The United States and Canada held the eighth round of negotiations to modernize the Columbia River Treaty regime September 10-11 in Cranbrook, British Colombia. The negotiating teams discussed issues related to ecosystem cooperation, flood risk management, and hydropower.
The Department of State leads a U.S. negotiating team comprised of representatives from 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. This session’s U.S. delegation also included expert advisers from the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho; the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation; and the vice-chair of the Board of Trustees of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, who is also commissioner of the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission. They provided expertise regarding the extensive ecosystem work that the United States has undertaken in the basin, including transboundary efforts. U.S. negotiators continue to use the U.S. Entity Regional Recommendation for the Future of the Columbia River Treaty after 2024 to guide these negotiations. The next round of negotiations will take place November 19-20, in the United States.
The U.S. negotiating team is holding regular Town Hall meetings throughout the Columbia River Basin. Town Halls enable the U.S. public to voice opinions regarding the modernization of the Columbia River Treaty regime. The U.S. negotiating team considers the input and views from the region’s states, Tribes, and stakeholders who live and work in the Columbia River Basin. The last Town Hall took place July 18 in Boise, Idaho. The next town hall will be scheduled in the coming months.
For more information on the Treaty and upcoming Town Halls, please visit: https://2017-2021.state.gov/p/wha/ci/ca/topics/c78892.htm