Flathead Water Rights Compact

Flathead Water Compact
5:01 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Will 'Adaptive Management' Put Flathead Water Compact Fears To Rest?

Today we continue our coverage of the proposed water compact negotiated by the federal government, the state of Montana, and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. The compact itself is expected to be over a thousand pages long; it’s still being drafted. The road to this point stretches back over 35 years of negotiations. And it’s clear from the reaction to our coverage that people have strong feelings about it.

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Flathead Water Compact
2:27 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Share Your Opinions On The Flathead Water Compact

Montana Public Radio News wants to hear your thoughts and opinions on the Flathead water compact. Do you support the new compact? Why or why not?

Leave us a comment here or on our Facebook page. Or email our news department with your thoughts at news@mtpr.org

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Legislature Must Approve
6:06 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Tribes: New Water Compact Has Better Chance

Image courtesy CSKT

An attorney for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes says the latest compact governing tribal water rights has a better chance of passing the state legislature, than one that was rejected two years ago. 

Rhonda Swaney, says the biggest single improvement in the latest version of the tribe’s water compact with the state and federal governments is in its timing. The previous version was just introduced too late in the legislative session for lawmakers to deal with, she says.

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Flathead Water Compact
7:00 am
Sat December 13, 2014

The New Flathead Water Compact Explained

    

One of the issues that you will hear a lot about in the coming months is the proposed water-rights compact between the State of Montana and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. It’s the only water compact involving a Montana reservation that remains un-ratified by the state legislature, after the first version was rejected in 2013.

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Flathead Water Compact
5:04 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Supporters Push For Approval Of Flathead Water Compact

Scott Reichner (R) - House District 9

A new group of farmers, ranchers, and tribal members want to convince Montana lawmakers to pass a water compact, like the one they rejected two years ago.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are the only Montana Native Americans who lack a compact with the state governing water rights. In 2013, the legislature rejected it, after objections from property rights groups. The group supporting the new compact includes Scott Reichner of Bigfork, an outgoing state lawmaker who voted against the last version.

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Montana Legislature
9:40 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Democrats Hope To Shrink GOP Majorities In Montana Legislature

Democrats hope races in newly redrawn legislative districts could help them pick up seats this fall.
Credit File Photo

From the seat of his combine in the Helena Valley, Republican Senate candidate Joe Dooling talked about why he decided to run for the Legislature.

“I’m just wondering where all the grownups are,” he said.

The 2013 legislative session was marked by a split between conservatives and moderates in the Republican majority, at least one day of banging on tables and more than 70 vetoes from Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat. Dooling said he was frustrated by all of it.

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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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