Columbia River Basin

VOICES FROM THE COLUMBIA RIVER BASIN
2014 TRANSBOUNDARY CONFERENCE: A Sense of the Meeting

Spokane, Washington — October 21–23, 2014
Notes assembled by No Water No Life

“Today’s conference shows how world peace works.”

The Conference was based on Chatham House Rule whereby participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity, nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant maybe revealed. This report honors that anonymity.

Explanations regarding this report submitted by No Water No Life®:

This assemblage of NWNL notes is not meant as a thorough accounting of all discussions or conclusions. Mistakes in transcriptions may have been made.

Topics outlined here evolved from remarks made during conference.

Illustrations from the conference Graphic Wall were created on the spot to track conversations.

Photographs are by Alison M. Jones for No Water No Life®.

Outline

Columbia River seen from a trail near Castlegar, BC.

I. A Profile of the Columbia River Basin: “The river and its culture is unique and to be honored.”

  • This basin is a culture, with fish as the social glue.
  • The river needs to be the most honorable place to gather, once again.
  • Human control of the ecosystem carries with it a huge responsibility.
  • The government role is to balance competing interests of humans and nature.
  • The basin is full of “novel ecosystems” (i.e. non-historic) that change carrying capacity, productivity, resilience and species.
  • In the face of climate change, the PNW is a green oasis that will draw larger and larger influxes of people and wildlife.
  • The water towers, especially the more southern Olympics and Cascades, will be facing warmer snow, profound snow pack losses, glacial retreat, which will impact stream flows and stress salmon.
  • There are three weather profiles in CRB watersheds: rain dominant, transient moisture and snow-dominant.
  • Dams in the basin have created a false sense of security, which is questionable as climate change flood risks increase.
  • The soil is barren and needs to be nourished back to health.
  • History:
    • – David Thompson was 1st European explorer, unconcerned about beavers. He found the Clearwater/Snake confluence.
    • – 1823 – Columbia River bateaus were used for fur trade, carrying up to 2 tons. This was the beginning of extraction in this watershed.
    • – The beaver trade faded as mining began.
    • – The canoes – sturgeon-nosed, coastal, bark and dugouts – were the workboats of white pine, larch, cedar and Doulas fir and paddles of Oregon ash.

II. The State of the Columbia River Basin

  • One success has been the return of the salmon to the Okanagan.
  • Water traveling through Lake Roosevelt (130 mi) takes much longer than if in a running river.
  • Bears are eating more fawns due to lack of salmon.
  • Economic losses to Canadian loggers and evacuated communities, when reservoirs were filled, covered over 5 million acres of land.
  • The pain in BC from dam building will go away because the people affected will die; but the realities of what was lost will always be there.
  • Fire risks, increasing with climate change, also threaten loss of transmission lines.
  • Extreme rains from climate change disruption cause mudslides and creek blowouts.
  • GLACIERS:
    • – Ice asks no questions. It has no political baggage. It just melts.
    • – The 1,800 glaciers in CRB are its thermal buffers and regulators. They are in glacial retreat and won’t last.
    • – In the last 9 years, glaciers have lost 1/3 of their mass.
    • – Glaciers are our “canaries in the coal mine:” the loudest speakers on climate change.
    • – Glaciers are water saving accounts, water storage and water dispensers.
    • – Glacial melt in warm, dry years supplement our hydro supply.
    • – The Athabasca Glacier has lost over half of its volume in the last 125 years and currently loses 5 meters of thickness per year.
    • – The prediction is they will all be gone by 2080, with the peak runoff (due to warming) in the mid-2000s.
  • Reservoir drawdowns leave lakeshores that are “sterile moonscapes” that no longer support the larvae of caddis and mayflies, which are food for the fish.

