Great news concerning the court ruling on the Western Montana Water Users Association Complaint filed against the Flathead Joint Board of Control.
For many months, there has been discussion concerning the fact that the water use agreement for the Flathead Irrigation Project required irrigators to relinquish their valuable private property / water rights to the tribe in exchange for an allotment of water. This is not only unlawful, but unconstitutional. Judge McNeil’s ruling on this suit gives a very strong message that opponents to the current agreement had cause to be concerned. He issued a new writ of mandate on 02/15/13:
The Defendants Mission Irrigation District, Jocko Valley Irrigation District,Flathead Irrigation District and Flathead Joint Board of Control are hereby enjoined from entering into the Draft agreement between the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation, the United States, acting through the Bureau of Indian Affairs of the United States Department of the Interior, and the Flathead Joint Board of Control of the Flathead, Mission and Jacko Valley Irrigation Districts, as set forth at Exhibit “A” to Plaintiffs Complaint.
Said Defendants are further enjoined from entering into any other agreement which contains any of the provisions over which they have no authority to act as set forth in the Conclusions of Law above which exceeds their statutory authority to operate irrigation districts.
That the Alternative Writ of Mandate issued December 14, 2012 is rescinded and superseded by this Writ of Mandate.
Find a copy of the complete ruling at this link:
The battle concerning this issue is far from over. Please be sure to thank the folks from the Western Montana Water Users Association for their efforts, and do what you can to support them going forward.
Their contact information can be found at the following link: