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.

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)

Senator Jon Tester Thursday introduced the Flathead water compact in Congress. This is Montana’s final tribal water rights agreement, and has proven the most contentious.

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.

Chuck Johnson, Sally Mauk and Mike Dennison
Eliza Wiley

On the final "Capitol Talk" of the 2015 session, Sally, Chuck, and Mike talk about the death of the infrastructure bill, the session's winners and losers, and how the outcome might affect the 2016 election.

Chuck Johnson, Sally Mauk and Mike Dennison
Eliza Wiley

This week on "Capitol Talk": The Flathead water compact and "dark money" disclosure bills are on their way to the Governor's desk. Work remains on the state budget, the pay plan, and infrastructure funding bill. Will the legislature adjourn early? Sally, Chuck, and Mike bring you up to speed on this week at the legislature.

House Narrowly Approves Flathead Water Compact

Apr 15, 2015

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

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