The United States and Canada next week will begin the official process of renegotiating the Columbia River Treaty, which expires in 2024. The 1964 agreement governs the upper reaches of the 1,200-mile Columbia River.
The U.S. State Department is leading the renegotiation. In a statement, the department outlined key objectives that include flood control, hydropower and ecosystem management.
The announcement won praise from both Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Washington, and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Oregon.
DeFazio said the treaty is “of vital importance to the Pacific Northwest.”
In addition to the State Department, the negotiating team includes representatives from the Bonneville Power Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of the Interior and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
But there’s still no tribal representative. In an email, a spokesperson said the State Department will consult with Northwest tribes as negotiations proceed, but the department has “no plans to change the composition of the team.”