Canada And U.S. To Open Renegotiations Of Columbia River Treaty
Next week, the United States and Canada will begin the official process of renegotiating the Columbia River Treaty, which expires in 2024. The 1964 agreement governs the upper reaches of the 1,200-mile Columbia River.
The U.S. State Department is leading the renegotiation. In a statement, the department outlined key objectives that include flood control, hydropower and ecosystem management.
The announcement won praise from both Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Washington, and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Oregon.
DeFazio said the treaty is “of vital importance to the Pacific Northwest.”
In addition to the State Department, the negotiating team includes representatives from the Bonneville Power Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of the Interior and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
But there’s still no tribal representative. In an email, a spokesperson said the State Department will consult with Northwest tribes as negotiations proceed, but the department has “no plans to change the composition of the team.”
On Wednesday, Michael Marchand, chairman of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville, expressed his disappointment in the process. He said the State Department has excluded the 15 Tribal Nations that live along the Columbia River.
“These are the people with the longest and deepest connections to the Columbia River, the people who have respected and depended upon the river and its salmon and other natural and cultural resources for thousands of years,” Marchand said in a statement.
Marchand also pointed out that the Solicitor’s Opinions from the U.S. Interior Department confirm that the 1.5 million-acre Colville Reservation includes a portion of the Columbia River from near Kettle Falls down river to its confluence with the Okanogan River. Two of the largest dams on the Columbia River are located on the reservation.
Copyright 2018 Northwest News Network
The first round of talks to modernize the U.S.-Canada Columbia River Treaty took place this week. Officials from the U.S. negotiating team briefed reporters on Thursday on progress at the talks, which are aimed at revising the 54-year-old agreement which governs hydropower and flood control along the Columbia River. Continue Reading State Department Vague But Optimistic On Columbia River Treaty Renegotiations
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Federal officials were in Spokane this week to talk about the future of the Columbia River Treaty, an agreement between the U.S. and Canada that dates back to 1964. A six-member panel will represent the U.S. in negotiations to update the treaty. Noticeably absent were members of any of the numerous Native American tribes along the Columbia, which have been pushing to expand the treaty. Continue Reading Northwest Tribes Noticeably Left Off U.S. Panel Renegotiating Columbia River Treaty With Canada