Flathead Compact Picture

SEELEY LAKE, Mont. – About three weeks ago, I had not one, but four different people reached out to me with questions about the Flathead Compact. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, very simply, the Flathead Compact is a water rights agreement between the State of Montana and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

The Montana DNRC sent out over 60,000 flyers in the mail to residents in Western Montana, which has raised a lot of questions, primarily, does this agreement affect me and my property? So I want to thank Dennis, Jacqulyn, Pat, and Debby for sending me questions. They are all homeowners in the Seeley Lake area. They all had that same question. So I went directly to the source.

I talked with multiple people in the Montana DNRC office, including Ethan Mace, a DNRC hydrologist for the Compact Implementation Program. He told me in terms of these Seeley Lake residents that their property and water rights will not be affected by this agreement. Mace says nothing should change for them. The Compact just has to do with the Flathead Indian Reservation land.

Now if you received a flyer in the mail, and are curious about your property in Western Montana, you can visit the list of resources below. There are also members of the Montana DNRC ready to answer more specific questions or concerns that you have about your own property.

Here are some good links and websites for more information about the Flathead Compact:

Flathead Compact Information Website: http://dnrc.mt.gov/divisions/water/water-compact-implementation-program/confederated-salish-and-kootenai-tribes-compact

Flathead Compact Story Map: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/4faba73d1eca46678cf091f2636329ec

FAQ: http://dnrc.mt.gov/divisions/water/water-compact-implementation-program/docs/cskt/registrations/dnrc-oct-2021-cskt-compact-faqs.pdf

For questions

DNRC: dnrc_publicinfo@mt.gov

Arne Wick, Program Manager: awick@mt.gov; 406-444-5700

Ethan Mace, Hydrologist: emace@mt.gov; 406-542-5890

Joel Harris, Water Resource Specialist: harrisj@mt.gov; 406-444-1270

To contact CSKT with questions, please contact CSKT:

Mary Price, CSKT Legal Department: 406-675-2700 ext. 1167

Seth Makepeace, CSKT Natural Resources Department: 406-675-2700 ext. 6255

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Originally published on montanarightnow.com, part of the TownNews Content Exchange.

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