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Tribes grateful for support of water compact

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On Feb. 26, the Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission voted 8-1 to forward the completed water rights compact to the state legislature. The Council of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes wants to thank everyone who came forward in support of the compact. During the Helena meeting, numerous people came forward and offered their support of the compact. Members of the tribal community spoke next to real estate brokers, bank managers, irrigators and developers. The showing of support and unity made an impact on the compact commission.

The effort to end decades of contention and uncertainty though a completed water compact on the Flathead Reservation faces some vocal opposition. Now is the time for the quiet supporters of our community to come forward and voice their support. Tribal Council chose negotiation over litigation because it was the best solution for a difficult situation. After more than a decade of hard negotiations, our community has an opportunity to move beyond the historic water rights conflicts. The compact protects existing water uses and establishes a local board to administer all water use on the reservation. A completed compact will allow us to move forward after decades of fighting. Thanks again to those who have read the compact and understand how it’s a positive development for our community.

Joe Durglo

Chairman, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes


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