Montana Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission

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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