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Working Out an Environmental Ethic: Anniversary Lessons from Mono Lake
Wyoming Law Review (2004)
  • Craig Anthony (Tony) Arnold
Can environmental law actually achieve environmental conservation or implement an environmental ethic in practice? The environmental movement has been captured by a legal centralist perspective, which asserts that legal institutions and processes are integral to achieving environmental conservation and environmentally ethical behavior.
This article uses a case study of the Mono Lake Committee to explore the role of law in the Committee's success in substantially reducing Los Angeles' water appropriations from Mono Lake's feeder streams and the subsequent restoration of the Lake's unique and valuable environment. The Mono Lake effort is an ideal case study because it involved the landmark case National Audubon Society v. Superior Court, in which the California Supreme Court adopted an innovative legal theory that water rights are subject to the public trust in the environmental conditions of navigable waters. National Audubon has been ranked by legal scholars and environmentalists as among the most important environmental law cases of the twentieth century.
  • conservation,
  • environmental ethics,
  • public trust,
  • prior appropriation,
  • water rights,
  • public participation,
  • deliberation,
  • innovation,
  • collaboration,
  • problem solving,
  • negotiation,
  • interdisciplinary
Publication Date
Citation Information
Craig Anthony (Tony) Arnold. "Working Out an Environmental Ethic: Anniversary Lessons from Mono Lake" Wyoming Law Review Vol. 4 Iss. 1 (2004) p. 1
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