Montana wants lawsuit with Wyoming over Tongue River water rights
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The state of Montana is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to extend a legal dispute with Wyoming over water on the Tongue River.
Montana sued Wyoming in 2007, claiming Wyoming had shorted water deliveries for decades.
Barton Thompson Jr., a Stanford University law professor, has been presiding as a special master over the lawsuit. He concluded in a report to the court in December that Wyoming had shorted Montana in water deliveries in only two recent years.
Both states on Thursday filed responses to Thompson’s report.
Wyoming urged the Supreme Court to accept the report, and offered to pay roughly $36,000 to Montana to cover the market value of the water it failed to deliver plus interest. “Wyoming asks this court to exercise its authority to end this litigation immediately to avoid the needless expense associated with further proceedings,” the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office stated in its brief.
Wyoming argued that both states should bear their own expenses in the case, arguing that both prevailed on certain aspects of the dispute.
Montana, in its filing, urged the court to reject Thompson’s finding that it wasn’t necessary to determine how much water Montana has a right to store in the Tongue River Reservoir. Montana urged the court to allow further legal proceedings before Thompson to determine its storage right.
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Source: Associated Press