(Updated April 8): While we are tracking several water-related bills this session, no piece of legislation is more important for the future of water management in Montana than Senate Bill 262 – which would ratify the Water Rights Compact between the State of Montana and the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes.
The Clark Fork Coalition supports the Water Rights Compact, as do an unprecedented diverse and bi-partisan network of supporters across the state.
The Compact is a fair settlement of the CSKT’s reserved water right claims that guarantees water for all Montanans – on and off the Flathead Reservation – while also providing instream flow protections on some of the state’s most precious rivers and streams.
The Compact is the result of decades of work and has been scrutinized, debated, modified, and wrangled over long enough. It’s time to pass this important agreement, resolve the uncertainty surrounding CSKT reserved water rights, and ensure reliable water for both people and wildlife in western Montana. This is an agreement every Montanan can be proud of and it’s critical for the long-term health of our rivers and streams.
The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Water Compact (SB 262) this Saturday, April 11 at 10:00am in Room 303. Call your State Representative and the House Judiciary Committee members and tell them to support the Water Compact by calling 406-444-4800 TODAY! Use this link to find your representative to contact him or her directly. Thank you!
More information and resources:
- Detailed article providing solid legal analysis about the Compact, separating facts from fiction.
- montanawatercompact.com: Background, media coverage, resources, and information on how to support the Compact’s passage in the Montana 2015 Legislature.
- Extensive information on the Compact, including all relevant documents, history of negotiations, final version of the Compact, and educational materials provided to legislators.
- Recent articles and letters of support:
- “Five best reasons to pass water compact” (Cliff Larsen, D-Senate District 47, Missoula, Missoulian, 4/3/15)
- Proposed 2015 CSKT Compact: Analysis of Potential Impacts to Off-Reservation Water Users (State of Montana, DNRC publication, February, 2015)
- “Water compact will protect farmers, ranchers” (John Youngberg, Montana Farm Bureau Federation op ed, Great Falls Tribune, 2/9/15)
- Stockgrowers Joins Montana Agriculture Organizations in Support of Compact (Montana Stockgrowers Association joint press release with Farmers and Ranchers for Montana, 1/27/15)
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