CSKT Water Compact to move forward after ruling

District Judge Manley issued a ruling in the Flathead Joint Board of Control v. State of Montana case. The ruling, which identified a small part of the Compact as unconstitutional, allows the Compact to move forward and does not substantively change the agreement that took decades to negotiate.

Judge Manley crafted an order that respects the will of the negotiating parties and ensures that the Compact can continue to move through the ratification process in Congress. In reaction to the ruling, Farmers and Ranchers for Montana (“FARM”) spokeswoman, Shelby DeMars released the following statement:

 “The decision made by Judge Manley speaks to the importance of this agreement to the negotiating parties as well as the State of Montana as a whole,” said DeMars. “Without the Compact thousands of Montanans would be forced to defend their existing water rights and residents of our state would be faced with decades of litigation. Judge Manley’s ruling respects both Montana law and the efforts of all parties involved in the Compacting process to produce an agreement that will benefit all Montanans, both on and off the reservation.”

The Compact is currently awaiting ratification by Congress and the Tribes prior to implementation.

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