Opposed to senate bills
Mission and Jocko districts oppose Daines’ 3019 bill and have sent four letters to him in the last year with no response, with our concerns, asking for a meeting.
Our opposition comes from the unconstitutional takings of property rights and the Unitary Management Board that take us out of Montana and the federal court system. Montana and the tribe have to agree which court you go to. Montana Senate Bill 262, Tester’s senate bill 3013 and Daines’ 3019 bill were written by tribal lawyers to benefit the tribal corporation (not tribal members).
The Mission and Jocko districts have always supported Montana law that says we have to have a compact. None of the above bills meet the law or standards American citizens deserve by law in America. Former district lawyers have stated that every page of the CSKT-Montana Water Compact could be litigated.
Mission and Jocko maintain that you have bought and paid for your water right. It’s in your fee patent to your land. And 70,000 acres of this project have Walton rights (same as tribal water rights). Also on that fee patent and district formation is the lien for security to build a Flathead irrigation and power project. Tribal allotment owners did not have liens. The first leans are still attached. We did not agree to have them lifted until the ownership of the water right and operation of the Flathead project is satisfied.
Mission and Jocko also disagree with the appendices to the CSKT Compact as far as allowance of project irrigation water: all three bills and the compact take away 90,000 acre-feet of project water. Irrigators are supposed to survive on 153,000 acre-feet, which is down 240,000 acre-feet from historic use. Note: Flathead River water does no good for about 100,000 acres of the Flathead Irrigation Project because water does not flow uphill.
Also, the ads on TV, radio and newspapers statewide supporting the Daines bill and CSKT Water Compact are from Denny Rehberg’s public strategy firm called Mercury. CSKT has paid Mercury over $7.5 million to lobby for the compact.
Ownership, quantity and management of the Flathead Irrigation Project and FIP water have always been the goal of the districts.