6th Circuit Rules that Conservation Group May Not Intervene in Government Negotiation with Tribes Over Michigan Fishery Management

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed that fishing and conservation groups may not intervene in government negotiations with tribes over management of Great Lakes fisheries. The Sixth Circuit ruled that the district court properly denied the Coalition to Protect Michigan Resources’ (Coalition) motion to intervene in negotiations over the management of Great Lakes fisheries, finding that the Coalition’s motion was untimely given that its concerns have not materialized. The Court ruled that the Coalition’s “proper remedy” is to appeal any resultant decree reached between the state and the tribes if the as-yet unreached decree is “ultimately unlawful.” One of the Coalition’s primary stated concerns is that government negotiators may allow Tribes’ use of “non-selective gill nets” it claims couild “deplete the fish resources of the Great Lakes to the extent that they would become non-existent.”