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A Dry Summer for Madison Valley Could Mean Conflicts over Water

As Montana opens up, and the state’s vital tourist industry experiences its first revival, the first wave of tourists and anglers will be seen making their way across the beautiful Madison Valley. Unfortunately, this means fierce competition between those who want to relax, farmers, developers, industrialists and more. These pure waters must be shared and managed carefully. Early reports suggest warm nights might mean drought for this part of the state, with mountain ice not replenishing at its normal rate. Shortages can mean even more conflict between people who depend on and enjoy the beautiful waters of the Madison valley.

Farmers in particular, might not be happy to see recreationalists camp on their land and seek out the best angling spots while water quality is at stake. Environmentalists might have justifiable concerns that disturbing the wild fish populations during a time of drought could have an impact on the whole ecosystem. There are many other potential stake-holders that might be caught up in a water dispute.

A recent dispute in the town of Madison for example centered on concerns about the development of a large marina. Land developers, both larger and private, are often caught up in disputes about water. A private landowner building a dock without thinking of the environmental consequences, or tourist accommodation over-taxing the water supply and disturbing the local ecosystem, are just some of the projects that might cause conflict.

Water and land management have highly technical and sometimes incomprehensible legal and scientific baggage, which may be mis-communicated by multiple parties who are speaking in different languages. Disputes over water may be technical but they quickly become emotional. At Boileau Conflict Solutions we have extensive experience dealing with conflicts about key resources. We come to these conflicts with a background in environmental conservation, psychology, law and finance. We mediate conflicts with multiple stake-holders at the intersections where self-interest, emotional bias and the common interest meet. We maintain there is a way to work out these conflicts by identifying what is most important and finding roles for each stake-holder in the ongoing stewardship of our most precious resource.

Who We Are and How We Can Help

We are a group of well-educated mediators and negotiators with financial, legal, and psychological backgrounds who can analyze your land or water conflict and provide win-win solution sets, using analysis, consultation, mediation, or negotiation. Water is the basis for our human survival, so it’s easy to see how conflicts can quickly become emotional. We recognize that conflicts about water rights can have deep historical roots and require a thorough analysis of sustainable solutions, drawing on the knowledge of experts and parties alike. By employing careful scientific, mathematical, and legal knowledge, recognizing the important values and interests of all stakeholders, and utilizing practical techniques informed by game theory, psychology, and solid strategic and tactical techniques, we can help any and all parties achieve their goals. This approach to conflict avoids costly and protracted litigation, creates sustainable solutions, and develops long-lasting relationships that can pave the way for increased co-operation and better policy on water management and rights. Conflicts over water come in a wide variety of forms: water quality, grazing rights, stream rights, usage rights, community rights, groundwater and surface water and drainage conflicts to name just a few. We can mediate any and all conflicts over water, saving money and crafting solutions built to last for individuals and the community. During the Coronavirus crisis we are offering accessible, safe remote mediations via videoconferencing platforms like Zoom or Facetime. All remote mediations are completely confidential with the added security of a private, encrypted server. We are available 7 days a week and at urgent notice. Please contact us to see how we can help.

Read More About Local Water Issues:

https://www.flyfisherman.com/editorial/is-the-madison-river-being-overused/365562

https://missoulacurrent.com/outdoors/2020/06/streams-summer-runoff/

https://www.zip06.com/news/20200122/madison-land-conservation-trust-petitions-against-marina-development-project-on-east-river

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