Posts Tagged ‘Flathead Joint Board of Control’

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cskt irrigationMore than a century of confusion and disagreement over that most tension-producing of subjects in the West — water — came to an end yesterday when the Flathead Indian Irrigation Project was signed in Washington, D.C.

The agreement, between tribal and nontribal entities, is the first of its kind, and goes into effect tomorrow, Missoulian (Mont.) reporter Vince Devlin recounts here.

“This is truly a historic agreement we are signing today with our non-Indian neighbors,” says E.T. “Bud” Moran, chairman of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.”I am glad we decided a few years ago to resolve our differences through negotiation.”

Devlin writes:

    The agreement creates the Flathead Indian Irrigation Project Cooperative Management Entity, or CME, which will have an equal number of representatives from the Flathead Joint Board of Control and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes….

    The project, including rights-of-way and real property, will remain a federal project. It includes 17 major storage reservoirs, 1,300 miles of canals and laterals and more than 10,000 structures….

    The Flathead Indian Irrigation project dates back more than a century, to 1908. Four years after it enacted the Flathead Allotment Act, Congress authorized construction of the irrigation project and directed the transfer of its management and operation to the owners of the lands being irrigated, when certain conditions and repayment of the debt of construction were met.

    But the Joint Board of Control and the tribes never could agree as to what precisely was to be turned over.

Moran, Walt Schock, chairman of the Joint Board of Control, and Larry Echohawk, assistant secretary of the Interior and head of the BIA, signed the agreement at the Department of Interior yesterday.

Gwen Florio

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