Some members of the Shoshone-Bannock tribes say they have questions about a landmark Indian water rights agreement and may try to block its ratification.
The water agreement was approved by Congress and signed by the president. But it must be approved by the general tribal membership and the Legislature before it becomes effective.The Indian Affairs Committee of the Legislature met on the Fort Hall Reservation last week, with sponsors defending the plan but some leaders expressing skepticism.
Emaline George, a member of the Tribal Land Use Policy Commission, said general tribal members should have had more input in the negotiations. She said she probably will vote against it.
"The water is very important to us. It is our lifeblood. I am concerned we have not been involved in the negotiation process," she said.
The settlement allots about 581,000 acre-feet of water per year from the Snake River to the tribes. It allows the tribes to rent storage water in the American Falls and Palisades reservoirs without forfeiting storage rights.