MTPR

Flathead Water Rights Compact

Flathead irrigators are appealing to the State Supreme Court in a legal battle to overturn the state’s water compact with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.
David Wiley (CC-BY-2)

Flathead irrigators are appealing to the State Supreme Court in a legal battle to overturn the state’s water compact with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

Flathead irrigators are appealing to the State Supreme Court in a legal battle to overturn the state’s water compact with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.
David Wiley (CC-BY-2)

The controversial Flathead Water Compact with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes remains largely intact following a judge’s ruling Wednesday that part of the water rights agreement is unconstitutional.

Judge James Manley today ruled the portion of the water compact unconstitutional that protects members of a yet-to-be-created water compact board from being sued.
Flickr user Brad Smith (CC-BY-NC-2.0)

A district court judge is declaring wins for both the Flathead Valley irrigators who sued to overturn the water compact with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, and the state of Montana that’s defending the compact after it passed the state legislature last year.

Judge James Manley today ruled the portion of the water compact unconstitutional that protects members of a yet-to-be-created water compact board from being sued.
Flickr user Brad Smith (CC-BY-NC-2.0)

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes were encouraged by the first U.S. Senate hearing of their water compact settlement with the State of Montana. Senator Jon Tester introduced the legislation to Congress last month.

CSKT Chairman Vernon Finley urged the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to accept the compact.
U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee

At the first U.S. Senate hearing for the water compact with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes today, federal officials said it looks expensive, and needs more analysis. Tribal leaders testified as well.

The water compact narrowly passed in Montana’s last legislative session and now it must be affirmed by the U.S. Congress.

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