The city of Tombstone is waging an epic legal battle against the federal government for access to the wilderness area of the Huachuca Mountains in order to repair its damaged water system.
Tombstone relies on a number of mountain springs for its water, which is piped in to the city. The pipelines that deliver the spring water were damaged in last year’s Monument Fire and the ensuing mud and rock slides. Tombstone officials have attempted to make repairs to the pipeline and restore the water flow to the city, but the National Forest Service has blocked the majority of these attempts. The Forest Service maintains that any work done in the Huachucas must comply with the 1964 Wilderness Act.
Tired of the slow pace of repairs, the city of Tombstone has filed a lawsuit against the federal government seeking unrestricted access to the springs and to easement rights for the land 50 feet on either side of the pipes leading from the springs to the city. Because the case raises constitutional questions about the relationship between local, state and federal governments, it may end up in front of the Supreme Court.
Read more about the case and the city of Tombstone on CNN’s online article, Showdown at the H20 Corral.