by Dr. Ed Berry
The CSKT Water Compact debate includes includes three “threats.”
1. Opponents claim the CSKT “threatens” them.
Compact opponents claim the CSKT’s required legal alternative to file 10,000 water rights claims is a “threat.”
Compact opponents pound their chests and shout, “No one threatens me! I’ll fight the Injuns in court.”
These opponents would stand in front of a speeding locomotive and call the locomotive a “threat.”
The Tribes made deals with the feds before Montana was a state. Like it or not, the Tribes have legitimate water claims in Montana. Now, we must resolve their water claims so we can move on to build a better Montana.
The Tribes, with the support of the federal government, began their water-rights lawsuits in the 1970’s.
In a demonstration of wisdom not shown by today’s Compact opponents, the 1979 Montana legislature created the Compact Commission to negotiate and conclude water-rights settlements.
On this basis, the Tribes and the feds agreed to postpone their water-rights lawsuits and negotiate instead.
Now it’s show time. [Read more…]