U.S. House Passes Water Protection Act - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

U.S. House Passes Water Protection Act

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MISSOULA -

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill which members of Congress say stops government over reach on Montana's water rights and public land.

With support from Congressman Steve Daines, the Montana Water Rights Protection Act passed the House on Thursday, 238 to 174.

The bill comes as the U.S. Forest Service pursues regulations in more than 100 ski areas on public lands, including here in Montana. Regulations would require ski areas to hand private water rights used on public lands over to the U.S. Forest Service. Back in 2011, the U.S. Forest Service ordered ski areas in Colorado and Wyoming to handover private rights to the U.S. Forest Service.

The Water Rights Protection Act would end that practice. The bill now has to go through the Senate before it becomes a law. A similar bill stalled in the Senate back in October.

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