On the surface, the proposed CSKT Compact would appear to be about resolving the federal reserved water rights of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT). After all, that is why the Compact Commission was established by the legislature in 1979 with a view toward quantifying these rights outside of a court of law through negotiated settlement. But as Concerned Citizens studied the proposed Compact, we found that the elements of the negotiated settlement really had nothing to do with quantifying the federal reserved water rights of the CSKT. The Compact is instead about control.
Property Rights and the Compact
The implications of the proposed CSKT Compact on property rights throughout Montana have received scant attention, but remain serious obstacles to simply “approving” the Compact based on general platitudes. The four major elements of the Compact, of which excerpts are provided below, describe a vigorous assault on property rights of Montanans that are far outside the scope of the quantification of a federal reserved water right for the CSKT. A federal reserved water right is defined as the amount of water to fulfill the purposes of the (federal) reservation—no more, no less. Following are excerpts from the Compact itself that describe the serious issues that still must be resolved in order for the Compact to gain broad public acceptance.
Read this entire article here and pay special attention to the first comment by veryconcernedcitizen42 and the connection to the Ryan Zinke campaign.