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Learn more about Columbia River Treaty

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
October 27th, 2011

Nelson’s Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History is opening its doors and waiving admissions from Wednesday, Nov. 8 to Sunday, Nov. 13 in an effort to help area residents learn more about the Columbia River Treaty (CRT) and how it relates to local dams, reservoirs and lake levels.

Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) is hosting a display at the museum as part of its ongoing efforts to raise awareness and understanding about the Columbia River Treaty and will be sponsoring admissions at the museum for five days prior to a free information session on Monday, Nov. 14 at the Nelson District Rod and Gun Club.

“CBT’s primary role with respect to the CRT is to act as an information resource for Basin residents,” said Kindy Gosal, CBT’s director, Water and Environment. “Working in partnership with the museum is a great way to help people learn about our past and think about our future with respect to the CRT.”

The CRT is an international agreement between Canada and the United States to coordinate flood control and optimize hydroelectric power generation on both sides of the border.

Under the 1964 treaty three dams, Mica, Duncan and Hugh Keenleyside, were constructed in Canada. A fourth dam, Libby, was constructed in Montana.

“This is a great chance for anyone to come to the museum and explore the permanent exhibit on the second flood that includes screening of three videos about the Columbia River Treaty,” said Touchstones director, Leah Best.

On Monday, Nov. 14, CBT is hosting a free information session at the Nelson District Rod and Gun Club at 801 Railway Street. The open house begins at 2 p.m., free dinner from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and the evening presentation starts at 7 p.m.

If you can’t make it to the museum or the information session, CBT is hosting an online information session on Wednesday, Nov. 23. Learn more at

The CRT has no official expiry date, but has a minimum length of 60 years, which is met in September 2024. Either Canada or the United States can terminate many of the provisions of the agreement effective any time after September 2024, provided written notice is filed at least 10 years in advance (2014).

While no decision has been made by either Canada or the United States on the future of the current treaty, given the importance of the issues, and the approaching date of 2014, both countries are now conducting studies and exploring future options for the CRT.

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