Tag Archives: Columbia River Treaty

Town Hall in Kalispell, March 20, to discuss modernization of the Columbia River Treaty regime

North Fork Flathead River, May 16, 2018 - by William K. Walker
North Fork Flathead River, May 16, 2018 – by William K. Walker

A note from NFPA board member Suzanne Hildner: “This media note [from the U.S. Department of State] sent to me by a friend who is a nationally recognized conservationist now working on this issue, is pertinent to us as obviously the Flathead drains into the Columbia system ultimately. I will plan on attending.”

The town hall meeting, co-hosted by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, will be held on March 20, 2019, from 5:30 p.m. to approximately 7:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Red Lion Hotel Grand Ballroom, 20 S Main St., Suite 150, Kalispell, MT 59901.

February 27, 2019

Town Hall to Discuss Modernization of the Columbia River Treaty Regime

U.S. Columbia River Treaty Negotiator Jill Smail will lead a town hall March 20, 2019, in Kalispell, Montana on the modernization of the Columbia River Treaty regime.  The town hall, which is co-hosted by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, is free of charge, open to the public, and will take place at the Red Lion Hotel from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.  This town hall will follow the February 27-28 round of negotiations on the treaty regime in Washington, D.C.  At the town hall, U.S. government representatives will provide an overview of the negotiations and take questions from the public; feel free to send questions in advance to ColumbiaRiverTreaty@state.gov.  For more information on the town hall, including call-in details, please see the Federal Register Notice.

The Columbia River Treaty is an international model for transboundary water cooperation.  The 1964 treaty’s flood risk and hydropower operations have provided substantial benefits to millions of people on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border.  The treaty has also facilitated additional benefits such as supporting the river’s ecosystem, irrigation, municipal water use, industrial use, navigation, and recreation.  More information can be found on the Department’s Treaty website .

As the United States continues bilateral negotiations with Canada, key objectives are guided by the U.S. Entity Regional Recommendation for the Future of the Columbia River Treaty after 2024, a consensus document published in 2013 after five years of consultations among the Tribes, states, stakeholders, public, and federal agencies.  The U.S. negotiating team is led by the U.S. Department of State and comprises the Bonneville Power Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Northwestern Division, the Department of the Interior, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

To receive periodic updates on events and developments related to the modernization of the Columbia River Treaty regime, please contact ColumbiaRiverTreaty@state.gov.  For press inquiries, please contact WHAPress@state.gov.

Columbia River Treaty Team
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs • U.S. Department of State
2201 C St. NW Rm. 3918, Washington, DC  20520


UM to Host 5th Annual International Columbia River Treaty Conference

This conference on April 11 at the University of Montana looks pretty interesting. Note that its remit includes the Flathead River. Kudos to Suzanne Daniell for spotting this item.

From the official press release . . .

MISSOULA – As Canada and the United States start negotiations over the Columbia River Treaty, the University of Montana will host a conference to discuss the future of rivers flowing through western Montana.

“One River, Ethics Matter” will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, in the University Center Ballroom. The event is hosted by UM’s Center for Natural Resources & Environmental Policy and the Department of Geography and is free and open to the public. Lunch is provided, and an evening reception will follow. Participants are required to RSVP at http://bit.ly/2EWa6yi.

Tribal, First Nations and religious leaders, along with scholars and authors, from the Upper Columbia River will lead the one-day conference on ethics and the Columbia River. The conference series is a multiyear undertaking based on the Columbia River Pastoral Letter issued in 2001 by the 12 Northwest Roman Catholic Bishops of the international watershed, combined with tools used by hospital ethics consultation services.

The conference brings together religious leaders, indigenous people, educators and writers, including:

  • Ron Abraham, Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, tribal councilman and elder
  • Gary Aitken, Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, tribal chairman
  • Barbara Cosens, University Consortium on Columbia River Governance, University of Idaho College of Law, professor
  • Jessica Crist, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Montana Synod, bishop
  • David James Duncan, writer
  • Tony Incashola, Salish-Pend d’Oreille Culture Committee, director
  • Brian Lipscomb, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, CEO of Energy Keepers Inc.
  • D.R. Michel, Upper Columbia United Tribes, executive director
  • Eileen Delehanty Pearkes, author of “A River Captured: The Columbia River Treaty and Catastrophic Change”
  • David Shively, UM Department of Geography, chair
  • William Skylstad, Roman Catholic, bishop emeritus
  • Pat Smith, Northwest Power and Conservation Council, former Montana delegate
  • Dan Spencer, UM Environmental Studies program, professor
  • Pauline Terbasket, Okanagan Nation Alliance, executive director

“One River, Ethics Matter” will examine the moral dimensions of the dam-building era, focusing on U.S. Indian tribes and Canadian First Nations people, rivers and the life that depends on them, and the compelling need to add ecosystem-based function to the Columbia River Treaty.

Topics will include the Libby dam and its international impacts to the Kootenai River and Kootenay Lake; the Hungry Horse dam and efforts to protect resident fisheries; and the Séliš Ksanka Qlispé Project on the Flathead River, a federal license now held by the Confederate Salish and Kootenai Tribes, the first tribal nation to own and operate a major hydropower facility.

The conference series is modeled on South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission public dialogue in the wake of apartheid. The Missoula ethics conference follows four prior conferences in Spokane, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Boise, Idaho; and Revelstoke, British Columbia. The previous conferences focused on restoring salmon above the Grand Coulee dam, floodplain development in the Portland area, the impacts of Idaho Power Company’s Hells Canyon complex of dams and the effects of treaty dams in British Columbia.

Conference sponsors for 2018 include the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Upper Columbia United Tribes, Universities Consortium on Columbia River Governance, the Canadian Water Research Society, the Sierra Club’s Montana, Idaho and Washington chapters, the Montana Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, WaterWatch of Oregon, the Columbia Institute for Water Policy, the Center for Environmental Law & Policy, Rachael and John Osborn, UM’s Environmental Studies program, UM’s Native American Studies Department, the Flathead Lake Biological Station and UM’s Department of Geography.

To read more about the Ethics & Treaty Project from the Center for Environmental Law & Policy, visit http://www.celp.org/ethics-treaty-project/. For more information about “One River, Ethics Matter,” visit http://www.celp.org/ethics-montana/ or email Sophia Cinnamon, UM environmental studies graduate student and chair of the conference planning committee, at sophia.cinnamon@umontana.edu.

Other contacts are David Shively, UM Department of Geography chair, at david.shively@mso.umt.edu; Rich Janssen, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Department of Natural Resources director, at richard.janssen@cskt.org; Rev. W. Thomas Soeldner, Ethics & Treaty Project coordinator, at waltsoe@gmail.com;  and John Osborn, Ethics & Treaty Project coordinator, at john@waterplanet.ws.


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