© 2013 Concerned Citizens of Western Montana
The Montana Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission would like the public to think there was extensive and transparent outreach concerning the compact. And perhaps it was, when compared to other compacts. Unfortunately, we just don’t see it that way. For Example:
- The water use agreement was introduced during the busiest time of year for irrigators.
- We were told the water use agreement was a “PRIVATE AGREEMENT” the state was not involved with, yet we have recordings showing the public was told the state insisted on specific language in the agreement How can they have it both ways?
- The public review documents were released in October and a second set in November, and a third set in February – public “outreach” meetings took place in a whirlwind shortly after Thanksgiving.
- The commission meeting to vote the compact through to the legislature was held at 7:00 p.m on a weekday in Helena
- And much more, a small portion of which is documented in the video below.
Granted, they probably had to work harder to “sell” the public on this compact than they did for others. We’ve think that after 30 years, the commission became adept at developing talking points designed to marginalize the opposition, confuse or scarethe public (with threats of litigation) into thinking they had no choice but to accept this compact, and that most importantly, they should go back to sleep because their own little bit of water would be protected.
Take a look at this video that uses recorded excerpts from meetings to get a clearer picture of the”NEGOTIATION” process as we experienced it. Please contact us if you’d like to share your own experiences with the compact commission.