Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism

Department or School/College

School of Journalism

Committee Chair

Henriette Lowisch

Committee Co-chair

Dennis Swibold

Commitee Members

Bill Borrie


hydroelectric dam, tribal government


University of Montana


After almost 80 years of the Kerr Dam operating on reservation land, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are preparing to become the sole owners of the dam in 2015. The takeover of Kerr Dam would mark a major milestone in a century-long battle of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes to take back lost resources on native land. However, the tribes have a long to-do list to cross off before they can take over the dam including price negotiations, hiring and training workers and creating an energy company to market the power. While tribal representatives say the community will benefit from keeping profits from the dam local, government officials say because the tribes won't be required to pay county taxes,they will need to work closely with the them to make sure that all the taxes hitherto paid by the dams current owners, Pennsylvania Power and Light, will continue to flow. The Tribes would also be subject to strict regulatory standards, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency.



© Copyright 2012 Breeana Clare Laughlin