III. The Youth (Youth is defined in these discussions as those age 35 and younger.)

  • To the youth:
    • – Sometimes conventional wisdom is wrong, wrong!
    • – Honor expertise, but think like novices.
  • From the youth:
    • – Our generation will be able to save water and land – and have a stable economy.
    • – To me, the treaty renegotiation is simple: the tribes know how and should be the leaders. And there should be room for technology folks, lawyers and youth.
    • – Borders don’t exist for us.
    • – Why aren’t we involved and part of the treaty?
    • – It’s time to get more kids out paddling.
    • – This is one river and we’re all in it together.
    • – We’re cutting the umbilical cords. We don’t want to be a “child” of any group that is already established.
  • They want to change ideologies, establish durable, long-term transboundary dialogues and encourage more youth involvement that will also lead to jobs.
  • There’s a yawning gap youth can fill because like water and climate change they spread out across the map.
  • The youth hope their group will get funding from conference partners.

IV. Grassroots Stewardship: “It’s time to get our feet wet!”

  • Encourage the heart – then engage the mind.
  • Citizens’ collective wisdom needs to be involved in river management.
  • Science needs to co-learn with the public
  • What will it take for leaders to turn over issues of the basin to the people?
  • We are a diverse group.
  • We need to think like the river.
  • Keep putting your HEART into this work.
  • People want to be involved. Citizen scientists are a critical factor.
  • Grassroots groups should include diverse stakeholders from jurisdictional units in order to be watershed democracies that build capacity and create cooperative long-term solutions. They should get funding; offer peer support to other groups; and engage closely with decision-makers.
  • Charges for grassroots stewardship in the Columbia River Basin in 2014:
    • – Social change through cooperation
    • – Importance of different species
    • – The intertwining of ecosystems with river use
  • Ecosystems are difficult to define.
  • It is a cultural river as well as a biological river.
  • Listen for the drum, the heartbeat of the river. Then we learn what to do
  • Join us! Come ride the restoration wave!
  • Grassroots organizations are viaducts for education.
  • Grassroots organizations need encouragement, cohesive leadership and a place to turn.
  • Grassroots organizations are small groups within bigger groups – like tributary streams to a big river. They carve through canyons, forests, agricultural fields and dams. They do the heavy lifting.
  • Grassroots groups offer basin stakeholders a chance to get to know each other. Then they can collectively work as a community to get their officials to respond.

V. U.S. Tribes and First Nations: “Do things with us, not for us.”

  • The river and the tribes were here before towns, cities or countries.
  • We must rid ourselves of the concept of dominion. We do not own the river.
  • The tribes have a long history of entering into treaties, including: The Okanagan Blood Treaty of the 1700s, The Royal Proclamation, The Treaty of Niagara, The Jay Treaty, The Oregon Transboundary Treaty (1846) and The Fraser Canyon War Treaty with miners (1856)
  • The loss of salmon represents 95% of our food source.
  • How long do we have to wait for salmon above Grand Coulee Dam?
  • What are we doing to get our youth here and involved?
  • Cultural River: Cultural Devastation
  • 75 years ago was the last time the salmon came up here into the Spokane arm. The water was black and silver with salmon. There are none now.
  • Now the tribes have to endure through both climate change, and transboundary governance that has been dominated by white nations.
  • We’re not going to give up on salmon and ecosystem-function restoration, so get used to it and ride the wave.
  • The tribes want a voice now. Fifteen have now united with one voice, united by the river and its bounty – the salmon, deer, roots and berries.
  • We’re here to stay. You’re here to stay. We need to do something now for those who aren’t here yet.
  • In 1910 First Nation chiefs from the interior of Canada said that we must:
    • – Treat each other as brothers
    • – Share 50-50
    • – Stand each other up to be great and good

