CSKT/DNRC - MWRPA Land Exchange

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) is working in collaboration with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes on land exchange planning.

On December 27, 2020, the President signed Public Law Number 116-260, which included the Montana Water Rights Protection Act (MWRPA). The MWRPA authorizes and confirms the water rights settlement entered into by the United States, the State of Montana, and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation of Montana (CSKT Compact).

Section 13(j) of the MWRPA authorizes the exchange of up to 36,808 acres of state trust lands within the boundaries of the Flathead Reservation for federal public lands in Montana managed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (such as Forest Service lands) or the U.S. Secretary of Interior (such as Bureau of Land Management lands). Governor Greg Gianforte recently requested the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior to commence discussions with the State regarding the land exchange process, which will take a number of years to implement.

Only state trust lands administered by the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) on behalf of the Land Board are potentially affected by the exchange. State parks owned or managed by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks or lands owned by other state agencies are not subject to MWRPA's land exchange provisions.

More information is available in the following documents:

Montana DNRC & CSKT Exchange Planning Map

Montana DNRC & CSKT Exchange Letter

Montana DNRC & CSKT Exchange FAQ

Montana DNRC & CSKT DRAFT Eligibility Map

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