The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of Montana officially acquired license control and assets of Kerr Dam on Sept. 5, renaming the hydro operation at the foot of Flathead Lake the “Salish Kootenai Dam,” despite a last-ditch legal effort to block the acquisition.
The CSKT held a ceremony in Pablo, Mont., on Saturday Sept. 5, with tribal council members, drums, dancers and historical photographic displays to mark an event that was negotiated 30 years ago.
Tribal Council Chairman Vernon Finley said that “It is a time of great happiness and great sorrow … We are regaining what we lost … we have a great responsibility.”
The dam was purchased for $18.2 million from Northwest Energy, after a succession of ownerships by PPL Montana and the Montana Power Co. Negotiations for a transfer of the Federal Energy Commission license and ownership of the dam date back to 1985. [Read more…]