VI. The Original Treaty

  • Intent of original treaty included
    • – No side agreements,
    • – Exact flood-control targets, and
    • – No “netting approach” to benefits and values.
  • “EquiChange” (in the original treaty) is equal exchange of hydropower back and forth between US & Canada
  • It’s a great treaty that moves from allocating water to allocating benefits.
  • The US got a great deal – per an American attendee.
  • The following elements were left out of the original treaty:
    • – Tribal voices in management decisions,
    • – Ecosystem health,
    • – Public opinion, and
    • – Means/ Structure for coordinating extra-treaty basin issues.
  • One great US benefit from the original treaty is the “certainty” of water availability for the US.
  • All the annexes to today’s treaty make it unrecognizable from the original treaty – but many say that’s its power.
  • Fifty years ago, the original treaty was settled “amicably, patiently and with a lot of knowledge of science and engineering.”
  • The unresolved claims of the tribes over land and salmon losses dwarf other economic differences over power between countries. They must be addressed.
  • The Columbia Basin Treaty sets the best international model, especially for cooperation, because it was set up to succeed.
  • What’s unfair is that the US can use Canada’s water in any way it wants, but Canada dam management and thus its water use is under US jurisdiction.
  • They didn’t think of water 50 years ago the way we think about it now.
  • The current treaty runs on variances, not the letter of the law. That’s why it’s a model of successful collaboration.

VII. Treaty Renegotiation

A. General Advice on Productive Negotiation Approach

  • Augustine of Hippo: “Let us on both sides, lay aside all arrogance. Let us not, on either side, claim that we have already discovered the truth. Let us seek it together as something that is known to neither of us. For then only may we seek it, lovingly and tranquilly, if there be no bold presumption that it is already discovered and possessed.”
  • We must think like water: start from the mountain, go slowly, build speed, pick up some things along the way, and drop others. We must keep going, with the end of the river as a goal.
  • We must be careful of the power of suspicions and rumor as we undertake negotiations.
  • Maybe the key to success is finding and accepting mutual “disgruntlement.”
  • “Disgruntlement” is ok as a mood to agree on, if its source is understood.
  • Compare these negotiations to marriage: Are you going to be right – or are you going to be married? Give up keeping score.
  • Advice taken from a baseball coach: Don’t look for a home run, just a series of singles.
  • The devil is in the details.
  • Fish are unifying – they move around and through the basin carrying cultural and economic values.
  • There are sovereign groups and collaborative groups. The latter take power from sovereign groups so all involved can be on the same page.
  • The future is now.
  • “Us” and “Them” are gone. Now it’s just “US.”
  • The solution is collaborative governance and openness to different perspectives.
  • We need to find a way to get youth involved.
  • Einstein said that our times are confused between the means and the ends, and thus we tend to spend years on management dilemmas rather than on adaptive risk-type management.

B. The current treaty situation/structure / negotiating progress: “A means to the end”

  • The December 1996 and 2012 floods demonstrated the success of treaty projects on Kootenay Lake, the Columbia River main stem and Portland.
  • Interests on the US side, represented by Northwest Power, are simple – as opposed to the complexity of Canada’s many existing groups: Columbia Basin Trust, the Columbia Forum, the Columbia Roundtable, the Columbia Basin Network, the Columbia River Basin Advisory group. And then there are the many Tribes and First Nations.
  • The US has no position on renegotiating the treaty yet; is looking at it, will make a decision and has no timelines to do so.
  • The US sees no need to rush into negotiations and feels it would be counterproductive. (The US Senate must ratify any US treaty.)
  • On the Canadian side, the province of British Columbia has more power (relative to their Federal government in Ottawa) than the US states in the basin do (relative to the Federal government in Washington DC).
  • The BC Treaty Review Process has been one of engaging Columbia Basin Trust and First Nations (per new constitutional requirement). There have been 23 community reporting events addressing ecosystems, fish and wildlife, archeology and cultural lifestyles, and revenue sharing.
  • We can do a lot within the treaty without relying on the US treaty system that requires Senate approval. It will be difficult in this time of gridlock. Maybe we should have started working on changes within existing structure earlier….
  • Will the US Federal government bring regional groups/expertise and local requests to the table as it establishes its renegotiation stance?
  • Is the treaty the best vehicle to determine benefit sharing, even if it is flexible? The way to find out is to decide mutual wants and then see if a treaty can accommodate those wants.
  • The opinion of people in the Columbia River Basin is not being asked. BUT we don’t have to be asked! It is our responsibility to tell our government what we want.
  • The Treaty’s mission has been to address hydropower and flood control.
  • The US Sovereign Review Team tried to solicit input only on pre-selected issues.
  • We need an advisory committee involved in transboundary dialogues to report back early on transboundary issues like fish, grizzlies, gas; and individual municipal items like spills.
  • The “top” has to hear us and take ownership. We need to get messages to the governments to be accountable and move off the flood plains.
  • The current organization (i.e. with representatives from the power companies) is an existing structure that could carry forward; but there needs to be a “Permanent Basin Board” of 5–7 people who will facilitate, collaborate and coordinate, and be funded by USA and Canada.

