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Public meetings on water compact scheduled

The negotiating teams for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, the State of Montana and the United States have completed a proposed water rights compact and released it for public review and comment. 

The three parties have been working for several years to develop a water rights settlement that will quantify the water rights of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes on and off the Flathead Indian Reservation and provide for the administration of water rights on the reservation.  

On Nov. 8, the three parties released a proposed water rights compact. This draft fills in all the sections under development in an Oct. 3 draft. The three parties also released a proposed unitary administrative and management ordinance with minor changes from the Oct. 3 draft based on public comments. The parties are seeking public comment on both documents. 

Public meetings will be held in a number of locations; see below for local meetings.

For more information visit either the state’s website at http://www.dnrc.mt.gov/rwrcc/Compacts/CSKT/Default.asp or the tribes’ website at http://www.cskt.org/tr/nrd_waternegotiations.htm or email dnrrwrcc@mt.gov; or contact Rob McDonald, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, at (406) 675-2700 ext. 1222; or Bill Schultz at (406) 542-5880; or Jay Weiner at (406) 444-6844, Montana Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission. 

Submit written comments on the proposed compact or rrdinance Chris Tweeten, chair, Montana RWRCC, 2705 Spurgin Rd., Building C, Missoula, MT 59804 or email to dnrrwrcc@mt.gov.

Public meetings to solicit comments will be held: 

• Wednesday, Nov. 28, at 9 a.m. at the KwaTaqNuk Resort, 49708 US Hwy. 93 E., Polson. 

• Wednesday, Nov. 28, at 3 p.m. at the Salish Senior Center, 214 N. Spring St., Hot Springs.

• Thursday, Nov. 29, at 10 a.m. at the Arlee Senior Center, 106 Wessinger St., Arlee.

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