Gallatin Irrigators: Have you been getting mail from the Montana Water Court? No, it is not fan mail and it is not junk mail. It is extremely important information concerning your water rights and your ability to continue to irrigate. Pay attention to this mail as it matters to one of the most important property rights you have. The state of Montana is moving through the water adjudication process basin by basin and we here in the Gallatin (Basin 41H), are now advancing through the Preliminary Decree phase.
If you have water claims you are part of this state wide litigation and the most recent mailings you may have received state that someone has filed an objection against your water claim (not everyone received an objection). The complete notice of objections was mailed by the Water Court May 30. Therefore, any counter objections you may deem necessary, must be filed no later than July 29. Knowing your options and how to proceed is critical. To help you, the Assocation of Gallatin Agricultural Irrigators (AGAI) is sponsoring a workshop led by Water Master Julia Nordlund from the Montana water court on June 11. The workshop will begin 7 p.m. at the Gallatin Conservation District Office, 120 S. 5th St. #B102, Manhattan, MT. All interested water users are invited to attend.
AGAI is a 501c(5) organization with the mission to be the guardian and advocate of the Gallatin River System through the protection of its historically decreed water rights. We take this obligation seriously and work to protect the water irrigation rights for each of you. Our membership is comprised of ditches and canals using water from the Gallatin River. As dues paying members we are financially supporting the work being done on behalf of all irrigators. We invite those ditches and canals who are not currently members to become active participants in our organization.
Ilene Casey is the president of the Association of Gallatin Agricultural Irrigators.