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State committee announces support for CSKT water rights compact

Posted at 10:08 AM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 13:31:21-04

HELENA — Legislators on the State-Tribal Relations Interim Committee are on record with a new letter expressing support for passage of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Water Compact.

The water rights deal is part of the Montana Water Rights Protection Act, which was introduced by US Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) and co-sponsored by US Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT).

Daines announced the settlement back in December, saying under the agreement the tribe would relinquish 97% of water rights claims with prejudice.

The measure is now under consideration by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

The Tribe would relinquish a majority of its water rights claims under the 1855 Hellgate Treaty under the settlement.

CSKT would in exchange be awarded $1.9 billion in damages and money to repair irrigation and road infrastructure in the Flathead Basin and the Mission Valley.

Only one member of the eight lawmakers on the panel voted against sending the letter.nd road infrastructure.