Governor Bullock Signs Bi-Partisan CSKT Water Compact


April 24, 2015

Shelby DeMars

Governor Bullock Signs Bi-Partisan CSKT Water Compact
Hundreds Show Support for CSKT Water Compact at Governor’s Signing Ceremony

(Helena, Mont.)—After passing both chambers of the Montana State Legislature with bi-partisan majorities SB 262, the CSKT Water Compact, has made its way to the Governor’s desk where Governor Bullock signed the bill early this afternoon.

“Folks who might have previously opposed the Compact were willing to put politics aside and look at the facts on this complex issue,” said Governor Bullock during the signing. “It recognizes the Treaty rights of the Tribe, it provides protections for existing water users on and off the reservation, it makes new water available, and it provides certainty against the threat of decades of litigation that would hamper economic development across Montana.”

Similar to the legislative hearings on the Compact the room was filled with hundreds of supporters from all corners of the state who represented members of Montana’s agriculture industries, irrigators, municipalities, and businesses who lent their support to the bill as it moved through the legislative process.

“We’re relieved to see the bill be signed,” said Mike Murphy, Executive Director of the Montana Water Resources Association. “The passage of the Compact means that irrigators will have certainty moving forward and will have access to the water resources that they need.”

For many Montanans, the passage of the Compact means not only water right certainty, but financial security. Without the Compact, many water right owners would be forced to defend their water rights in the Montana Water Court.

“Governor Bullock, Attorney General Fox, and the members of this legislature who fought to get the Compact passed should be commended for ensuring the security of water rights for people across Montana,” said Walt Sales, co-chair of Farmers And Ranchers for Montana (FARM), a grassroots coalitions of over 600 farmers, ranchers, and irrigators from across the state. “Without the Compact many water users would have been forced to spend millions defending their water rights.”

The Compact will now progress to the United States Congress where it will have to be ratified.

Farmers And Ranchers for Montana (FARM) is a coalition of hundred of farmers and ranchers, united with local leaders, tribal governments, businesses, water-users, and other Montanans who support the approval of a Water Compact.

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