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The Flathead Indian Irrigation project dates back more than a century to 1908, when Congress authorized construction of the irrigation project using the Mission Mountains as a water source. 

The century-old irrigation project had been operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs but in 2010 a transfer agreement was reached between Federal, Tribal and State Governments. The agreement created the Cooperative Management Entity, or CME. The CME has an equal number of representatives from the Flathead Joint Board of Control and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. The agreement is the first of its kind and is a tribute to the teamwork and dedication of both Indian and Non-Indian groups.

The Flathead Indian Irrigation Project (FIIP) under the management of the CME operates and maintains an irrigation storage, distribution and delivery system serving about 127,500 irrigated acres on the Flathead Indian Reservation. This irrigation system includes 17 dams and reservoirs, approximately 1,300 miles of canals and laterals, and about 10,000 structures. Structures include fish protection facilities located where water is intercepted or diverted from streams and rivers. The goal of the FIIP is to deliver the available annual water supply in the most efficient manner possible. Annual funding provided through Operations & Maintain assessments on the irrigated land.

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Signing of the Agreement in Washington D.C.  2010

Moise turnout on lateral 27MA

Chief Charlo

McDonald Lake Dam  (circa 1919)

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