Nez Perce Water Agreement
by Michelle Dunlop, Staff writer
BOISE -- One more obstacle in the finalization of the historic Nez Perce water agreement has been resolved recently, a Senate committee learned on Monday.
The agreement that handed over sovereignty of Idaho's water to the state was a hot topic during last year's legislative session. In March 2005, the Legislature ratified an agreement with the Nez Perce Tribe that spelled out water rights in most of the Snake River and its tributaries. However, the agreement still had a few hurdles to clear before becoming final.
One of those hurdles -- the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes objections to the agreement -- no longer poses a problem for the state, Norm Semanko with the Idaho Water Users Association told members of the Senate Resources and Environment Committee on Monday.
The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes had lodged 56 objections with the Snake River Basin Adjudication, the court in charge of sorting out water rights in the state.
In November, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes filed a notice to withdraw their objections. A hearing on the motion was held last month, and the court dismissed the tribes' objections on Jan. 5.
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