Columbia Wetlands at sunset, Kootenay Rockies, BC

C. What’s missing? / Critique of current treaty: What do we want from a new treaty?

  • We need to strengthen protections of ecosystem functions in new treaty: i.e. changing agriculture to maintain function of wetlands and to capture carbon.
  • The people in the basin weren’t heard.
  • There is new science and new social values that have developed in the last 50 years, like climate change, which will become the normal environment in 50–60 years.
  • There are new power demands from air-conditioning that didn’t exist then, larger cities, more technology.
  • We should keep existing benefits, but increase other aspects and broaden participation to include voices from the public, Tribes and First Nations.
  • There’s a lack of faith in today’s renegotiation process since original treaty guarantees are still not fulfilled, such as:
    • – Not enough access to reservoir lakes,
    • – No Tribes or First Nations involvement, and
    • – Ongoing pain from relocated communities when reservoirs were flooded.
  • There are many things the treaty is not doing that it should be doing:
    • – No Tribe/First Nations participation,
    • – No process for public participation, leaving legal suits as only US alternative,
    • – No adaptive management to address ecosystem health, and
    • – No coordination with non-treaty issues.
  • We need to define “shared funding” which should be a “best practice.”
  • Are we halting ecosystem destruction?

D. Challenges/ stumbling blocks in the upcoming negotiations

  • If it took 20 years to create the treaty, how can we renegotiate it in just 10 years? And now there’s climate change to consider….
  • There’s a complacency that develops when floods don’t happen and that complacency warps negotiations today.
  • We need to learn more about upstream control of floods.
  • Perhaps the US State Department could move forward if there were a regional consensus among US basin stakeholders. But how will that be accomplished?
  • Yes, there should be equal benefits to US and Canada. But how do we do the math when a 70-year database yields different conclusions than an 80-year database?
  • Keys to getting a good treaty in 3 or 4 words are:
    • – Education, education, education,
    • – Recognition of tribal rights,
    • – Balance and fairness,
    • – Shared benefits for all,
    • – One river – Ethics matter,
    • – Mutual understanding, cooperation,
    • – Inclusivity, cultural recognition, and
    • – Thinking outside the box.
  • Grand Coulee Dam, Washington

  • Reintroduction of salmon past Grand Coulee doesn’t belong under the purview of the Treaty for several reasons:
    • – It’s up to individual governments, for instance, Canada’s Dept. of Fish and Oceans have jurisdiction over fish, not BC;
    • – Salmon not specifically mentioned in 1st treaty;
    • – Since the Grand Coulee Dam was built before the treaty in the 1930s, it’s not in the treaty.
  • British Columbia should realize this is not just a 3-dam treaty.

