Science

The scientific reality of ground and surface water flows: How they interact and the implications for designing effective water management policies

Peter A. Mock, Ph.D., R.G. , President and Principal Hydrologist/Geologist/Environmental Scientist
Peter Mock Groundwater Consulting, Inc. / Paradise Valley, AZ

10:15 am


10:30 am

Conjunctive Management: Policy Options for Resolving Tensions between Conjunctive Management of Tribal Water and States with Separate Ground and Surface Water Regimes

Overview of the regulatory regimes for ground and surface water in the southwestern states

Rita P. Maguire, Esq. , Moderator
Maguire Pearce & Storey PLLC / Phoenix, AZ

Lessons learned from the evolution of Indian water rights settlements in New Mexico

D. L. Sanders, Esq.
DL Sanders LLC: Water in New Mexico / Santa Fe, NM

Tribal perspective on issues at the intersection of state and Tribal management

C. Eugene Franzoy, P.E.
Franzoy Consulting, Inc. / Peoria, AZ

The dichotomy of influence between states and Tribes on the Colorado River

Margaret J. Vick, Ph.D, Esq. , Attorney
Havasupai Tribe / Tempe, AZ

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

Quantification of Indian Water Rights

What it takes to make your case

Joe Ely , Director of Indian Project Development
Stetson Engineers Inc. / Chandler, AZ

2:00 pm

Waters of the US

Clean Water Act regulations: litigation update; likely Trump administration policy changes; implications for Tribal water use and management

Christopher W. Payne, Esq.
Snell & Wilmer LLP / Phoenix, AZ

Linus Everling, Esq. , General Counsel
Gila River Reservation / Sacaton, AZ

3:00 pm


3:15 pm

Drafting Tribal Water Codes

Processes and criteria for a workable code

Jason T. Hauter, Esq.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP / Washington, DC

4:00 pm

Standing Rock Sioux vs. Energy Transfer Partners (Dakota Access Pipeline)

A case study of the political dynamics of the consultation requirements for projects with a potential impact on Tribal water quality and cultural sites: To what extent do we need nationwide reform with respect to these types of infrastructure projects?

Patrick J. Cunningham, Esq.
The Law Office of Patrick J. Cunningham LLC / Scottsdale, AZ

Cody Two Bears
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe / Fort Yates, ND

5:00 pm

Continue the Exchange of Ideas: Reception for Faculty and Attendees

Sponsored by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Agenda Day 2

Friday, February 10, 2017

8:30 am

Post-Election Shifts in Federal Tribal Water Policy

Administrative branch: How the players are changing at key federal agencies

Jodi A. Gillette , Policy Advisor
Sonosky Chambers Sachse Endreson & Perry LLP / Washington, DC

Legislative branch: How the election is affecting committee structures in the House and Senate

Allison C. Binney, Esq.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP / Washington, DC

9:45 am

National Update on Tribal Water Rights Settlement Activities

Overview of pending Tribal/state water settlements

Michelle Bushman, Esq. , Legal Counsel
Western States Water Council / Salt Lake City, UT

10:30 am


10:45 am

Federal Criteria and Procedures for Indian Water Rights Settlements and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Funding under the Bishop Letter

Roles of the Department of the Interior (DOI), Department of Justice (DOJ), and OMB; the working relationship among the agencies; current OMB restrictions on funding; prospects to changes to the Bishop letter; new administration's policy priorities

Donald J. Simon, Esq.
Sonosky Chambers Sachse Endreson & Perry LLP / Washington, DC

11:30 am

Tips from the Trenches for Working with the Federal Government on Settlement Issues

L. Michael Bogert, Esq.
Parsons Behle & Latimer / Boise, ID

John B. Weldon, Jr., Esq.
Salmon, Lewis & Weldon, PLC / Phoenix, AZ

John C. Bezdek, Esq. , Counsel
Dentons / Washington, DC

12:30 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Cynthia M. Chandley, Cynthia M. Chandley, Program Co-Chair, is Vice President and General Counsel of CMOC International. She focuses on water, mining, natural resources, energy and environmental law as part of the firm's Natural Resources practice group. She has experience representing both large private claimants and governmental agencies in Arizona's General Stream Adjudication.

Steven J.W. Heeley, Steven J.W. Heeley, Program Co-Chair, is a consultant at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. He focuses on policy and regulation and American Indian law and policy. He advises Tribes on corporate, transactional and natural resources matters, as well as Tribal governance and jurisdictional issues.

