Tombstone loses appeals court bid to repair mountain water supply
PHOENIX - A federal appeals court on Monday rebuffed a bid by Tombstone
to make immediate repairs to its Huachuca Mountain water supply, which
was damaged in the wake of last year's Monument Fire.
In an unsigned opinion, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court
of Appeals said it would not block officials from the U.S. Forest Service
from interfering with efforts by the city to bring heavy equipment into the
mountains. The judges said they were not buying the argument that the
actions by the Forest Service interfere with the 10th Amendment rights
of the sovereignty of the state.
They also said the city had not proved it was entitled to an injunction
allowing it to make what it said are emergency repairs.
Potentially more significant, the judges said the city's contention that it is
legally entitled to take water from the mountains is far from a settled issue.
They pointed out rights to the water remain a question before
U.S. District Judge Frank Zapata in Tucson.