Senate Committee Passes SB 262 on CSKT Water Compact
This morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee took executive action on Senate Bill 262 (Implement CSKT water rights settlement). The bill passed committee by a vote of 8-4 and will now advance to the Senate floor.
Republican Senators Chas Vincent (Libby, bill sponsor), Doug Kary (Billings) and Nels Swandal (Wilsall) joined Democrats Robyn Driscoll (Billings), Cliff Larsen (Missoula), Mary McNally (Billings), Mary Sheehy Moe (Great Falls) and Diane Sands (Missoula) to vote in support of the bill. We encourage you to reach out to these Senators in appreciation for the support of this important piece of legislation.
As you know, Montana Stockgrowers Association came out in support of the CSKT Water Compact last month. You can read our press release here.
On Monday of this week, the President Gene Curry testified in support of the Compact, SB 262, in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He outlined why the Stockgrowers Association supports this critical legislation:
- The compact includes numerous protections for historic water users that would not be available through litigation.
- In those cases where the CSKT are granted off reservation rights with a time in memorial priority date, the rights are limited in a manner to protect historic water use
- If the compact is not ratified, water right claims filed by the CSKT will likely be larger, more senior and likely encompass a greater area of the state.
- Regardless the outcome of the litigation it will be expensive, lengthy and disruptive to the current adjudication process
“It is important to pass this critical piece of legislation and not force thousands of family ranchers in similar situations of this type of litigation,” said Curry during his testimony.
To protect Montana’s ranchers, we need YOU to Take Action in support of the Compact.
Call your Senator and House members today and tell them to support the Compact – (406) 444-4800. Let them know that the compact is the right choice for ranchers. Individual contact information can be found on the Montana Legislature’s website.
For more information on the compact, you can go to the DNRC website and read more. MSGA will share more information about the compact in next week’s member newsletter.