Kalispell Meeting Furthers Columbia River Treaty Negotiations

Kalispell Meeting Furthers Columbia River Treaty Negotiations

News Type: State, Regional, Federal Source: MT Public Radio
Click here to read the article: https://www.mtpr.org/post/kalispell-meeting-furthers-columbia-river-treaty-negotiations

More than 200 people Wednesday night came to a U.S. State Department-hosted town hall meeting in Kalispell meant to inform federal negotiations that could shape the future of an international watershed roughly the size of Texas.

Those negotiations are on updating a landmark water agreement with Canada over how to manage floods, power and ecology in the Upper Columbia River basin. The invitation for input drew legislators, citizens and industry representatives, who advocated for fair treatment and compensation for the construction of Libby Dam completed in 1972.

Canada’s obligations to hold back flood water under the nearly 60-year-old accord – called the Columbia River Treaty – change in 2024. That’s also the first year it could expire, provided a ten-year notice. So Canada and the U.S. are working out measures that could modernize the treaty.