Environment | Law | Politics

Members of Crow Tribe set for vote on water rights settlement

Members of the Crow Tribe of Montana will vote this Saturday on a water right settlement that was signed into law by President Barack Obama last December.

Some landowners on the reservation oppose the deal, fearing it takes away their water rights without compensation and treats future claims as inferior to those of the state and of non-Indians. Some filed a lawsuit in tribal court hoping to delay the election but a judge rejected the request.

“I believe that the allottees are well-protected and I don’t see any problems in the future as far as protecting the rights of allottees as far as the beneficial use of the water is concerned,” Chairman Cedric Black Eagle told The Billings Gazette.

The settlement confirms the tribe's rights to the Bighorn River and Bighorn Lake. It also provides $460 million for water projects on the reservation.

Get the Story:
Debate continues ahead of vote on Crow Water Settlement Act (The Billings Gazette 3/17)

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

Related Stories:
Echo Hawk urges Crow Tribe to approve water rights settlement (3/4)
HCN: Crow Tribe prepares to vote on water rights settlement (2/23)
Letter: Water rights settlement betrays needs of the Crow Tribe (1/28)
Landowners from Crow Tribe rally against water rights settlement (1/27)
Crow Tribe discusses water rights settlement in advance of vote (1/21)
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)

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