HELENA – The Montana Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the CSKT water compact.

Early last year, the Flathead Joint Board of Control mounted a legal challenge to a small part of the compact, which aims to establish tribal water rights in the Flathead Basin.

The board argued the provision was unconstitutional and should have had a two-thirds majority for approval in the Montana legislature.

Wednesday’s decision, delivered by Montana Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike McGrath, confirms the constitutionality of both the compact and the legislative procedures under which it was approved.

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The compact is currently awaiting ratification by Congress and the Tribes prior to implementation.

MTN’s Melissa Rafferty