As part of an effort to resolve ongoing litigation over water rights among the State of Oklahoma, the Chickasaw Nation, and the Choctaw Nation, a new Task Force was assembled today in order to discuss and consider possible solutions. The Task Force was convened by Court appointed mediator, Francis E. McGovern, and includes 19 geographically, politically and demographically diverse Oklahomans.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby, and Choctaw Nation Chief Gregory Pyle issued the following joint statement:
“Water rights and water security are linked to both economic and quality of life issues. Our hope is that this new Task Force will help to pave the way toward an agreement that is fair and beneficial to all relevant parties.”
The deliberations of the Task Force will be governed by the confidentiality provisions of the Court’s Agreed Mediation Order: “…the Mediation will be conducted pursuant to Rule 408, F.R.E. Any and all communications, both written and oral, with the Mediator or between or among the parties that are made in the course of the Mediation shall be deemed confidential and inadmissible in any judicial or administrative proceeding for any purpose.”
Professor McGovern will report periodically to the Court concerning the progress of the discussions of the Task Force.
Task Force Members: Gov. Bill Anoatubby, Gov. Mary Fallin, Chief Greg Pyle, Gary Batton, Clay Bennett, Mike Cawley, Glenn Coffee, Jim Couch, Pete Delaney, Pennie Embry, Amy Ford, Harold Hamm, Robert Henry, Jason Hitch, Brian McClain, Aubrey McClendon, Larry Nichols, Mike Samis and David Thompson.