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Agencies renew collaboration on Columbia River issues

Kinbasket Lake - reservoir on Columbia River. Photo taken at the northern tip of the lake, looking south. On the right are the Monashee Mountains, a range of the Columbia Mountains. Wikipedia photo.

Columbia Basin Trust and the Northwest Power and Conservation Council have renewed their agreement to collaborate on projects that promote an understanding and appreciation of the international Columbia River Basin.

Northwest Power and Conservation Council (Council) chair, Bruce Measure, and CBT board of directors chair, Garry Merkel, signed the new agreement on Friday, March 18 at a meeting of the CBT board of directors in Golden.

“Although the Council has no authority in British Columbia, the Columbia River begins in British Columbia and through this partnership we can help citizens of both countries better understand the river we share,” said Measure.

The new agreement, like the one it replaces, commits the two agencies to collaborate on projects that inform citizens about Columbia River issues and improve knowledge about the river.

In the past, these projects have included producing a comprehensive map of the Columbia Basin showing major tributaries and hydropower dams, and helping citizens understand and participate in planning processes affecting transboundary rivers, hydropower generation, and fish and wildlife.

The Columbia River Treaty review process, now underway in both countries, provides another opportunity to share information and inform citizens about the current and future uses of the river.

The Council is a compact of the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington and is directed by the Northwest Power Act of 1980 to prepare a program to protect, mitigate, and enhance fish and wildlife of the Columbia River Basin affected by hydropower dams and a companion power plan to assure the Northwest region an adequate, efficient, economical, and reliable power supply.

To learn more about the Council, visit www.nwcouncil.org or call 1.800.452.5161.