The Montana Stockgrowers Association and Montana Water Resources Association have joined forces with the Montana Farm Bureau Federation to support the state of Montana’s proposed Water Compact with the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes (CSKT).

“The Stockgrowers Association conducted a thorough legal analysis of the current CSKT Water Compact and through that analysis, our organization is supporting this Compact,” said Gene Curry, President of the Montana Stockgrowers Association. “It is important to protect historic water uses on and off the reservation and provide some certainty for all water right holders in Montana.”

The support of the Stockgrowers comes after the Montana Farm Bureau Federation declared their support of the Compact during the January 12th meeting of the Montana Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission and the Commission’s unanimous vote to move the Compact to the Montana State Legislature for further approval.

“We were very diligent in our review of the Compact and the impact it would have on our members if passed,” said Montana Farm Bureau Federation spokeswoman Chelcie Cremer. “Montana’s farmers and ranchers depend on reliable access to water to preserve their livelihoods.  The Compact will protect Montana’s agricultural industries and ensure water rights certainty for future generations.”

The Montana Water Resources Association also joined in supporting the Compact, citing the protection of private property and water rights that the Compact provides.

“If the Compact fails irrigators and water users will be forced to shoulder the costs of the litigation that will result,” said Mike Murphy of the Montana Water Resources Association. “Specifically, the Compact provides provisions that protect irrigators both on and off the reservation and ensure they are able to obtain access to the water resources they need. Protection of water and other property rights is of utmost importance to our organization and is an important aspect of why we support passing the Compact.”

The support of the Montana Stockgrowers Association and the Montana Water Resources Association for the Compact shows the continued growth of support for the Compact among the agriculture community, irrigators, and water users across the state.

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