As the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gathers public comment this week on a huge study of the Yellowstone River, this is a good time to be reminded of the impressive progress that has been made in cooperatively managing another Montana river. That would be the Musselshell, which rises near Martinsdale and flows about 350 miles before joining the Missouri River north of Mosby. Like so many other high plains rivers, the Musselshell seems perpetually to have been either rampaging in times of flood or barely trickling along in times of drought. And for most of the time since the first notice of stock watering rights was filed—in 1869 on Elk Creek in the Upper Musselshell—users all over the water basin were locked in bitter feuds over who got how much water and when. But starting in the mid-1990s, a remarkable thing happened, reports Last Best News. Two water user association boards, which had been fighting for more than 50 years over obtaining enough water to fill their reservoirs, finally decided to work together.

Read the full story, courtesy of Ed Kemmick of Last Best News and here.


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