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Editorial: Approve Nez Perce Tribe's water settlement

"The Idaho House of Representatives has before it this week three bills supporting a water rights settlement with the Nez Perce Tribe. It is potentially the largest such settlement in the West.

The stakes could not be higher.

Opponents, primarily the Idaho Farm Bureau, claim that the deal will severely compromise private property rights in northern Idaho as a number of cattle ranchers grazing on newly converted tribal lands will be bought out. They also feel that the state is standing on firm legal ground and could win if the case goes back to the courts.

Rep. Lenore Barrett, R-Challis, told the Idaho Falls Post Register, "I'm not afraid to go back to court. Why are we giving them land? Why are we giving them any water?"

We hope other House members aren't seduced by such macho gamesmanship."

Get the Story:
Time to close on Nez Perce water deal (The Idaho Mountain Express 3/2)

Relevant Links:
Nez Perce Tribe -

Related Stories:
Tribe, public voice concerns about Nez Perce deal (02/24)
Idaho Legislature to debate Nez Perce water deal (2/21)
Nez Perce water rights deal revived in onmibus (11/22)
Nez Perce Tribe's water deal killed in Senate (10/27)
Nez Perce Tribe calls for protection of salmon (08/13)
Senate committee takes up Nez Perce water deal (07/21)
Deal proposed to resolve Idaho tribe's water rights (05/17)