E. What can be created/added that will make a better treaty?

  • What do we want from a renegotiated treaty?
  • This is a perfect opportunity to establish “AmeriCanadian” trans-boundary governance.
  • Tribes and First Nations need legal standing in treaty negotiations.
  • We must establish beneficial sharing and equitable uses to have stable government.
  • Flood-control changes must be made that are adaptable to climate change events.
  • Request made for more structured framework and a reexamination of both values and acceptable levels of flood risk.
  • Goals should include:
    • – Greatest sharing of benefits to both countries as possible,
    • – Healthy Columbia River Basin ecosystems,
    • – Fish reintroduction discussions,
    • – Adaptability built in for climate change, and
    • – Coordination of non-treaty water storage.
  • New issues to be included are flood-plain encroachment, urban water needs, climate change (predictable water flows are askew now) and more intense droughts.
  • The people need to be heard and to be educated about the Treaty, ecosystem functions, alternative energy, climate change, and international recognition of the Treaty as a model of cooperation – with salmon being the over-riding theme.
  • We must fold in city and municipal voices and have advisory councils.
  • Since it’s a time of decolonization, maybe the river should be symbolically re-named to its original indigenous name.
  • Negotiations should include academic specialists since they tend to “think big.”
  • Ecosystem functions should be included as a founding value to insure agriculture will maintain function of wetlands and capture carbon.
  • Biggest challenge is focus understanding flood control, flow and volume of the river, which affects every issue: power needs, irrigation, navigation, recreation and ecosystems.
  • Flood plains and aquifers must be addressed.
  • We need to remember climate change! Mitigation is not a 4-letter word.

VIII. Ecosystem Functions: “We cannot alter the environment without consequence.”

  • Ecosystem functions include: fish passage, salmon restoration, fisheries, water quality, invasive species, terrestrial health of main stem riparian habitat, flyways, etc.
  • Are we halting eco-system destruction? Are humans an invasive species?
  • The CRB dams have created novel systems where there are always new challenges, so we must adjust expectations, expect invasive species and take threat-based approaches (versus species approaches).
  • The biggest invasive threat is mining in the headwaters.
  • If we take care of the First Foods [salmon, berries, root vegetables…], they’ll take care of us.
  • Ecosystem orientation is difficult but necessary.
  • We must bridge science and policy with ecosystem functions.
  • Determination of eco-system functions is a very complex issue because there are so many different ecosystems in each sub-basin, ranging from Arrow Lakes to Hanford Reach.
  • Integrated Resource Management exists because humans have changed so much now that we must simulate natural processes.
  • Threat-based management is better than species-based management because it appeals to people’s concern for nature and thus integrates our citizenry.
  • Work on ecosystem functions and services moves quickly to a question of economics.
  • We’ve taken ecosystem functions, values and services for granted and not placed any values on them.
  • Managing risks means adaptive management and No More Caution!
  • Use citizen scientists to find new ways to share transboundary data.
  • Efforts to protect bull trout are an example of critical need for guaranteed funding.
  • Aquatic water conservation depends on reducing human usage for the sake of other species.

IX. Salmon Restoration/Fish Passage: “It is technically feasible to restore all salmon runs.”

Audience asked: “Who doesn’t want salmon past the Grand Coulee?” Not one hand was raised. Conclusion: “That’s a starting point!”

  • We don’t own the land or the fish – they own us.
  • Fish are the unifiers of economy, culture and values.
  • At Chief Joseph Dam now, salmon try to go up the human steps to get over the dam.
  • Fish passage at the dams isn’t just a matter of a toggle switch!
  • Dams block and divert. Both countries have roles to play. Hatchery intervention.
  • The idea of salmon restoration came from eels.
  • To design proper fish passages, we need to understand the full salmon life cycle from redds to oceans: for instance they go through great temperature extremes, but not when they are developing eggs and sperm when they can only tolerate a 1–2 degree swing.
  • Salmon decline and spawning ground losses began before the dams, thanks to over-harvesting, deforestation, and agriculture.
  • Historic upstream spawning grounds are cooler, which will be a critical need for salmon as we face climate change impacts.
  • Salmon restoration above the Grand Coulee Dam is not IF, it’s just WHEN.
  • In Upper Okanagan River Basin, salmon are changing and sculpting the riverbed.
  • Will the Canadian Federal government step up to support salmon reintroduction?
  • We need a video to go viral that catches the soul and story of salmon and a crowd-sourcing effort with ability to bid on future salmon.
  • Restoring salmon above dams is a very extensive, complex issue, although a “laudable and achievable goal.”
  • The IJC has done nothing about salmon for 75 years since Grand Coulee Dam was built. It’s time to call on this now to governments.

