An agreement between the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the federal government over long-disputed water rights took a major step forward Thursday when Montana Sen. Steve Daines said he plans to introduce a bill that would implement a new settlement framework.
“Today is a really important step. We’ve reached a historic compromise on a century-old dispute that protects the water rights of all Montanans,” Daines said Thursday in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C. “We’ve reached a new agreement that addressed my concerns, that addressed those of many others in the agriculture community, and attempts to address the concerns of some of those who have been opposed to the compact.”
The announcement comes on the heels of two Trump administration officials recently signaling their support for the proposed CSKT-Montana compact, which the Montana Legislature passed in 2015. The compact would resolve water rights claims between the tribes and other