Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 438 (ris) To provide for the settlement of the water rights claims of the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation, and for other purposes. [Referral Instructions Senate] ...

S. 438 (ris) To provide for the settlement of the water rights claims of the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation, and for other purposes. [Referral Instructions Senate] ...


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                                                       Calendar No. 297

106th CONGRESS

  1st Session

                                 S. 438

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL

    To provide for the settlement of the water rights claims of the 
   Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation, and for other 
                               purposes.

_______________________________________________________________________

                           September 30, 1999

 Committee discharged pursuant to the order of May 27, 1999; placed on 
                              the calendar
                                                       Calendar No. 297
106th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                 S. 438

    To provide for the settlement of the water rights claims of the 
   Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation, and for other 
                               purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                           February 22, 1999

 Mr. Burns (for himself and Mr. Baucus) introduced the following bill; 
   which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and 
                           Natural Resources

                              May 27, 1999

Committee discharged; referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs with 
   instructions that at such time as the Committee on Indian Affairs 
  reports the measure, it be referred to the Committee on Energy and 
Natural Resources for a period not to exceed 60 calendar days and that 
 if the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources has not reported the 
  measure prior to the expiration of the 60 calendar day period, the 
   Energy Committee be discharged from further consideration of the 
      measure and that the measure be then placed on the calender

                             July 22, 1999

              Reported by Mr. Campbell, without amendment

                             July 22, 1999

Referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for a period 
                     not to exceed 60 calendar days

                           September 30, 1999

 Committee discharged pursuant to the order of May 27, 1999; placed on 
                              the calendar

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
    To provide for the settlement of the water rights claims of the 
   Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation, and for other 
                               purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky 
Boy's Reservation Indian Reserved Water Rights Settlement Act of 
1999''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds that--
            (1) in fulfillment of its trust responsibility to Indian 
        tribes and to promote tribal sovereignty and economic self-
        sufficiency, it is the policy of the United States to settle 
        the water rights claims of the tribes without lengthy and 
        costly litigation;
            (2) the Rocky Boy's Reservation was established as a 
        homeland for the Chippewa Cree Tribe;
            (3) adequate water for the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky 
        Boy's Reservation is important to a permanent, sustainable, and 
        sovereign homeland for the Tribe and its members;
            (4) the sovereignty of the Chippewa Cree Tribe and the 
        economy of the Reservation depend on the development of the 
        water resources of the Reservation;
            (5) the planning, design, and construction of the 
        facilities needed to utilize water supplies effectively are 
        necessary to the development of a viable Reservation economy 
        and to implementation of the Chippewa Cree-Montana Water Rights 
        Compact;
            (6) the Rocky Boy's Reservation is located in a water-short 
        area of Montana and the Compact contemplates the development of 
        additional water supplies, including importation of domestic 
        water, to meet the needs of the Chippewa Cree Tribe;
            (7) proceedings to determine the full extent of the water 
        rights of the Chippewa Cree Tribe are currently pending before 
        the Montana Water Court as a part of In the Matter of the 
        Adjudication of All Rights to the Use of Water, Both Surface 
        and Underground, within the State of Montana;
            (8) recognizing that final resolution of the general stream 
        adjudication will take many years and entail great expense to 
        all parties, prolong uncertainty as to the availability of 
        water supplies, and seriously impair the long-term economic 
        planning and development of all parties, the Chippewa Cree 
        Tribe and the State of Montana entered into the Compact on 
        April 14, 1997; and
            (9) the allocation of water resources from the Tiber 
        Reservoir to the Chippewa Cree Tribe under this Act is uniquely 
        suited to the geographic, social, and economic characteristics 
        of the area and situation involved.

SEC. 3. PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are as follows:
            (1) To achieve a fair, equitable, and final settlement of 
        all claims to water rights in the State of Montana for--
                    (A) the Chippewa Cree Tribe; and
                    (B) the United States for the benefit of the 
                Chippewa Cree Tribe.
            (2) To approve, ratify, and confirm, as modified in this 
        Act, the Chippewa Cree-Montana Water Rights Compact entered 
        into by the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation 
        and the State of Montana on April 14, 1997, and to provide 
        funding and other authorization necessary for the 
        implementation of the Compact.
            (3) To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to execute 
        and implement the Compact referred to in paragraph (2) and to 
        take such other actions as are necessary to implement the 
        Compact in a manner consistent with this Act.
            (4) To authorize Federal feasibility studies designed to 
        identify and analyze potential mechanisms to enhance, through 
        conservation or otherwise, water supplies in North Central 
Montana, including mechanisms to import domestic water supplies for the 
future growth of the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation.
            (5) To authorize certain projects on the Rocky Boy's Indian 
        Reservation, Montana, in order to implement the Compact.
            (6) To authorize certain modifications to the purposes and 
        operation of the Bureau of Reclamation's Tiber Dam and Lake 
        Elwell on the Marias River in Montana in order to implement the 
Compact.
            (7) To authorize the appropriation of funds necessary for 
        the implementation of the Compact.

SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Compact.--The term ``Compact'' means the water rights 
        compact between the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's 
        Reservation and the State of Montana contained in section 85-
        20-601 of the Montana Code Annotated (1997).
            (2) Final.--The term ``final'' with reference to approval 
        of the decree in section 5(b) means completion of any direct 
        appeal to the Montana Supreme Court of a final decree by the 
        Water Court pursuant to section 85-2-235 of the Montana Code 
        Annotated (1997), or to the Federal Court of Appeals, including 
        the expiration of the time in which a petition for certiorari 
        may be filed in the United States Supreme Court, denial of such 
        a petition, or the issuance of the Supreme Court's mandate, 
        whichever occurs last.
            (3) Fund.--The term ``Fund'' means the Chippewa Cree Indian 
        Reserved Water Rights Settlement Fund established under section 
        10.
            (4) Indian tribe.--The term ``Indian tribe'' has the 
        meaning given that term in section 101(2) of the Federally 
        Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994 (25 U.S.C. 479a(2)).
            (5) MR&I feasibility study.--The term ``MR&I feasibility 
        study'' means a municipal, rural, and industrial, domestic, and 
        incidental drought relief feasibility study described in 
        section 7.
            (6) Missouri river system.--The term ``Missouri River 
        System'' means the mainstem of the Missouri River and its 
        tributaries, including the Marias River.
            (7) Reclamation law.--The term ``Reclamation Law'' has the 
        meaning given the term ``reclamation law'' in section 4 of the 
        Act of December 5, 1924 (43 Stat. 701, chapter 4; 43 U.S.C. 
        371).
            (8) Rocky boy's reservation; reservation.--The term ``Rocky 
        Boy's Reservation'' or ``Reservation'' means the Rocky Boy's 
        Reservation of the Chippewa Cree Tribe in Montana.
            (9) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of the Interior, or his or her duly authorized representative.
            (10) Towe ponds.--The term ``Towe Ponds'' means the 
        reservoir or reservoirs referred to as ``Stoneman Reservoir'' 
        in the Compact.
            (11) Tribal compact administration.--The term ``Tribal 
        Compact Administration'' means the activities assumed by the 
        Tribe for implementation of the Compact as set forth in Article 
        IV of the Compact.
            (12) Tribal water code.--The term ``tribal water code'' 
        means a water code adopted by the Tribe, as provided in the 
        Compact.
            (13) Tribal water right.--
                    (A) In general.--The term ``Tribal Water Right'' 
                means the water right set forth in section 85-20-601 of 
                the Montana Code Annotated (1997).
                    (B) Rule of construction.--The definition of the 
                term ``Tribal Water Right'' under this paragraph and 
                the treatment of that right under this Act shall not be 
                construed or interpreted as a precedent for the 
                litigation of reserved water rights or the 
                interpretation or administration of future compacts 
                between the United States and the State of Montana or 
                any other State.
            (14) Tribe.--The term ``Tribe'' means the Chippewa Cree 
        Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation and all officers, agents, 
        and departments thereof.
            (15) Water development.--The term ``water development'' 
        includes all activities that involve the use of water or 
        modification of water courses or water bodies in any way.

SEC. 5. RATIFICATION OF COMPACT AND ENTRY OF DECREE.

    (a) Water Rights Compact Approved.--Except as modified by this Act, 
and to the extent the Compact does not conflict with this Act--
            (1) the Compact, entered into by the Chippewa Cree Tribe of 
        the Rocky Boy's Reservation and the State of Montana on April 
        14, 1997, is hereby approved, ratified, and confirmed; and
            (2) the Secretary shall--
                    (A) execute and implement the Compact together with 
                any amendments agreed to by the parties or necessary to 
                bring the Compact into conformity with this Act; and
                    (B) take such other actions as are necessary to 
                implement the Compact.
    (b) Approval of Decree.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
        enactment of this Act, the United States, the Tribe, or the 
        State of Montana shall petition the Montana Water Court, 
        individually or jointly, to enter and approve the decree agreed 
        to by the United States, the Tribe, and the State of Montana 
        attached as Appendix 1 to the Compact, or any amended version 
        thereof agreed to by the United States, the Tribe, and the 
        State of Montana.
            (2) Resort to the federal district court.--Under the 
        circumstances set forth in Article VII.B.4 of the Compact, 1 or 
        more parties may file an appropriate motion (as provided in 
        that article) in the United States district court of 
        appropriate jurisdiction.
            (3) Effect of failure of approval to become final.--In the 
        event the approval by the appropriate court, including any 
        direct appeal, does not become final within 3 years after the 
filing of the decree, or the decree is approved but is subsequently set 
aside by the appropriate court--
                    (A) the approval, ratification, and confirmation of 
                the Compact by the United States shall be null and 
                void; and
                    (B) except as provided in sections 11(g)(1) and 
                13(a) and (c)(3), this Act shall be of no further force 
                and effect.

SEC. 6. USE AND TRANSFER OF THE TRIBAL WATER RIGHT.

    (a) Administration and Enforcement.--As provided in the Compact, 
until the adoption and approval of a tribal water code by the Tribe, 
the Secretary shall administer and enforce the Tribal Water Right.
    (b) Tribal Member Entitlement.--
            (1) In general.--Any entitlement to Federal Indian reserved 
        water of any tribal member shall be satisfied solely from the 
        water secured to the Tribe by the Compact and shall be governed 
        by the terms and conditions of the Compact.
            (2) Administration.--An entitlement described in paragraph 
        (1) shall be administered by the Tribe pursuant to a tribal 
        water code developed and adopted pursuant to Article IV.A.2 of 
        the Compact, or by the Secretary pending the adoption and 
        approval of the tribal water code.
    (c) Temporary Transfer of Tribal Water Right.--Notwithstanding any 
other provision of statutory or common law, the Tribe may, with the 
approval of the Secretary and subject to the limitations and conditions 
set forth in the Compact, including limitation on transfer of any 
portion of the Tribal Water Right to within the Missouri River Basin, 
enter into a service contract, lease, exchange, or other agreement 
providing for the temporary delivery, use, or transfer of the water 
rights confirmed to the Tribe in the Compact, except that no service 
contract, lease, exchange, or other agreement entered into under this 
subsection may permanently alienate any portion of the Tribal Water 
Right.

SEC. 7. FEASIBILITY STUDIES AUTHORIZATION.

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