The proclamation creating the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument (signed on January 17, 2001) established reserved water rights in Arrow Creek and in the Judith River. Both of these waters are tributaries to the Upper Missouri River. The reserved water rights are intended to maintain fully functioning cottonwood gallery forest ecosystems and other water dependent objects of biological interest in this monument.
The BLM will now begin negotiating with the Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission to define those water rights. The Commission is the body designated the responsibility of negotiating on behalf of the State of Montana and represents the interests of state-based water right holders. After a series of negotiation meetings with the right holder, the Commission takes its recommendations concerning such reserved water rights to the Montana Legislature for approval as a water compact.
Chad Krause (406) 538-1908