Groups Again Call On Columbia River Treaty Negotiators To Include Tribes
The U.S. State Department will host a town hall meeting in Portland Thursday, Sept. 6, on the renegotiation of the Columbia River Treaty.
Last week, more than 30 conservation, fishing and faith-based organizations signed on to a letter that argues local voices are being left out of the process. The group is urging the State Department to include a tribal representative in the negotiations. That request has been made during at least two other town hall meetings this year.
The group also argues the current treaty doesn’t fully account for ecosystem health and function along the Columbia River. The 1964 agreement between the United States and Canada governs hydropower and flood control along the river.
Among the seven recommendations outlined in the letter is the establishment of a water-banking, or lease-like system that would help ensure adequate water flows for fish in low water years. The group also wants to see the establishment of advisory committees that can provide consultation to the U.S. negotiating team. The group says a “primary deficiency of current treaty,” is the inability of specific groups affected by dams on the Columbia River to provide input.
In an email, a State Department spokesperson says town hall meetings demonstrate a willingness to welcome input from Columbia River Basin communities and that the negotiating team “[intends] to address ecosystem benefits… with Canadian colleagues.”
The statement goes on to say that “in [the department’s] foreign policy judgement, the best way… to conclude a successful agreement with Canada … is to limit the negotiating team to federal agencies.”
COLUMBIA RIVER TREATY TOWN HALL PUBLIC MEETING:
When: Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018
Time: 5:30 – 7 p.m.
Bonneville Power Administration Rates Hearing Room
1201 Llyod Blvd Suite 200
(11th Avenue Holladay Park Max Light Rail Stop)
Salmon are now swimming in the upper Columbia River for the first time in decades. For regional Native tribes, Friday’s ceremonial fish release is a big step toward catching fish in traditional waters. Cheers erupted from the crowd as the first salmon was released since 1955 into the Columbia River above Chief Joseph Dam. Continue Reading Tribes Release 1st Salmon Into Upper Columbia Since Dam Construction
On Friday, jurors heard about the mysterious final days of a young Canadian couple killed in 1987 — as well as the novel method authorities used to finally make an arrest three decades later. Continue Reading Trial Begins In 1987 Case Of Victoria, BC Couple Killed In Northwestern Washington
A team of researchers presented their findings on Tuesday to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. In short, they said, salmon can survive in the upper reaches of the Columbia Basin, and fish passage needs to happen above Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams. Continue Reading Tribes Say Fish Passage Above Grand Coulee Dam Is Possible