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River treaty offers remote access

by The Western News
| April 10, 2018 4:00 AM

The U.S. State Department’s lead negotiator for the Columbia River Treaty will lead a town hall meeting April 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. with access available by phone.

The meeting led by Jill Smail will take place in Spokane, Washington at the Davenport Hotel’s Isabella Room.

U.S. government representatives will be present to “generally review the upcoming process and plans for engaging the region,” according to a State Department press release. The team will also take questions from the public.

The press release states that key objectives for the U.S. include “ continued, careful management of flood risk; ensuring a reliable and economical power supply; and better addressing the ecosystem in a modernized treaty regime.”

The press release states that the U.S. Entity Regional Recommendation for the Future of the Columbia River Treaty after 2024 based on input from tribes, state and local government representatives, stakeholders, and members of the public is expected, “to be an important guide during negotiations with Canada.”

The Canadian and U.S. governments are still working on setting dates for when treaty negotiations will begin, according to State Department deputy spokesperson Amber Aura.

Questions can be submitted ahead of time. Questions or requests to access the meeting by phone can be sent to Susan May at ColumbiaRiverTreaty@state.gov.