Following a fire last year, Tombstone, Arizona, wanted to restore 24 mountain springs buried under 12 feet of mud. The Forest Service, however, has so far blocked the city’s ability to do so, unless it uses horses and hand tools on all but two of the springs.
“The Federal Bureau of Land Management has filed an objection to a certificate of adequate water supply for a development in southeastern Arizona, claiming that they have superior water rights over the San Pedro River Valley, the major watershed for most of southeastern Arizona,” Nick Dranias of the Goldwater Institute reports.
That throws into question the longtime national policy of the federal government deferring to state laws and state sovereignty when it comes to water rights.
Dranias believes it is all about environmental extremism. “The federal government has a riparian, ecological area, and they want to use as much water as they can to maintain this area,” he says.