60-day stay not enough to settle Oklahoma water rights lawsuit, officials say

The 60-day stay granted in the federal water rights lawsuit filed by two Oklahoma Indian tribes is expected to be extended when the initial time frame ends next week, according to the attorney general's office.
by Andrew Knittle Published: May 19, 2012

Since the stay was granted, little news about progress has been made public.

In the meantime, the tribe has added an experienced, Washington, D.C.-based attorney to its team of lawyers.

Douglas Endreson was granted permission to argue before the federal judge presiding over the case at the end of April, records show.

Endreson's profile on his law firm's website says he has extensive experience in tribal issues, including gaming, hunting and fishing rights, tribal taxation and water rights.

A task force, which includes the top officials of the Chickasaw and Choctaw nations, was formed earlier in the month to facilitate negotiations between the two sides.

The 19-member group was formed by mediator Francis E. McGovern, who also worked in the same capacity following the BP oil spill in 2010.

Finding a solution to Oklahoma's current water dispute is the sole function of the group and McGovern will give regular reports on the group's progress to the presiding judge.

by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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