Montana’s last remaining tribe without water rights settlement pushes toward compact
Written byMYERS REECE, Flathead Beacon
After more than a decade of water rights negotiations, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, state of Montana and federal government are trying to reach a settlement that will have implications across much of western Montana.
Everyone from officials in Lincoln County to farmers on the Flathead Indian Reservation have questioned how the agreement might impact their access to water. The negotiating parties are hoping to finalize the settlement – called a “compact” – in time for the 2013 Legislature.
Only the tribes of the Flathead remain without a settlement and they are looking to once and for all quantify their water rights – both their “time immemorial” aboriginal rights and federally reserved rights.VIEW ORIGINAL ARTICLE