Agreement Renews Agencies' Collaboration on International Columbia River Issues

(Columbia Basin) – Columbia Basin Trust (CBT), and the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (the Council), a federally chartered compact of the Northwestern states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, have renewed their agreement to collaborate on projects that promote an understanding and appreciation of the international Columbia River Basin. Council Chair, Bruce Measure and CBT Chair, Board of Directors, Garry Merkel signed the new agreement on Friday, March 18 at a meeting of the CBT Board of Directors in Golden.

"Our partnership with CBT helps the Council fulfill one of its legal mandates, which is to inform the Pacific Northwest public about regional fish and wildlife and power issues," Council Chair, Bruce Measure said. "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."

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.

"By working together the Council and CBT are enhancing trans-boundary cooperation on key issues related to the ecosystem and river management in the Columbia Basin," said Garry Merkel, CBT Chair. "The renewal of this agreement ensures the two agencies will continue to work together to keep Basin residents informed about issues effecting the Basin."