A recent meeting with the illustrious boards, commissions and agencies tasked with resolving water allocation in this area of the world, has further revealed the slow death of our concept of a Constitutional Republic; what we believed to be the preferred government process by which this little country was founded.
It turns out that, here in Montana, our State Constitution was written in disappearing ink, or so it seems. Our rights, or those we thought were in that constitution, are being rewritten every day, through perverted interpretation – without official notification to ‘we the people’. It also appears that our ‘elected’ officials, assigned to this project, are willing to kowtow to those who were recruited (hired) to steer and manage this disaster. It’s a very unique situation when an agency believes they represent and report only to a Governor but are actively giving away the rights and property of the “citizens and residents” without the peoples consent; and even without the use of “eminent domain”….
When ‘we the people’ are told, in no uncertain terms, that our input is neither welcome nor needed nor will have any affect whatsoever on the outcome of the Water Rights Compact for Western Montana (while our existing state constitution clearly covers how and who is responsible for water allocation within the boundaries of our state) relative to our water and property rights and that we are being handed over to a non U.S. governmental entity for control, as a result of some back room deals being made with this non governmental entity, something has gone dramatically sour – and – what do you do with something that’s gone sour; toss it out.
The Water Compact for and with the Flathead Reservation, based on a skewed version of “Reserved Water Rights” introduced by the “Winters v. United States” brief in 1908, has been built on the false premise that the Confederated Tribes on this reservation OWN the water and the Tribes believe that encompasses ALL water from any source. This fallacy in concept is the single, basic building block that all else has been based and has created the problem we now face with the current, every changing, agreements under way in these covert negotiations. It’s amazing to consider that after >10 years of work (including the current 4 year extension ending July 2013) , these commissions and negotiations are nowhere near completion – with more “loopholes”, “to be determined”, threats to “litigate” and cloaked deals than imaginable to the average citizen.
I, personally, have been advised by an elected official that ‘reason’, ‘honesty’, ‘equality’ and ‘common good’ have not and will not play a part in this event. Interesting. Guess that leaves ‘graft’, ‘greed’, ‘immorality’ and the seeming destruction of our governmental system as the chief proponents directing this disaster that will not end well for anyone concerned or affected. We’re left exposing the disease for what it is and hoping that the general public at least learns a lesson they will NEVER forget.
Maybe it’s time for a “Do-Over”, but then, that only works when enough rational people with some sense of integrity, equality, moral character and realistic goals recognize the need and agree to dismiss the false start, that was based on an original lie, completely and begin anew. Relying on our upcoming legislative session and committees to recognize the situation, and understand the egregious status of this Compact, has less chance of success than the Titanic had of avoiding an ice cube. Never-the-less, the battle for sanity will ensue – choose your side wisely; the outcome, if based on graft and greed, will not be pretty.