HELENA, Mont. - Governor Greg Gianforte, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Chairwoman Shelly Fyant and Senator Jon Tester issued proclamations after the Interior Secretary signed a water rights compact for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.
“With the compact formally executed and with the Montana Water Rights Protection Act enacted into law, farmers, ranchers, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, and all Montana water users will have the certainty they need about the use of one of our most precious resources, water,” Gov. Gianforte said. “I am grateful for the leadership of Chairwoman Fyant, state legislators, and members of our federal delegation in Washington, D.C. for making the compact and the settlement a reality.”
“Our elders continually remind us to protect our water and this day marks the beginning of the water compact implementation that will protect the water for all generations to come. The many people who worked on this, especially those who are no longer with us, I’d like to honor them for their efforts allowing us to reach this point. They were all instrumental in realizing this long-awaited vision,” Chairwoman Fyant said.
“Today is a historic day for Montana taxpayers, ranchers, farmers, and Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes,” Sen. Tester said. “Water is life, and the Compact honors our trust responsibilities, creates jobs, and prevents decades of costly litigation while investing in infrastructure and providing certainty to water users everywhere. I am proud to have led the effort to get this Compact signed into law, and I will continue working with the Tribes and water users to hold the government accountable and ensure it is implemented quickly and effectively.”
You can view Gov. Gianforte's and Chairwoman Fyant's joint proclamation in its entirety below: