Confederated Salish and
Kootenai Tribes

On December 12, 2013 the Compact Commission provided to WPIC and released to the public the Report on the Compact as directed by the Governor.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (Tribes), the State of Montana and the United States (collectively the Parties) negotiated over many years to reach a proposed water rights settlement. The settlement was released to the public in November 2012. Following roughly two dozen public meetings held across western Montana, the settlement was revised and re-released in February 2013. The settlement is comprised of a proposed Water Rights Compact (Compact), which includes a series of appendices, and a proposed Unitary Administration and Management Ordinance. The documents are listed below under the “February 13, 2013” heading.

The Montana Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission met on February 26, 2013, and voted 8-1 to recommend taking the proposed settlement to the Legislature for approval during the current session. The proposed settlement was introduced as HB629, “Implement negotiated water compacts with Montana tribal governments”. The compact bill was tabled in the House Judiciary Committee.

Please note that the water rights abstracts that make up several of the Compact appendices continue to be marked as “draft.” This is because these abstracts will not become enforceable until after Legislative ratification and the Water Court approves the Compact and issues a decree including these rights. These draft abstracts are the set of abstracts that the Parties intend to have the Water Court approve at the appropriate time and they spell out the proposed quantification of the Tribes’ water rights in great detail.

SB265, an act extending the adjudication claim filing period and requiring a study of the Compact was passed by the 2013 Legislature. Governor Bullock vetoed this bill. In his veto letter he directed the Compact Commission to prepare a report addressing the questions raised during the 2013 Legislative session about the Compact. The veto letter can be found here.

Please also note that several of the appendices have been renumbered since the November 2012 document release. For ease of reference a table correlating the old and new appendix numbers is available here.

February 13, 2013


November 8, 2012


October 24, 2012

Negotiating Session Presentation

October 10, 2012

Summary of the Compact and Ordinance

October 3, 2012

Negotiating Session Presentation (Draft Compact & Ordinance)

October 1, 2012

Public Review Draft Water Rights Compact
Entered into by the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, the State Of Montana, and United States of America

September 5, 2012

Review of Key Components of a CSKT-Montana Water Rights Settlement

September 4, 2012

Public Information Meeting

Technical basis for Flathead Indian irrigation Project Water Use Agreement

Background of the EvapoTranspiration Mapping Procedure

August 20, 2012

FJBC Information Meeting

August 1, 2012

Public Information Meeting

July 20, 2012

Question & Answer  -- CSKT-State Compact Negotiations

June 27, 2012

June 5, 2012

  • Draft Agreement Between CSKT, BIA and Flathead Joint Board of Control
    This draft Stipulation agreement is a proposed private agreement among the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, the Flathead Joint Board of Control and the United States regarding the exercise of the consumptive use water right for the Flathead Indian Irrigation Project and the instream flow water rights pertaining to various streams within the FIIP service area that are expected to be quantified as part of the Tribal Water Right recognized in a comprehensive water rights settlement among the Tribes, the State of Montana and the United States.  The State of Montana is not a party to the draft Stipulation, but posts this agreement here as a convenience to the parties to the draft Stipulation and the public.

    Summary of Agreement

State of Montana’s Proposal for the Resolution of the Off-Reservation Water Right Claims of the CSKT

May 30, 2012

May 15, 2012

March 7, 2012

January 30, 2012

July 20, 2011

Draft Administrative Ordinance Provisions

March 19, 2012

September 22, 2011

June 29, 2011

April 27, 2011

Proposed New Permits and Changes Flow Chart 

January 7, 2011

September 23, 2008

Hungry Horse Reservoir

Below are links to a cover letter and a report detailing the State's response to the Tribes' proposal for access to up to 90KAF of releases from Hungry Horse Reservoir as a component of a comprehensive water rights settlement. Below is also a link to the Bureau of Reclamation's report modeling the possible effects of the Tribes' proposal.


Dept. of Natural Resources & Conservation
1625 Eleventh Ave.
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-2074
Fax: (406) 444-2684