Attorney General Fox Thanks Legislature for Work on CSKT Water Compact
Today, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox thanked the legislature’s Water Policy Interim Committee for its work on the proposed Water Rights Compact between the State of Montana, the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation, and the United States. This afternoon, the committee concluded a two-day work session on the compact.
“Members of the Water Policy Interim Committee, led by Senator Chas Vincent, have my gratitude for their hard work and dedication to studying the proposed compact and recommending improvements for the Compact Commission and Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes to consider. It takes hard work and courage to find common, reasonable ground on an issue as complex and important as this. We were all reminded in 2013 that support from the people’s elected legislators is essential for a successful compact. I believe the voice of the interim committee in this matter has been helpful.”
Attorney General Fox went on to encourage the Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission and the Tribes to carefully evaluate what final items are needed to ensure the compact is complete.
“I have heard from every stakeholder that the fundamental requirements of this compact are that it secures reliable and sufficient irrigation water that transfers to future generations or upon sale of the land, provides for a viable fishery, secures the Tribes’ reserved rights, and can stand the test of time and resolve disputes arising from its terms. I believe the suggestions that the negotiators and now the legislature have provided are moving us toward a compact that can meet all of those needs.”