Professor Joseph Sax, who laid the legal foundation for the application of the Public Trust Doctrine to natural resource protection, passed away on Sunday. The public trust has been most notably applied at Mono Lake, where the protections from excessive water diversions that we celebrate today flow straight back to the 1983 California Supreme Court decision that was substantially informed by his visionary work.
Last spring, the Mono Lake Committee awarded Professor Sax our Defender of the Trust Award. In a prior public speech on the public trust, he spoke of the need for continuing involvement by state agencies and the public in the stewardship and implementation of the public trust doctrine. Here at the Mono Lake Committee we will continue that effort every day, and we will do it with Professor Sax as inspiration.
From the Los Angeles Times: (more…)