Opinion

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Letter

Montana Sovereignty

The great state of Montana’s future sovereignty and future new-use water rights are under threat

Farmers and Ranchers for Montana (F.A.R.M.), an organization formed and funded, at least partially by dark money, is at again. Have you heard or seen the recent media blitz across our great state touting the high praise of the Montana water compact? If you said yes, then you too are witness to the recent dark money deception. You see, there is no such thing as the Montana water compact. Never has the Montana Legislature seen, approved, or debated any such compact! Therefore it is clear that F.A.R.M. employs the dubious art of deception.

The great state of Montana’s future sovereignty and future new-use water rights are under threat. Crafted as certainty, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Compact, aka CSKT compact, is the actual name of the federal threat that visits our watershed shores. So, it stands to reason that the commonly referred to Montana water compact is a federal propaganda fantasy.

Logically, a fantasy, too, is the recent blitz of advertised high praise for this grand bargain to claim most of western Montana’s future growth of new water uses into federal jurisdiction. Fact: Governor Steve Bullock supports federalizing Montana’s watershed.

Fact: Bullock affirmed the appointment of Chris Tweeten as chairman of the Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission (RWRCC). Fact: Bullock appointed John Tubbs as Director of the Department of Natural Resources (DNRC). Fact: the RWRCC and the DNRC simultaneously hired famed staff attorney, Melissa Hornbein, to sell, yes that’s right, to sell the CSKT compact to Montana legislators, county commissioners, professional organizations and to Montana citizens at privately held and invite-only fear mongering sessions. Fact: Ms. Hornbein was a hired gun tasked to carry out Bullock’s political charge. Fact: an attorney’s mandate is to put forth the most convincing arguments on behalf of their employer.

F.A.R.M. may as well change their defined title to match their federally aligned dubious agenda: Fraud Against Ranchers of Montana! Fact: Montanans will never forget and will never quit. The forever federal jurisdiction of most of Montana’s future untapped new water uses is a threat to Montana’s resource rich sovereignty.

David Passieri
Saint Ignatius