Current and Proposed Projects
The final water compact and settlement act allocates $471 million in federal funding for important improvements to watersheds, as well as jobs and benefits for members of the Blackfeet Nation. The projects in the settlement focus on improved water usage on the Reservation for community water supplies, irrigation, fisheries, recreational lakes, energy projects, resolution of environmental issues and other water related uses in the areas shown below on the map.
Together, we will develop infrastructure that benefits the entire community
There are a number of areas we are looking at immediately in our planning process that will have the largest positive impact on the lives of all Tribal members.
We are now working to find and purchase land that has been granted state water rights–supporting the physical expansion of our reservation, and supporting irrigation and other water uses.
We are developing a Farming and Irrigation Plan that will contribute to the farming and ranching communities on the reservation.
PARKS & TOURISM
We are developing plans to improve and expand our current parks and campgrounds, adding to our local tourism economy. We are also developing improvement plans for our local fisheries, adding value to our community’s already world-class fishing.
We are working to develop partnerships that strengthen our community. This includes the Blackfeet Community College, where we are looking at how to train Tribal Members for the incoming jobs created through the Water Compact, including hydrology, GIS mapping, data management, and technical skills.
COMMUNITY WATER SYSTEMS
Community water systems will be improved and/or constructed to provide adequate drinking water for all Reservation communities.
NEW IRRIGATION PROJECTS
New irrigation projects, including additional storage, in the St. Mary, Milk River, Cut Bank Creek and Birch Creek areas and potentially other areas.
Improvements will be made to the Blackfeet Irrigation Project, including deferred maintenance, on-farm improvements and improvements at Four Horns Reservoir.
FOUR HORNS PIPELINE
A pipeline will be built to provide water to Birch Creek water users under the Birch Creek Agreement and then provide water to the tribe for its own use or to market others.
RECREATIONAL LAKE IMPROVEMENTS
Improvements will be made to recreational lakes throughout the Reservation to improve access and to provide facilities and other improvements.
Changes and improvements will be made to address environmental concerns relating to use of Swiftcurrent Creek and St. Mary Lake by the Bureau of Reclamation Milk River Project.
LAND AND WATER ACQUISITION
Acquisition of Reservation fee lands with a focus on those with state water rights.
FISHERY DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT
Projects to improve fisheries throughout the Reservation will be implemented.
WATER RELATED ENERGY ISSUES
Funds can be used for water related energy issues.