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Addressing water compact concerns

Editor,

In the last few months, the answer to address the final water compact in Montana has been put out: The People’s Compact. This addresses the constitutional concerns and quantification of water in western Montana, the Flathead Reservation and the Flathead Indian Irrigation Project, brought on by the flawed CSKT Water Compact. Let’s look at some facts and compare them, number by number. Decide what serves the Flathead Indian Irrigation Project and Montana, and call your representatives.

The People’s Compact

1. Irrigators retain and own water rights. 2. Historic delivery of irrigation water. 3. Local control of Flathead Irrigation. 4. $200,000,000 FIIP renovations with HKM Renovation plan. 5. No off reservation water right. 6. Twenty-two pages of framework for the People’s Compact. 7. The cost is $700,000,000. 8. The priority date is 1855. 9. Montana administers water for state based water users and the Tribe for tribal users. 10. The first leans on fee land will be released. 11. Tribal per capita settles the 1951 Indian claims commission. 12. Water is at 508,000 acre-feet. 13. In Tester’s CSKT Compact, on page 39, it states that the Secretary of Interior has not liability on how the CSKT spends the $2,400,000,000 given by the taxpayers, interesting. 14. In the People’s Compact, there isn’t $55,000,000 of Montana tax dollars for the CSKT Compact.

CSKT Water Compact

1. CSKT gets water rights in trust to USA. 2. FIIP water is cut by 90,000 acre-feet. 3. The FIIP is owned and operated by CSKT tribes. 4. There are no solid renovation plans or funding amounts. 5. Water rights are on two-thirds of the State of Montana (all western and west central Montana). 6. The CSKT Compact is 2,100 plus pages. 7. The CSKT Compact will cost $2,400,000,000. 8. It’s set for time immemorial. 9. A political board will administer water, which has never done in the state or in the history of the country. 10. The liens are not addressed. 11. There is no tribal member per capita. 12. Water is at 28-48 million acre-feet.

Tim Orr
Mission District Commissioner

 

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