Montana Wildlife Federation Lauds Senator Tester’s Water Rights Settlement Bill for Fort Belknap Indian Community

U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana) has introduced a bill affirming the water rights of the Fort Belknap Indian Community and returning lands taken from the tribes under duress in the early 1900s.

After closely examining the proposal, the Montana Wildlife Federation sent a letter of support to Senator Tester. In doing so, MWF joins several other Montana conservation organizations that have decided to support the bill. In addition to restoring culturally significant lands to the tribes, the bill will also protect wildlife habitat and water quality impacted by historic mining.

Dave Chadwick, executive director of the Montana Wildlife Federation, said the following:


“In addition to bringing some overdue closure to the tribes’ claims, this proposal will benefit wildlife populations, habitat integrity, and water quality. We are grateful to tribal leaders and Senator Tester for their commitment to protecting hunting and fishing access by non-tribal citizens, and making this proposal a real win for all Montanans.”

For more information read the Montana Wildlife Federation’s full support letter or contact Melissa Petrich at (253) 861-3927