Rita P. Maguire, Rita P. Maguire, Moderator, is the founder of Maguire, Pearce & Storey, PLLC. She is experienced in water, environmental and administrative law in Arizona. Previously, she was the founding President and CEO of the Arizona Center for Public Policy and Director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources.

John C. Bezdek is a member of Dentons' Public Policy and Regulation practice and Native American Law and Policy practice. He brings to clients more than 20 years' experience establishing programs and policies that affect water rights quantification and water resources management in the western United States.

Allison C. Binney Allison C. Binney is a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. She advises clients regarding American Indian law and policy. Previously, she served as Staff Director and Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and before that, as General Counsel to the Committee.

L. Michael Bogert L. Michael Bogert is the managing shareholder at Parsons Behle & Latimer's D.C. Office. He is the former Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Region 10 office, former Counselor to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and was Gov. Kempthorne's principal legal advisor.

Michelle Bushman Michelle Bushman serves as Legal Counsel for the Western States Water Council. She focuses on water law, public policy, and government relations, working with state water administrators appointed by 18 Western governors to address water challenges in the West.

Patrick J. Cunningham, Patrick J. Cunningham, The Law Office of Patrick J. Cunningham, LLC, provides environmental compliance and permitting advice, general corporate and business representation, and government affairs assistance to individuals and businesses. He is also General Counsel to HighGround Public Affairs Consultants.

Joe Ely serves as Tribal Project Coordinator and Director of Indian Project Development with Stetson Engineers Inc. He is the former Tribal Chairman of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, and is experienced in Indian water rights quantification and establishment.

Linus Everling Linus Everling is General Counsel at the Gila River Indian Community. He is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Tribe, Belcourt, North Dakota.

C. Eugene Franzoy, P.E, C. Eugene Franzoy, P.E, Franzoy Consulting, Inc., provides technical services to clients, including state and local governments, Tribes, private industry, and to clients in negotiation and litigation of complex water rights cases.

Jodi A. Gillette Jodi A. Gillette (Hunkpapa and Oglala Lakota) is a Policy Advisor for Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP. Previously, she served President Barack Obama from 2009-2015 as the Special Assistant to the President for Native American Affairs in the White House Domestic Policy Council.

Jason T. Hauter Jason T. Hauter is Senior Counsel at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. He advises clients regarding American Indian law and policy. Previously, he was in-house counsel for the Gila River Indian Community, representing the community on economic development, construction, taxation and internal policy.

Peter A. Mock, Ph.D., R.G. Peter A. Mock, Ph.D., R.G. is President and Principal Hydrologist, Geologist and Environmental Scientist at Peter Mock Groundwater Consulting, Inc. He has worked on challenges in hydrologic science, including groundwater-surface water interaction, the Gila River Adjudication and Tribal water rights.

Christopher W. Payne Christopher W. Payne is an attorney at Snell & Wilmer LLP. He focuses on land use and natural resources including water, mining, environmental, and real estate law. Previously, he was a civil engineer conducting water supply and water development studies, floodplain delineation, solid waste planning, and grading and drainage design.

D.L. Sanders, DL Sanders LLC: Water in New Mexico, is the former Chief Counsel to the New Mexico Chief Engineer. He oversaw the settlement of three major multi hundred million dollar Indian water rights adjudication cases. In support of these he testified before congress in the successful effort to get them funded.

Nancy J. Selover, Ph.D., Nancy J. Selover, Ph.D., serves as State Climatologist for the Office of Climatology at Arizona State University. In that role, she educates groups on climate topics including the urban heat island, monsoon, drought, extreme weather, climate change, and Arizona's climate. She interfaces with state and city agencies, Tribes, private businesses, researchers, and the public, providing climate data and information to assist these groups.

Donald J. Simon Donald J. Simon is a partner at Sonosky Chambers Sachse Endreson & Perry LLP. He has worked on litigation and administrative law matters, and has represented tribal interests in water rights, fishing rights, self-determination issues, boundary disputes, jurisdictional matters, sovereignty issues, land claims, Indian gaming and general litigation.

Margaret J. Vick, Ph.D., is Margaret J. Vick, Ph.D., is an attorney for the Havasupai Tribe. She works with elected and appointed government officers on complex cross-jurisdictional issues in remote locations to train and build local capacity for self-governance. Her research and specialized expertise is in water, natural resources and environmental utilization, management and regulation.

John B. Weldon, Jr. is a founding member of Salmon, Lewis & Weldon, PLC. He focuses on water law, natural resources litigation, environmental law, Indian law, and electric power and utilities.


Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: This program qualifies for 10.25 Arizona CLE credits. Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.

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