Alternative Title

Crow Settlement Agreement & State Legislation




Crow Tribe of Montana


Crow Tribe Water Rights Settlement


Crow Indian Reservation




Missouri River Basin

Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC)

Missouri River Basin

Document Type

Settlement Agreement and State Legislation



Publication Date



Settlement & State Legislation: Water Rights Compact Entered into by the State of Montana, the Crow Tribe and the USA (Jun. 22, 1999). (Mont. Code Ann. Sec. 85-20-901) There is no separate Settlement Agreememt. The State Legislation ratifies settlement of Crow water rights. Includes 500,000 a/f/y from Bighorn River, priority of May 7, 1868; 300,000 a/f/y from Bighorn Lake storage but limited to half that amount during low periods. A stream and lake-level management plan to be developed for the Bighorn River. Tribe has surface, GW and storage rights within the Little Bighorn River, Pryor Creek, and Rosebud Creek (to the extent not interfering with Northern Cheyenne Tribal water rights); within Youngs Creek drainage, Squirrel Creek drainage, Tanner Creek drainage, Dry Creek drainage and Spring Creek drainage within Tongue River Basin; Sarpy Creek drainage within Yellowstone River Basin; Cottonwood Creek drainage, Five Mile Creek drainage and Bluewater Creek drainage within Clarks Fork Yellowstone River Basin; Sage Creek drainage within Shoshone River Basin; and Fly Creek drainage, Blue Creek drainage, Dry Creek drainage and Bitter Creek drainage within Yellowstone River Basin. Tribe has a right to 47,000 a/f/y from the Ceded Strip provided that no more than 2,500 a/f/y are from upstream of the Bighorn/Yellowstone Rivers confluence and no more than 7,000 a/f/y is taken per month. Religious or cultural uses of water in de minimis amounts shall be allowed without prior review. The Tribe shall develop a water code for the administration of the Tribal Water Right, and MT shall administer all state law rights. The Compact lays out procedures for assessing new water development requests. The Crow-MT Compact Board shall handle controversies and enforcement. MT will contribute $15 million over the course of 15 years beginning July 1, 1999 for benefit of Tribe. [Source:]


Settlement-State Legislation: 33 pages.

Permanent URL

crow_appendix_ 1.pdf (85 kB)
Appx. 1, Proposed Crow Decree

Compact_crow_appendix_2MT_Basins.pdf (1499 kB)
Appx. 2, Water Court Basins Map with Indian Reservation Locations

Compact_crow_appendix_3_WR.pdf (1574 kB)
Appx. 3, Index of Water Right Claims Listed by Owner

Compact_crow_appendix_4Reserv.pdf (308 kB)
Appx. 4, Crow Indian Reservation Map

Compact_crow_appendix_5_Ceded.pdf (271 kB)
Appx. 5, Ceded Strip Map

2017-01-24_CrowFactSheet_updated_JH.pdf (23 kB)
Crow Fact Sheet from MT Reserved Rights Commission

Crow Reservation Map.pdf (7813 kB)
Crow Reservation Map

2015-da-15-0370 Appeal of Decree.pdf (178 kB)
2015 MT Supreme Court Appeal of Decree

Crow-_Sec. 412(a)_Yellowtail_Dam.pdf (141 kB)
Yellowtail Dam, Sec. 412(a) of 2010 Claims Resolution Act

Crow-Streamflow_&_Lake_Level_Mgt_Plan.pdf (80 kB)
Streamflow and Lake Level Management Plan


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