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Components of the Negotiated Settlement and How They Fit Together June 27, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Components of the Negotiated Settlement and How They Fit Together June 27, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Components of the Negotiated Settlement and How They Fit Together June 27, 2012

2 Background u The Montana General Stream Adjudication requires the resolution of all pre-1973 claims to water rights in Montana. –This includes federal reserved water rights claimed by Indian tribes and the United States. u Tribal water rights can be resolved through litigation or through settlement. u The Montana legislature directed the Compact Commission to work with the Tribes and the US to reach a negotiated settlement of the Tribes water rights claims.

3 2008 CSKT Proposal u Protect existing verified uses of water. u Additional water to meet tribal needs, including in-stream flows. u Unified administration of water uses.

4 Why Do We Need a Settlement? u Status quo is not an option for the future. u The Adjudication will determine rights, including CSKT rights. u In the absence of a settlement, long and costly litigation may be required.

5 Reserved Water Rights u The 1908 Supreme Court held that when the United States sets aside land for an Indian reservation, a quantity of water is reserved which is necessary to fulfill that specific federal purpose. u Montana has finished six other compacts with Montana tribes; this is the last one.

6 Parties to Settlement u The three primary parties each have important interests and responsibilities. –State of Montana –Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes –The United States government

7 Benefits u Protects verified existing uses, including tribal member uses. u Allows new permits, such as new domestic allowance and stock water use. u Provides legal protection for pending domestic wells and permits that are currently in limbo. u Recognizes instream flow rights on and off the Reservation.

8 Benefits (continued) u Provides additional water resources for the Reservation. u Funding for habitat and FIIP improvements. u Settlement provides more benefits than litigation. u Settlement provides more local control than litigation.

9 Key Issues for Settlement u How to resolve all CSKT Tribal water right claims? u How to administer all water rights on the reservation in the future? u What should be the State and Federal monetary contributions to the settlement?

10 Settlement Package u Compact u Unitary Administration Ordinance u FIIP Water Use Agreement u State, Tribal, and Federal legislation

11 Compact u Confirms and quantifies all Tribal Water Rights. u Establishes the foundation for administering water rights on the Reservation. u Will be decreed by the Montana Water court as a final settlement of the water rights.

12 Unitary Administrative Ordinance u Creates a joint administration board. u Administers all water rights on the Reservation. u Authorizes future water uses on the Reservation.

13 FIIP Water Use Agreement u Draft agreement among Tribes, FJBC, and US on how to exercise the Tribal water right for the Flathead Indian Irrigation Project. u Establishes a betterment program that will use tribal settlement dollars.

14 State, Tribal, and Federal Legislation u All parties will need legislative approval of the settlement.

15 Other Key Parts u Compact System Water & use of Hungry Horse Reservoir. u Off-Reservation water claims settlement proposal by State and counter proposal by CSKT. u On-Reservation instream flow rights.

16 Next Steps u Parties working to complete draft documents. u Public meetings and comment. u Address comments and finalize settlement. u Introduce legislation in Montana 2013 legislative session.

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