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Flathead Water Compact: Listen to farmers, ranchers, irrigators

Flathead Water Compact: Listen to farmers, ranchers, irrigators

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Don’t be fooled by the hysteria being promoted by opponents of the Flathead Reservation Compact and Water Use Agreement. Many of these anti-government, anti-Indian opponents are not irrigators, and many are new arrivals to the Mission Valley and Flathead Indian Reservation.

Instead, listen to the thoughtful and experienced farmers, ranchers and irrigators who have been signing letters to Gov. Steve Bullock and Attorney General Tim Fox. Hundreds of people, representing more than 50,000 acres of the 112,000 acres of irrigation district lands on the Flathead Indian Irrigation Project, have clearly said that they understand that the compact and WUA provide for a secure, reliable supply of water for irrigation. They understand the compact and agreement provide a mechanism for those people who need extra water to receive that water. They understand that millions of dollars in state and federal money to rebuild a deteriorated irrigation project without cost to irrigators is worth pursuing.

They understand that the Flathead Joint Board of Control is simply trying to position itself for protracted and expensive litigation. These thoughtful farmers and ranchers, many of whom have farmed in this area for generations, understand that when virtually every attorney and water expert who has examined the compact and WUA pronounces it a good deal, it’s a good deal. This includes the FJBC attorney, who earlier this year assured everyone it was a good deal, with a secure supply of water.

Don’t be fooled. It’s a good deal. Please join with the thoughtful, multi-generational farmers and ranchers who are supporting the compact and WUA. Look for the letters to Bullock and Fox signed by your friends and neighbors, and add your name to the hundreds of landowners and tens of thousands of acres supporting the compact and WUA.

Ken Cornelius, Ronan

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