Young leaders invited to attend Columbia River Treaty Conference


Young leaders from around the Basin are invited to participate in an important conversation at the Columbia River Treaty Young Leaders Conference.

Hosted by Columbia Basin Trust (CBT), the conference takes place March 16 to 17 in Rossland. The event is FREE to attend.

The goal of the conference is to help young people better understand what the Columbia River Treaty (CRT) is, how it works and what considerations exist for the future.

“This is a unique opportunity for young people to get involved and increase their knowledge on this important issue that may affect their future,” Kindy Gosal, CBT Director for Water and the Environment, said in a statement. “We encourage young people to learn more and participate in this discussion about a locally-relevant international water management agreement.”

The CRT is an international agreement between Canada and the United States to coordinate flood control and optimize hydroelectric power generation on both sides of the border. Under the 1964 treaty, three dams were constructed in Canada, including Mica, Duncan and Hugh Keenleyside. A fourth dam, Libby, was constructed in Montana. Its reservoir, the Koocanusa, extends 67 kilometres into Canada.

The treaty has no official expiry date, but has a minimum length of 60 years, which is met in September 2024. Either Canada or the U.S. can terminate many of the provisions of the agreement effective any time after September 2024, provided written notice is filed at least 10 years in advance (2014). While no decision has been made by either Canada or the U.S. on the future of the current treaty, given the importance of the issues, and the approaching date of 2014, both countries are now conducting studies and exploring future options.

Over 1,000 Basin residents have already attended CBT-hosted information sessions about the CRT in communities around the Basin. The CRT Young Leaders Conference is one more way CBT is helping ensure Basin residents are informed about the CRT.

For more information, or to apply to attend the conference, visit Deadline to apply is Wednesday, February 29.