B. Public Considerations
The interests of justice also favor the transfer of this case to Colorado. These interests are best served by having a case decided by the federal court in the state whose laws govern the interests at stake. See Schmid Laboratories, 654 F. Supp. at 737; Islamic Republic of Iran, 477 F. Supp. at 144; see also King, 709 F. Supp. at 262. While this case deals directly with federal statutes and regulations, it may also, in part, involve the interpretation of Colorado law. Under the District of Columbia's choice of law rules, the law governing the plaintiff's claims is the law of the state with the most significant relationship to the matters at issue. Church of Scientology Int'l v. Eli Lilly & Co., 848 F. Supp. 1018, 1026 (D.D.C. 1994). The entitlement of Water Supply to the water and the terms and conditions under which its shareholders use the water are creations of Colorado law. Colorado law concerning issues of the local Forest Service and/or water rights may also prove necessary to the resolution of this case. The district court in Colorado is more familiar than this court with the application of Colorado law. See Armco Steel Co., 790 F. Supp. at 311, 324; Van Dusen, 376 U.S. at 645. Transfer of this action to the district court in Colorado, which is already thoroughly familiar and experienced with law that may be relevant to this action, will therefore promote judicial economy. See Zurich Ins. Co. v. Raymark Industries, Inc., 672 F. Supp. 1102, 1104 (N.D. Ill. 1987).
The relative docket congestion and potential speed of resolution with respect to both the transferor and transferee courts are also appropriate factors to consider. See SEC v. Savoy Industries, Inc., 190 U.S. App. D.C. 252, 587 F.2d 1149, 1156 (D.C. Cir. 1978). It is not evident that a transfer to the northern district of Colorado will lead to unnecessary delay. Additionally, this court has neither dealt with other issues in the suit nor has it familiarized itself with the underlying merits of the case.
Since this case is in its earliest stages, there would be no delay associated with the Colorado district court's having to familiarize itself with this case. See Zurich Insurance Co., 672 F. Supp. at 1104.
Finally, this court will defer to the more compelling interest of the State of Colorado in having this localized controversy decided at home. See Armco Steel Co., 790 F. Supp. at 324; see also Gulf Oil Corporation v. Gilbert, 330 U.S. 501, 67 S. Ct. 839, 843, 91 L. Ed. 1055 (1947) (stating that, "there is a local interest in having localized controversies decided at home."); see also Chrysler Capital Corp. v. Woehling, 663 F. Supp. 478, 483 (D.Del. 1987) (stating that "the most significant criterion for deciding a motion to transfer is the interest of justice.") (internal citation omitted); Coffey v. Van Dorn Iron Works, 796 F.2d 217, 220 (7th Cir. 1986) (stating that the interests of justice may be dispositive in a given case). Controversies should be resolved in the locale where they arise. Islamic Republic of Iran, 477 F. Supp. at 144. This policy rationale applies equally to the judicial review of an administrative decision which will be limited to the administrative record. See Town of Ledyard v. United States, Civ. No. 95-0880 (D.D.C. May 31, 1995).
Plaintiffs challenge a decision made by a Forest Service official located in Colorado, which directly affects Long Draw Reservoir and La Poudre Pass Creek located in the mountains of Colorado. A clear majority of the operative events took place in Colorado. As a result, the State of Colorado has a substantial interest in the resolution of the claims of this lawsuit. Moreover, suits such as this one, which involve water rights, environmental regulation, and local wildlife-matters that are of great importance in the State of Colorado- should be resolved in the forum where the people "whose rights and interests are in fact most vitally affected by the suit the people of [Colorado]." Adams v. Bell, 228 U.S. App. D.C. 375, 711 F.2d 161, 167 n. 34 (D.C. Cir. 1983).
The importance and localized nature of this litigation is illustrated by the petitions for intervention filed by the State of Colorado and Water Supply, which represents the users of the Reservoir. In addition, the federal defendants have represented to the court (not contradicted by plaintiffs) that a great number of comments for and against the proposed action have been submitted by citizens of Colorado during the public comment phase, demonstrating the interest of the people of Colorado in this matter. This controversy arises from an administrative decision made in Colorado which directly affects Colorado's Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests, water systems, wildlife, and more importantly, its people. As a result, this action shall be transferred to district court in Colorado.
For the foregoing reasons, it is this 23 of October 1996,
ORDERED that the defendants' motion to transfer this action to the United States District Court for the District of Colorado be and is hereby granted ; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED that all other motions be and are hereby denied without prejudice.
Ricardo M. Urbina
United States District Judge