Those Who Oppose Compact Have No Solution

With the CSKT compact state-based water rights are protected

By Susan Lake

I just listened to ad claiming personal property rights would be redistributed to the feds, the state and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes if the CSKT compact passes. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Flathead County Commissioner Gary Krueger did his homework on the compact and that is why after questioning and challenging the process he understood the risks of having no compact.

With the CSKT compact state-based water rights are protected.

“1. All stock, municipal, domestic, commercial & industrial rights ARE 100% protected on and off the reservation. Compact Art. III.G.1.12, Compact Art. III.G.1,Compact Art. III.G.1,Compact Art. III.G.1.

All other non-irrigation rights 100% protected on- and off-Reservation –Compact Art. III.G.1. The Compact does NOT change regulatory jurisdiction over anything off the Reservation – the Tribes get NO new say over management of water rights, water quality, wildlife, or anything else off the Reservation. Compact Art. IV.C.1, V.B.22. “

Irrigation water is also protected.

If we have no compact, 86 water basins in two-thirds of the state will be reopened, water adjudication will start all over. The tribe was required to file their claims with the DNRC and they are sitting in limbo unless the compact is defeated. Their claims are the most senior in the state and they are accepted as filed (Montana water law). If you are affected you will have to object to the tribes’ claim. The federal government will “vigorously” defend the tribes’ claim as required by law.

If there is no compact this will happen. Those who oppose the compact have no solution. Gary Kruger did his homework. He knows the compact protects your property rights and property values. He is conservative, he is dedicated to Flathead County and he has the guts to stand up against politicians with no real answers to very real problems.

Susan Lake
Ronan

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