Subject:  Legislators / Citizens Group Release Critical Review of the Proposed CSKT Compact and Alternative Comparative Water Compact

On Thursday 06/27/13 Concerned Citizens of Western Montana, in collaboration with several Montana state legislators, released a critical review of the existing reserved water compact for the Flathead Reservation, and an alternative comparative compact to demonstrate what a reasonable, fair and equitable compact should have looked like.  Senator Verdell Jackson, Kalispell, Representatives Jerry O’Neil, Columbia Falls, Keith Regier, Kalispell, and several other representatives are involved in this initiative.

The release of these documents was the culmination of months of work and analysis concerning the compact that was rejected in the 2013 Montana legislative session, and were developed in response to the Montana Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission letter soliciting feedback concerning the proposed reserved water rights compact for the Flathead Indian Reservation.

Because problems with the existing compact including its foundational premises are insurmountable hurdles which cannot be resolved within the existing documents, an alternative CSKT Compact is offered that both resolves these problems and provides a substantial amount of water to fulfill the purposes and future needs of the Flathead Indian Reservation.  These materials were developed for legislators and Concerned Citizens by Dr. Catherine Vandemoer, a hydrologist with more than 26 years of experience working in Indian country on the management, and development of federal reserved water rights and associated resources on American Indian reservations in the western United States.

This unusual step was taken because it became clear the compact commission and governor Bullock continue to push the existing compact forward, presenting it to be a “fairly negotiated settlement”.  Concerned Citizens believes the public and legislators must be made aware that other alternatives to the existing compact do exist and should be considered by the negotiating parties if a reasonable compact is to be achieved.

Copies of both documents were submitted to the Governor, the Compact Commission, the Attorney General, the Montana Water Policy Interim Committee in the legislature, and the CSKT Tribes.    For more information, contact:

Senator Verdell Jackson, Kalispell Montana                            406-756-8344
Terry Backs, Concerned Citizens of Western Montana             406-626-3353

Click here to read the critical review of the CSKT compact:   Critical Review Paper

A copy of the Comparative Alternative Document will follow in a day or two.