85-2-350. Clark Fork River basin task force -- duties -- water management plan. (1) The governor's office shall designate an appropriate entity to convene and coordinate a Clark Fork River basin task force to prepare proposed amendments to the state water plan provided for under 85-1-203 related to the Clark Fork River basin. The designated appropriate entity shall:
(a) identify the individuals and organizations, public, tribal, and private, that are interested in or affected by water management in the Clark Fork River basin;
(b) provide advice and assistance in selecting representatives to serve on the task force;
(c) develop, in consultation with the task force, appropriate opportunities for public participation in studies of water management in the Clark Fork River basin; and
(d) ensure that all watersheds and viewpoints within the basin are adequately represented on the task force, including a representation from the following:
(i) the reach of the Clark Fork River in Montana below its confluence with the Flathead River;
(ii) the Flathead River basin, including Flathead Lake, from Flathead Lake to the confluence of the Flathead River and the Clark Fork River;
(iii) the Flathead River basin upstream from Flathead Lake;
(iv) the reach of the Clark Fork River between the confluence of the Blackfoot River and the Clark Fork River and the confluence of the Clark Fork River and the Flathead River;
(v) the Bitterroot River basin as defined in 85-2-344; and
(vi) the upper Clark Fork River basin as defined in 85-2-335.
(2) Task force members shall serve 2-year terms and may serve more than one term. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribal government has the right to appoint a representative to the task force.
(3) The task force shall:
(a) identify short-term and long-term water management issues and problems and alternatives for resolving any issues or problems identified;
(b) identify data gaps regarding basin water resources, especially ground water;
(c) coordinate water management by local basin watershed groups, water user organizations, and individual water users to ensure long-term sustainable water use;
(d) provide a forum for all interests to communicate about water issues;
(e) advise government agencies about water management and permitting activities in the Clark Fork River basin;
(f) consult with local and tribal governments within the Clark Fork River basin;
(g) make recommendations, if recommendations are considered necessary, to the department for consideration as amendments to the state water plan provided for under 85-1-203 related to the Clark Fork River basin; and
(h) report to:
(i) the department on a periodic basis;
(ii) the water policy committee established in 5-5-231 annually; and
(iii) the appropriations subcommittee that deals with natural resources and commerce each legislative session.