Graveley fails to provide compact alternative

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In his anti-compact column (Leader, Oct. 11, “Stockgrowers Association opposes FARM”), Matt Graveley, vice president, Rocky Mountain Stockgrowers Association, states that the “biggest whopper” told by compact supporters is that it was negotiated “with input from agriculture groups and water users.” I irrigate 220 acres and actively participated, like many others, in frequent compact negotiating sessions, open to individuals and organizations, that began in 2009 and concluded in early 2015.

Graveley states that dumping the compact would “literally require a dumpster” because it is “over 1,500 pages long.” The compact is long because, among other things, it details the quantities of water that legally must be delivered to our irrigation project.

But if Congress dumps the compact, water right claims in this region would need to be settled through litigation in Montana Water Court. Like other compact opponents, Graveley fails to explain why Water Court litigation would provide irrigators with more water and greater legal security than the compact.

— Dick Erb, Moiese

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