© Concerned Citizens of Western Montana

In an effort to get people thinking about the nuances of the Daines Compact S3019, we will be doing a series called question(s) of the day.

There are no wrong or right answers here, the goal is to get people to critically think about what is really going on with this compact and to better understand some of its illegalities, flawed assumptions, illogical conclusions and devastating consequences.

Please feel free to comment or help answer the questions.  That can be done either in the comments below this post, or you can submit information via the CONTACT page of this blog.

Here is the first question that we would like you to ponder.  You will note that we actually have asked more than one question below, but all are related to the specific subject matter, providing perhaps another way to look at the problem that Senator Daines, through his blind support of the compact, has created.

Thanks for taking the time to read and to participate.

QUESTION OF THE DAY 2020 / 05 / 19

“TRIBAL RESERVED” WATER RIGHTS

The very first sentence of the CSKT Compact begins with a big fat lie:

WHEREAS, pursuant to the Hellgate Treaty of 1855, 12 Stat. 975, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes reserved the Flathead Indian Reservation.

That misrepresentation of the factual history of the reservation and the treaty itself, is used by the compact “negotiators” to create and then settle something called TRIBAL RESERVED WATER RIGHTS – which such ‘rights’ do not exist, nor ever have.  These Fictitious, Tribal reserved water rights are also used to expand government overreach into Montana’s headwaters, off the reservation, into the tribe’s ceded aboriginal territory and beyond, covering 2/3 of the state of Montana.

SB262 / S3019 awards a whopping 28 million acre feet of water per year to the CSKT, and the combined claims in the abstracts preclude the use of at least 48 million acre feet of water throughout western Montana.

More than 99% of the water in the Daines Compact carries a time immemorial priority date because the three governments conspired together to create and then settle these legally fictitious TRIBAL RESERVED WATER RIGHTS.

So if they truly are TRIBAL RESERVED WATER RIGHTS, why does every abstract within SB262’s 1,500 pages list the United States Department of Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs as the owner of these claims (in trust for the tribes)? Why is the United States in the mix at all?

If these claims are TRIBAL RESERVED, and predate the existence of the United States, and the tribe’s treaty, can the federal government have any authority or jurisdiction over them at all?

If the United States does not have jurisdiction and control over these claims, who does?, How will water rights disputes be resolved if these previously unheard of water rights are added to the equation?

Do the governments of the United States or Montana have the authority to approve time immemorial anything?

Did the Montana legislature authorize the compact commission to create non-existent Tribal Reserved water Rights out of thin air for the purposes of settlement with the Indians?

What will these claims mean to the water rights of everyone else in Montana?

What impact will these claims have on water rights that were “settled” in other Montana water compacts, such as the Forest Service and the Bison Range Compacts?

If Senator Daines gets his compact, will other tribes replicate the CSKT / Daines Compact seeking vast amounts of water in their ceded “aboriginal territories?”

If you are interested in seeing how the ownership of the claims are recorded in the compact, here is the Flathead Lake abstract for a whopping 18 million acre feet of water with a time immemorial priority date.