Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

The dam power generation plant as seen from down river. CSKT paid $18.3 million for Séliš Ksanka QÍispé, formerly known as Salish Kootenai Dam and Kerr Dam, located about five miles southwest of Polson.
Corin Cates-Carney

The tribal corporation that took ownership of Kerr Dam (now called Séliš Ksanka QÍispé) just over a month ago hosted an open house explaining the change in ownership.

When Energy Keepers Incorporated of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes took over the dam in early September it became the first major hydroelectric generation facility owned by native tribes. That raised interest from politicians and policy influencers around the state. About a dozen showed up at the dam Wednesday for a tour.

Salish Kootenai Dam, formerly Kerr Dam
Bill Barrett (CC-BY-SA-3)

Last month the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes took ownership of the Kerr hydroelectric Dam, now called the Salish Kootenai Dam. As a result, Lake County will see a serious cut in tax revenues.

A corn field in the Mission Valley damaged by bears.
Courtesy Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ wildlife staff is warning residents and hunters about widespread black and grizzly bear movement from the base of the Mission mountains to the lower Flathead River. They say bears are following riparian areas west into the valley in search of decreasing food supplies like hawthorn and fruit.

More wet weather is on the way to western Montana.
National Weather Service Missoula

Rainy and cool weather is pushing its way across the state of Montana and the National Weather Service says it's going to stick around for a while. Is the wildfire season-ending event we've long hoped for?

Life on a reservation can tend toward a pattern of wounds difficult to mend by young natives.

15-year-olds Kianna Finley and Gabby Houle live on the Flathead reservation. They say at times they are surrounded by a discouraging way of living - one of substance abuse and loss.

Without water, we perish. For 30 years, the Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribes and the state of Montana have disagreed about tribal water right claims. But this year the legislature approved a comprehensive water rights agreement. Melissa Hornbein was one of the lead attorneys in the negotiations, working for Montana DNRC and the Montana Reserved Water Rights Commission. Hornbein talks with Brian Kahn about the legal and emotional challenges of negotiating the Flathead water compact.

Tribal wildlife biologists lethally removed these two female yearling grizzly bears from the St. Ignatius area after conflicts with livestock.
Courtesy CSKT Natural Resources Department

Tribal wildlife biologists lethally removed two female yearling grizzly bears from the St. Ignatius area on Tuesday.

Biologists saw one of the yearlings chasing livestock. Similar reports have been noted around St. Ignatius.

Wednesday afternoon the Montana House narrowly approved the Flathead Reservation Water Compact after more than three hours of debate on the House floor.

Flickr user Brad Smith (CC-BY-NC-2.0)

The contentious Flathead Reservation water compact appears to be taking the same convoluted path to the House floor as the Medicaid expansion bill did last week.

Flickr, Peggy2012CREATIVELENZ

The Montana State Capitol was bustling with activity Saturday, as literal busloads of people arrived from the Flathead Valley to weigh in on the controversial Flathead Reservation compact that will settle tribal water rights and determine how much water farmers and ranchers of that region will receive in future years.