Chairman-elect Clifford Birdinground was conspicuously absent when a management plan for the Bighorn River and Bighorn Lake was unveiled in a public meeting in Billings June 15. The plan had been approved by negotiators for the state, the tribe and the federal government. In his campaign this spring, Birdinground was critical of the water compact negotiated under current Chairwoman Clara Nomee. He will take office July 1 and although there was no official delegation present, he apparently sent people to monitor the session. A water compact was approved last June in a special session of the Montana Legislature, called specifically to hammer out the agreement. Negotiators were given until June 17 to come up with the plan which was introduced. It becomes a part of the compact, but like the compact, is not binding on the tribe or the federal government, only on the state. Before it becomes effective it must be approved by Congress and members of the Crow Tribe. The plan can be amended at any time with agreement of all three parties.