Columbia River Treaty with Canada Under Review

By Beacon Staff

SPOKANE – Regulators are considering changes to the Columbia River Treaty with Canada to account for salmon protection and environmental concerns that weren’t addressed in 1964.

The treaty resulted in three dams in British Columbia and the Libby Dam in Montana to boost hydroelectric power production and reduce the threat of flooding in the Northwest.

Policy makers on both sides of the border are considering a rewrite to address endangered salmon and climate change as well as recreation and irrigation uses of the river.

The Corps of Engineers and Bonneville Power Administration are reviewing the treaty in consultation with other federal agencies, four Northwest states and 15 tribes.

They’ll make a recommendation to the State Department by the fall of 2013 for treaty talks in 2014.

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