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Old 11-20-2013, 11:32 AM
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Default Control of water is 'everything.'

Ravalli County to hire out-of-state water rights attorney
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Old 11-20-2013, 07:57 PM
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Default Re: Control of water is 'everything.'

Fred: Interesting read, but I didn't feel like I got the whole story of what is going on. For example, why is the fed filing a water rights claim, what is their objective?

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Old 11-20-2013, 10:38 PM
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Default Re: Control of water is 'everything.'

Yeah that isn't a very concise article, I agree Larry. I just moved to Ravalli county from Missoula and I am going look into this.

Unfortunately when I hear the commissioners use the private property argument and hire out of state law firms I am skeptical. Sadly the private property debate is now code for "do whatever you want to the river that runs along your property line."



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Old 11-21-2013, 01:17 AM
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Default Re: Control of water is 'everything.'

Agreed. The article doesn't explain what the underlying issue is that is in dispute.

I agree also, that the particular law firm that is being considered sounds suspicious at best.

I would hope that the forest service is hoping to maintain minimum flows until the water leaves their boundaries, but the article doesn't say that -- or anything else. Makes one wonder what is going on.
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Old 11-21-2013, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: Control of water is 'everything.'

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbusman View Post
I would hope that the forest service is hoping to maintain minimum flows until the water leaves their boundaries, but the article doesn't say that -- or anything else. Makes one wonder what is going on.
This was my first thought as well. There are a lot of old, grandfathered dams on the small tribs of the Bitterroot. There really is no other reason for the USFS to be involved. But apparently there are some folks who would just as soon dry up a little creek to water their lawn before it even gets down into the pasture land (where it is pumped dry by August).
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: Control of water is 'everything.'

Just off the top of my head thoughts follow.

The BR is snow water feed and a low snow pack (last winter) means less water for the rest of the year. For most of it 'history' the surrounding property owner's were farmers and pulled what ever water they wanted (State permit needed?).

Then came the 'tourist' and the fishing industry became a major financial contributor to the local economies. No water, no real place to fish, and the 'tourist' goes elsewhere.

All these are, are just an extension of the "Water Wars" of the 1850's (give or take time frame).
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