Negotiation of the Montana - National Park Service Compact
Amman, D., Cosens, B., and Specking, J. Negotiation of the Montana - National Park Service Compact, 5 RIVERS 35, January, 1995
Posted: 20 Jan 2016
Date Written: January 18, 2016
In 1994, the State of Montana and the United States signed a compact settling the reserved water rights for Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, and Big Hole Battlefield National Monument. Negotiators were the Montana Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Department of Justice. The Compact protects current private water use, allocates water for future appropriations, and maintains high levels of instream flow for streams shared by private users and the national parks. In addition, a controlled groundwater area was created to limit and monitor groundwater use outside Yellowstone Park that might affect hydrothermal features within the Park. This paper explains the legal and technical analyses of reserved and private water rights, and describes the negotiation process used to finalize the compact.
Keywords: reserved water rights, groundwater protection, water settlement, adaptive management
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