Environment & EnergyIssues

Editorial: Drought put new facet on U.S.-Canada river treaty

Were they not choking on the smoke from the region’s wildfires, our neighbors in British Columbia might be enjoying a measure of satisfaction from the challenges extreme drought have presented to those of us who live south of the 49th parallel.

As Becky Kramer reported in the Aug. 9 Spokesman-Review, many living in the province’s interior have not forgotten what was taken from them when President Dwight Eisenhower and Canada Premier John Diefenbaker signed the Columbia River Treaty in 1961. The ensuing construction of three dams on the Canada side of the border, and the waters backed up into British Columbia from the Libby Dam in northwest Montana, inundated many homes and farms, displacing about 2,300 residents in the process.