©2017 Montana Land and Water Alliance
Continuing on the theme of our last post, we note that the very LAST thing the Tribes, State, federal government and compact proponents wanted was to have the CSKT Compact fully examined by the public or Montana legislature. They positively hated the concerned citizens movement across western Montana for discovering the truth of the compact and for talking about it. We are sure that the simple majority of legislators that voted on the 2015 compact did not understand it and so passed it “obamacare-style”, hoping to find out later what was in the bill.
Despite the court proceedings that were underway, in May 2016 Senator Jon Tester introduced S. 3013 into the Senate–the CSKT Indian Water Rights Settlement Act of 2016. The bill, which we understand was drafted by Tribal lawyers, once again masked and hid the contents of the CSKT Compact inside this new creation. Simultaneously, Senator Daines introduced S. 3014, a “companion bill”, which would have treated off-reservation national forests and rangelands as “Tribal land” for the purpose of planning and management. This can be seen as an attempt to make legal that which is not– solidifying the off-reservation water rights claims in the CSKT compact across other federal agencies.
Let’s take a look at the Tester effort:
Make no mistake–this is a bad burrito–maggots on the inside, just paper on the outside. A completely fake Indian water settlement. Otherwise known as a crap sandwich.
Though this bill died in 2016, recent reports indicate that Tester will do this again in 2018, counting on the lobbying power and taxpayer monies of the tribes, their corrupt PR firm Mercury LLC and whatever inside influence they have in the Interior Department.
Let’s make sure that ship sinks.