U.S. Issues New Plan For Columbia River Treaty

OPB– Aaron Kunz,  September 20, 2013 – BOISE, Idaho — Climate change and fish protection should be top considerations when the United States and Canada renegotiate a treaty over how the neighboring countries should manage the Columbia River.

That’s the recommendation of U.S. regulators in a new draft issued Friday. The treaty is a half-century-old agreement controlling the Columbia River’s flow between Canada and the United States.

The draft proposed for the Columbia River Treaty went public, giving citizens and interest groups a chance to comment before it goes to the U.S. State Department in December to present to the Canadian government.

It includes key environmental provisions to address concerns that weren’t anticipated when the original treaty was adopted in 1964. Since then, 13 species of salmon and steelhead have been listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act in the U.S. portion of the Columbia, which is the fourth biggest river in North America.

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