Senator Steve Daines came to Cut Bank last week for a roundtable discussion about damage to the St. Mary-Milk River diversion system that left thousands without water downstream. The Senator toured the damaged area before conducting the roundtable, a tour in which he was joined by Blackfeet Chairman Tim Davis.

U.S. Senator Steve Daines led a roundtable discussion in Cut Bank with community members and top administration leaders on the St. Mary Milk River Project following a tour of the damaged Drop Sites 2 and 5. Daines has actively been working on a solution to fix the St. Mary Milk River Project to protect Montana jobs and the ag operations on the Hi-Line.

Daines was joined by U.S Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Dr. Tim Petty, Phillips County Economic Growth Council Co-Chair Marko Manoukian and Milk River Joint Board of Control Program Manager Jennifer Patrick, among others. 

“It is devastating to see such destruction that has completely stopped flows to the Milk River, which thousands of Montanans rely on,” Daines said. “Now more than ever, we need our agency partners to be doing all they can to reduce red tape and ensure reconstruction can go forth as smoothly and quickly as possible. That’s why I led this meeting today and won’t stop fighting in Congress to get the funding and resources needed to repair the system and ensure this never happens again.”  

Before the roundtable, Daines brought Petty and other agency officials to see the damage at Drop Structures 2 and 5.

In May, Drop 5 of the St. Mary Milk River Project experienced a catastrophic failure, stopping the flows from St. Mary that provide water for the irrigation of 121,000 acres of land, 18,000 water users and municipalities along the Hi-Line, including the Blackfeet Reservation and Fort Belknap Reservation.

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