Crow Tribe discusses water rights settlement in advance of vote

The Crow Tribe of Montana is asking its members to approve a water rights settlement that President Barack Obama signed into law last month.

The law secures the tribe's rights to 500,000 acre-feet a year from the Bighorn River and 300,000 acre-feet a year of water stored in Bighorn Lake. It also authorizes $460 million to improve the water system on the reservation.

Tribal members will vote March 8 whether to accept the deal. An attorney who works for the tribe said it will be hard to pass Indian water rights settlements in the future.

“Any Indian tribe, from this point on, that wants to take a water rights settlement through Congress is going to have a very, very difficult time,” attorney Rod Lewis said at a meeting on the reservation, The Billings Gazette reported.

Get the Story:
Crow Tribe meets over fate of water rights bill (The Billings Gazette 1/21)

Crow Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act of 2009:
H.R. 3563 | S.375

Related Stories:
Crow Tribe holds a series of meetings for water rights settlement (1/12)
Crow Tribe to celebrate settlement of water rights at NMAI in DC (12/10)
Claims Settlement Act authorizes $460M Crow water settlement (12/1)
Senate passes water rights settlements for tribes in three states (11/22)
Letter: Members of Crow Tribe should vote against water rights (10/6)
Crow Chairman: Water settlement in tribe's best interests (4/2)
Opinion: Water bill hurts landowners on Crow Reservation (3/29)
Crow Tribe's water rights settlement advances (9/11)
Crow Tribe near deal on water rights settlement (08/03)

Join the Conversation