After 15 years of negotiations and legal filings in the Snake River Basin and related adjudications, the Shoshone Paiute Tribes of Duck Valley are realizing their goal of obtaining both the water and funding to rehabilitate and expand their substantial irrigation project in Nevada and Idaho. The Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of Duck Valley Water Rights Settlement Act was introduced into the United States Senate on January 31, 2007.
The Settlement act facilitates the expansion of agriculture on the Tribes’ Reservation, while at the same time ensuring that off-reservation, non-tribal ranchers will maintain their traditional agricultural lifestyle and livelihood. Stetson, on behalf of the Tribes, developed the Settlement’s various proposals and options and played a major role in the negotiations and eventual crafting of the Settlement. Stetson also provided technical assistance to the Tribes in their negotiations with the State of Idaho and non-tribal Idaho water users. The Idaho Courts issued a Consent Decree granting the Tribes water for their entire agricultural water rights claim. The combination of the Consent Decree and the Settlement Act will provide the water, administrative management, and funding the Tribes need to ensure a secure economic future.