December 20, 2016
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead is pleased with today’s decision in a long-running dispute with the state of Montana over the Yellowstone River Compact. The case began in 2007 with Montana’s claims that Wyoming did not properly interpret the Compact in the Tongue and Powder River basins. The case eventually went to the U.S. Supreme Court who appointed a Special Master to hear the case and issue a ruling.
“The Special Master has issued a solution with two practical options for the damages owed to Montana,” said Governor Mead. “We look forward to working with our neighbors to quickly bring this case to a close. I thank the Special Master for his work as well as the Attorney General’s and State Engineer’s offices for their exceptional work.”
“This outcome reflects the enormous work and dedication by the team in the Natural Resources Division of the Attorney General’s office and the State Engineer’s Office,” said Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael.
Today’s ruling awarded Montana either approximately $35,000 in damages or 1356 acre feet of water. The Special Master divided the litigation costs equitably based on the issues won during the various phases of the case.
The Special Master’s ruling is available on the Attorney General’s website: http://ag.wyo.gov/current-issues