HB629 CSKT WATER COMPACT
Thanks to everyone who participated in efforts to defeat House Bill 629 for the CSKT Water Compact.  Words cannot express how grateful we are for all the good people who not only traveled many miles to Helena to testify against the series of bills related to this compact, and the multitude of others who sent letters to legislators.

Be sure to send thanks to the legislators who listened to our concerns and stood their ground against this compact, and give special thanks to the following legislators.  We know there are many other legislators who also contributed to stopping this bill.  Thank you.

Even though we’ve reached this milestone, we must continue to be vigilant.  Remember, there’s a lot at stake here, and I’m sure many avenues still available to compact proponents that will allow them to keep this alive.  Two bills to watch include:

SB   88:            http://laws.leg.mt.gov/legprd/LAW0210W$BSIV.ActionQuery?P_BILL_NO1=88&P_BLTP_BILL_TYP_CD=SB&Z_ACTION=Find&P_SESS=20131

SB 278:            http://laws.leg.mt.gov/legprd/LAW0210W$BSIV.ActionQuery?P_BILL_NO1=278&P_BLTP_BILL_TYP_CD=SB&Z_ACTION=Find&P_SESS=20131

We should also remember that a special session could be called, or the Federal Government might also play some tricks.  Don’t forget this letter the DOI sent a while back:

https://westernmtwaterrights.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/2013-02-19_ltr_to_other_parties-2.pdf

HB636 DAN SALOMON’S BILL
We want to reiterate just how bad Dan Salomon’s bill really was.  It was a blatant attempt to establish a clear pathway to ratify the EXISTING COMPACT in 2015 while giving $12 million dollars in taxpayer funds for pre-implementation of some aspects of the compact ahead of that schedule.  During the hearing, only one proponent spoke, Jon Metropoulos, attorney for the Flathead Joint Board of Control.  Many thanks to those of you who came from all over western Montana, once again, to stand against this attempt to force this compact upon all of us.  This bill is a clear example of why we must remain vigilant.  We understand that the people helping “negotiate” this bill behind the scenes might have had good intentions, but the reality is, it got out of hand.  We are grateful that people woke up to this fact and stood strongly together against it.

EMAIL ADDRESS CORRECTION
We sent out an email asking people to contact Senator Chas Vincent and used the wrong email address.  Our apologies to the recipient of many emails resulting from our mistake.  Senator Vincent’s email address is: cvvincent@hotmail.com

NOW THAT THE COMPACT BILL IS DEAD – WHAT HAPPENS TO THE FIP AGREEMENT?
Concerned Citizens believes that the FIP Water Use Agreement (the subject of current litigation) also died with the Compact.  Not only was the Compact introduced without the FIP agreement, but as late as March 27th the Compact Commission stated that the FIP agreement was irrelevant to the Compact itself.  And, the Compact failed because of other significant flaws, including the Tribes’ claim of ownership of all the water, the State’s relinquishment of its administrative authority over state-based water users, and the inclusion of off-reservation water rights in the Compact.  We do not believe any further negotiations, votes or action is required on the FIP water use agreement, as there is no agreement, and no Compact. Please see the analysis here:  https://westernmtwaterrights.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/so-what-happens-now-with-the-fip-water-use-agreement/

THE MONTANA RESERVED WATER RIGHTS COMPACT COMMISSION AND VIOLATION OF THE PUBLIC TRUST
Many people have complained about the commission’s treatment of the public in the negotiation meetings as well as the public information sessions held right after Thanksgiving of last year.  So keeping that in mind, we developed a 25 video that demonstrates just a few of the many issues concerning the public meeting and notification process.  The reality is that what is presented in it is just the tip of the iceberg.  This video was delivered to Attorney General Fox’s office yesterday.  Check it out at the following link  https://vimeo.com/63370611 and please share it with others.

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