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ELS Book Club event: The Storm Over Mono: The Mono Lake Battle and The California Water Future, By John Hart

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April 27, 2022 @ 5:30 pm 6:30 pm

Many environmental law students and practitioners in California are familiar with National Audubon Society v. Superior Court, 33 Cal. 3d 419 (1983), in which the City of Los Angeles water diversions were impacting the water volume and ecosystem of Mono Lake, one of the oldest inland seas in North America.  The California Supreme Court held that LA’s prior appropriation must be reconciled with the public trust doctrine:  “Thus, the public trust is more than an affirmation of state power to use public property for public purposes. It is an affirmation of the duty of the state to protect the people’s common heritage of streams, lakes, marshlands and tidelands, surrendering that right of protection only in rare cases when the abandonment of that right is consistent with the purposes of the trust.”  Nat’l Audubon Soc’y v. Superior Ct., 33 Cal. 3d 419, 441 (1983).  The Storm Over Mono tells us the story behind the case, integrating natural, social and political history.  

We will be joined by the author, John Hart!

Readers can find this book through their usual book sellers.  Additionally, the text is available online (though without the photos in the hard copy) here.

Readers may also be interested in Bristlecone Media film, The Mono Lake Story (approx. 26 minutes long), available here.  

This Book Club session is being presented in conjunction with a series of webinars in May 2022 related to the National Audubon case and the Public Trust more generally.  More info coming soon.

We are committed to accessibility! Virtual events are equipped with closed captioning. To request an in-person accommodation, send us a note at or contact us at 916-516-1760 for assistance.


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