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Professor Michael Blumm responds to Columbia River Treaty negotiations

August 20, 2013

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Professor Michael Blumm has called for a greater focus on ecological concerns in future Columbia River Treaty negotiations in comments offered to the United States government.

The Columbia River Treaty, ratified in 1964, governs the development and operation of dams in the upper Columbia River basin for power and flood control. The treaty authorized construction of several large water storage projects in the basin, including the inundation of Canadian lands. The treaty focused only on hydropower and flood control, ignoring ecological or salmon migration issues.

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the treaty’s ratification, the United States and Canadian governments are reviewing the agreement. However Professor Blumm voiced his concern that the United States’ working draft for the negotiations did not propose to negotiate ecosystem or fish and wildlife protections as treaty purposes.

Read his full letter on the negotiations here.

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