Opinion: Support water compact for Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Montana lawmaker urges support for a water compact for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes:
The 1979 Montana Legislature passed legislation requiring the state to negotiate a quantification of the water rights claimed by the CSKT as prescribed in the 1855 Hellgate Treaty. The CSKT water compact is the result of the negotiations between the state of Montana, the CSKT and the federal government. This document with supporting legal abstracts is over 1,200 pages long and took six years of intense negotiations.

While negotiations were intense, it becomes apparent that the CSKT, the state of Montana, its citizens, county governments and irrigators have many shared values. A common value is for the healthy rivers and streams we enjoy within western Montana.

The CSKT’s off-reservation claims for in-stream flows are equal to those flows currently held by the Montana Fish and Game. Clean, vibrant watersheds with healthy fisheries is a shared goal that the CSKT, Montana and all of its citizens desire for western Montana.

Get the Story:
Montana Sen. Bruce Tutvedt: Support CSKT water compact, avoid expensive litigation (The Missoulian 3/7)

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