X. Energy: “Fake it until you make it, and energy conservation will happen.”

Revelstoke Power Dam, British Columbia

  • The PNW grid runs from British Columbia hydro-dams in CANADA through the US into Baja California in MEXICO.
  • Hydro production is typically in good shape in the winter, but threatened in the summer due to lower runoff.
  • British Columbia now has 93% renewable power generation (thanks to hydro), as required by BC legislation. BC is increasing its reliance on power available from wind, run-of-the-river, biomass and tides (when that comes on line).
  • To balance U.S. and Canadian interests, we need to reset our expectations.
  • Seventeen new LNG terminals on the coast will add new energy requirements in BC.
  • We can conserve our way out of load-growth increases.
  • Power companies see many opportunities for increased transboundary collaboration:
    • – Energy efficiency and conservation (the 1st “go-to” for utilities);
    • – Integration for low-carbon-emitting renewables into a system addressing intermittent needs, since hydro is reaching its limits (i.e. 5-minute energy markets in PNW);
    • – Diversity of power sources benefit transmission development; and
    • – Addressing better understanding of large hydro impacts on fish and wildlife.

XI. Governance: “All the plans we want won’t happen without effective governance.”

  • It’s a process – a process of moving ahead.
  • There should be a coalition of all stakeholders, with reciprocal accountability with each other.
  • How big should governance be: The more issues there are, the more complexity.
  • Form must follow function.
  • It can’t just be science that determines action.
  • Gaps: transboundary collaboration to restore the cultural loss of salmon.
  • How do we wrestle back our power from the Federal Governments of U.S. and Canada?
  • There are big gaps, so how do we fill them?
    • – Develop an identification map of existing stewardship groups;
    • – Determine gaps and themes to discuss; and
    • – Create a Steering Committee and a Youth Forum.
  • The function of governance is to create a holistic approach, relating people to ecosystems.
  • There are many informal and formal entities already in the Basin, yet no central organization or unified collaboration on gaps of transboundary issues that need attention. We should identify/map existing groups and see how they network and build a database.
  • We must be collectively supportive by listening to elders as “top down” and youth as “bottom up.”
  • The river cannot survive without two banks.

XII. Solutions Needed: “Turn out the freakin’ lights.”

  • Carbon taxes are not anti-market – they are a balance of economies.
  • Answers require thinking about: river flows, coordinated management of invasive species, habitat connectivity, transboundary protection of water quality, coordinated goals and objectives, and transboundary mechanisms to support ecosystem functions.
  • Adaptation is the #1 “silver bullet” against climate change, especially since realignment of floodplain premiums seems to be too controversial and mitigation is politically difficult (i.e. carbon cap and trade and carbon taxes).
  • We’ve got to “get our poop in a group” and work together for practical transboundary solutions.
  • Recycle/Reduce. We have to get out of the dive we’re in now.
  • Flexibility is adaptive management and adaptive governance.
  • Fish passage past the Grand Coulee Dam and other upstream dams can be via fish ladders, trap and haul, automatic elevators, salmon vacuums, or whatever means deemed best.

