Opinion: Ratify water compact with Salish and Kootenai Tribes

This map shows the areas affected by the water rights of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in Montana. Image from Montana Water Stewards

Montana lawmaker argues for approval of a water compact with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes:
I serve on the Water Policy interim committee, and we had testimony about the Salish-Kootenai water compact for the last two years. We re-examined it legally and established that, yes, this was legal and there was precedence.

This is the ninth compact that Montana will sign, and the final one, between tribes and the federal government. Also, we examined it. We had the Bureau of Mines and Geology in Butte examine the procedures used for the science, and how much water is there, and how is it being used, and they said they were credible. So we've got that.

And there is a business analysis coming out about what will happen if the compact is signed or not signed. Basically what this is, is history in the making. It's actually the last Indian treaty that's going to be signed in Montana.

It's going to settle the dust and it's going to settle the water, and all state-based water users that have their water rights, their rights are protected under this compact.

Get the Story:
Brad Hamlett: New water compact will safeguard rights (The Great Falls Tribune 1/10)

Another Opinion:
Verdell Jackson: Treaty forbids off-reservation water rights (The Great Falls Tribune 1/10)

Also Today:
Friends, Foes Of Flathead Compact Speak Out (MTPR 1/12)
Commission Approves New Letter Opposing Water Compact (The Flathead Beacon 1/9)

Related Stories
County's letter on CSKT water compact talks stirs controversy (10/29)
Opinion: Support water compact for Salish and Kootenai Tribes (3/7)
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes trapped in water war (4/22)

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