While I was on the east coast, the Columbia River Treaty popped up in the news. Earlier this year and for the better part of last year, the Treaty made a lot of headlines as the US and British Columbia released their draft and final recommendations to their respective governments. News articles on the Treaty are less frequent these days, but I expect they will ramp up as we draw closer to September 16, 2014.
Prayer vigils for the Columbia River
Various news outlets reported on a series of interfaith prayer vigils for the Columbia River hosted throughout the basin during each of the first 16 days of August. The Center for Environmental Law & Policy (CELP) notes that local religious leaders and indigenous people from all faiths are invited to pray for the Columbia River. The vigils are a call to modernize the Columbia River Treaty so that it includes ecosystem function as a primary purpose with flood risk management and hydropower (note: the vigil organizers define ecosystem function as improving the health of the river and returning salmon to ancestral spawning waters). The remaining prayer vigils will take place in British Columbia. Specific dates, times, and locations are noted in this flyer.
Articles on the recent vigils:
- Hood River News: “A connecting ritual”
- The Daily News Online: “Residents, Cowlitz Tribe pray for return to natural salmon runs”
- KPLU News: “Tribes urge U.S., Canada to update Columbia River Treaty”
River Talk: The storage reservoir system in British Columbia
Eileen Delehanty Pearkes is an independent researcher who writes for The Nelson Daily through a column called River Talk. In her most recent column, Ms. Delehanty Pearkes shares her thoughts on the storage reservoir system in British Columbia, highlighting her July 27 Op-Ed for the Spokesman Review. Links to Eileen’s previous articles for River Talk are available at the bottom of her June 8th article on floods.