XIII. Transboundary Coordination: Need to share transboundary goals and objectives.”

  • We must first decide on desired outcomes, processes and how-to’s: i.e., first establish form and then functions.
  • We need one over-arching transboundary institution, especially as the Treaty doesn’t include salmon restoration, ecosystem functions, agriculture, mining….
  • A start-up informal working group, fiscally backed by NWPCC and BC Hydro, should be tasked with just one goal for the next year (salmon past Grand Coulee).
  • It’s easier now to communicate with the public to learn what they want and to educate them about the issues with social media like Twitter and blogs.
  • Let’s establish transboundary coordination to go past decision-making and create administration.
  • Fish ladder at Rocky Reach Dam on the Columbia River

  • Pick easy issues for first issues to address to achieve success – like getting salmon above Grand Coulee Dam.
  • The authority given to a Working Group should be one of advisory capacity, like the Senegal River Commission.
  • We need a map of existing organizations and what they focus on, so gaps not covered can be identified; and so we can see their intersect so coordination between them can be improved.
  • The obvious issue is how to address the salmon in the 1800s versus those at the Bonneville Dam now.
  • Successful transboundary resolutions:
    • – Upper Columbia White Sturgeon Recovery,
    • – Transboundary Gas Group, and
    • – Columbia Basin Trust (CA) and Montana working on transboundary issues re:
      Burbot,
      Aquatic invasions, and
      Genetic conservation of depleted native fish (i.e. red-band salmon).

XIV. Other Existing Transboundary Groups: (as mentioned in the conference)

Resource: International Waters Governance specializes in negotiating and implementing international waters governance arrangements, and trains negotiators using real world negotiation simulation exercises.

XV. Historic Transboundary Agreements between Canada and US

XVI. Assessing the Conference: “We are the ones the Big River has been waiting for.”

  • Conference format was like speed dating, with 5-minute speeches.
  • We need a take-away message this week that can go viral.
  • This conference is more focused and organized than any previous conferences.
  • The youth are planning a teleconference two weeks after the conference ends.
  • This conference should be held annually to identify specific actionable issues, especially in the light of climate change.
  • Need another conference to focus on transboundary issues with staff following these themes from public, government, science, tribes and 1st nations, i.e. all stakeholders to especially address climate change and agriculture.
  • This conference should establish a working transboundary group to:
    • – Review existing groups,
    • – Review work on ecosystem functions in both countries,
    • – Engage with US Tribes and Canadian First Nations,
    • – Identify issue of getting salmon above the Grand Coulee as initial task,
    • – Report back to this same conference (usually held every 4 years) or conference administrators next year.
    • – The US needs to get President Obama to appoint a representative to this group.
  • “Make it a good day for the river” should be the motto for BC Hydro and Northwest Power; and their staffs should be tasked to put strength behind this motto.
  • The conference should not end as just a point of discussion.

XVII. Conclusions Presented

  • There could be a Permanent Basin Board that would be an amendment to the Treaty. It would be facilitative – not a board that was God. Issues it would address:
    • – Better understanding of flow and volume,
    • – How to facilitate inventories of tools that could yield collaboration,
    • – Facilitation of youth efforts,
    • – Facilitation of salmon restoration efforts, led by Tribes and First Nations,
    • – Development of shared ecosystem functions and goals in the basin,
    • – Fostering collaboration and engagement, mapping, and data sharing,
    • – Liaisons between a Permanent Energy Board and the citizenry,
    • – Implementation of a Challenge Cup, and
    • – Coordination of climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.
  • Proposal for a Challenge Cup (with some funding offered at conference) for transboundary working groups to address:
    • – Salmon habitat,
    • – Columbia River Treaty definition of ecosystem functions,
    • – Basin-wide salmon recovery,
    • – Source-to-sea riparian restoration,
    • – The youth challenge,
    • – Need for both CA & US interests to address economies.
  • There could be a “Columbia Basin Nation, where we think like a river and think like a nation.”
  • There should be a working group on transboundary issues, since the Columbia Treaty is a contract, NOT a governance board.

[Posted by NWNL on Nov. 14, 2014]

INVITATION to all: April 21–22, 2015: Lake Roosevelt Forum conference in Spokane, WA.