Flathead Water Rights Compact

Flathead Reservation Water Rights
10:50 am
Fri May 30, 2014

The last water rights settlement on tribal land in Montana, still unsettled

View of the Mission Mountains on the Flathead Reservation.
Credit Katrin Frye

While water rights lawsuits bop around state and federal courthouses there is technically no legal method of drilling a well on the Flathead Reservation, and hasn’t been since 1996. However, new wells and water uses have been allowed on the reservation of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes since. Tribal Spokesman Robert McDonald said they didn’t want to halt progress or development, however, he says there isn’t a legally valid way to dig a new well. There’s no governing structure in place so no change of use permits or new well permits.

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Flathead Water Compact
1:41 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

More asking for re-negotiation on Flathead Water Compact

Credit Flickr, Peggy2012CREATIVELENZ

More are calling for a re-opening of negotiations on the Flathead Water Compact, soon possibly including the state commission which helped craft the compact.

But the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes are holding firm with the current version.

The CSKT have been working on this agreement with the state and federal governments and private irrigators for at least a dozen years. It would settle disputes over how water is shared on the Flathead reservation.

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Flathead Water Compact
9:33 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Lawmakers, public still divided on Flathead water compact

Credit Flickr, Peggy2012CREATIVELENZ

A committee of state lawmakers said this week they still don’t they have enough information to recommend passage of the long-awaited Flathead Water Rights Compact.

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation submitted a report to the Water Policy Interim Committee which was intended to answer lawmaker’s questions about the compact after the document was tabled by the 2013 Legislature. Committee Chairman Sen. Chas Vincent (R-Libby) said the report did not fully accomplish that goal.

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Flathead Water Compact
9:09 am
Thu May 9, 2013

What happens now with the Flathead Water Compact?

Credit Flickr, Peggy2012CREATIVELENZ

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are now mulling their options after the 2013 Montana Legislature failed to pass the Flathead Water Rights Compact; but CSKT officials are hopeful the agreement can be passed by the 2015 Legislature.

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