HELENA — The Montana Supreme Court says Trout Unlimited can dispute water rights claims even though it doesn't have a claim to the water itself.
The ruling overturns a Montana Water Court decision which had only allowed objections in ongoing cases by those with a water right elsewhere in a basin.
But the Montana Supreme Court said Thursday the advocacy group has a long history of active contributions on the Big Hole River and should be allowed to object to the water rights claims if it chooses.
Water Court judge Bruce Loble says the ruling will apply to other river basins in Montana. He says it could open the door for other groups to get involved, a