Update August 30: Eighteen conservation and good government groups sent letters to the U.S. Entity asking that an updated Columbia River Treaty include ecosystem restoration as a third and co-equal purpose (along with hydropower and flood control). Here are a few salient excerpts, followed by the letters:
Dr. Mindy Smith, Citizens for a Clean Columbia:
It is time to establish true watershed management for this area, in consideration of past damages and climate change, and include the perspectives of those of us who live along the Upper Columbia River. In closing, the CCC board members urge the US entity to continue to make this process transparent and allow public review of supporting deliberative documentation, including technical appendices.
Pat Ford & Joseph Bogaard, Save Our wild Salmon Coalition and Sara Patton, Northwest Energy Coalition:
Save Our wild Salmon’s fishing, fishing business and conservation groups, whose combined members include some 6 million Americans, seek to restore Columbia and Snake Basin salmon for use by people and ecosystems. NW Energy Coalition, with more than 110 member groups spanning environmental, civic and human-service organizations, progressive utilities and businesses in ID, MT, WA, OR and BC, promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy, consumer and low-income protections, and restoration of fish and wildlife affected by Northwest power production.
The Working Draft recommendation falls short of the changes needed to modernize the Columbia River Treaty so it helps ensure ecosystem health, public health, and economic health for Northwest people for the coming decades. The 1964 Treaty is insufficient to the challenges of the Basin’s next 50 years, and the Working Draft’s thrust to largely ratify the outdated “two uses only” focus [hydropower and flood control] of the old Treaty, and to emphasize financial over substantive changes, is not in our region’s, or the Columbia Basin’s, interest.
Debrah Marriott, Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership:
Broader dialog with more diverse interests needs to be added to have the discussion and decisions reflect regional values and needs, including conservation, alternative energy, fish passage through upper dams, coordinated storage in Canada, no-structural flood management, the economy, tourism and recreation, strategic levee modification, navigation, commerce, industry, agricultural and cultural impacts.
Click on the group’s name to access its letter.
Columbia Land Trust