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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 26, 2016.
Salish and Kootenai Water Rights Settlement Act of 2016
This bill authorizes, ratifies, and confirms a specified water rights settlement entered into by the United States, Montana, and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation of Montana. Specified claims of the tribes against the United States are waived and released.
The Department of the Interior shall allocate specified amounts of storage water in Hungry Horse Reservoir for use by the tribes.
In addition, the bill: (1) establishes provisions related to the development of hydroelectric power within the reservation; (2) requires the Bureau of Reclamation to carry out specified activities related to the Flathead Indian Irrigation Project; (3) establishes, for purposes of carrying out the bill, the Selis-Qlispe Ksanka Settlement Trust Fund and the Salish and Kootenai Compact Fund; and (4) confirms certain instream flow water rights of the tribes.