By Kate Prengaman
In an unprecedented move, tribal leaders from the Northwest and Canada, including the Yakama Nation, have teamed up with the region’s religious communities to call for updates to the Columbia River Treaty.
The treaty, signed in 1964, governs the hydropower and flood control agreements between the U.S. and Canada, and is open to renegotiation. In a letter sent to President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Tuesday, the tribal and religious leaders said that a modern treaty would include recognizing the rights of indigenous people and promoting environmental stewardship.
The letter is signed by 14 faith communities, including the Roman Catholic Diocese of Yakima, and seven indigenous leaders representing 27 tribes and first nations. Read more
By Betsy Z. Russell
The state of Idaho and the Bonneville Power Administration have agreed to a $40 million deal to satisfy the BPA’s wildlife habitat mitigation responsibilities to the state for impacts from its hydropower dams in southern Idaho. The money will go to the Idaho Fish & Game Department over a 10-year period, for administration, operation and maintenance, and restoration and acquisition of wildlife habitat. Read more
By Grant Co. PUD
On Feb. 24, 2014, a worker at Wanapum Dam noticed that part of the dam’s spillway deck had shifted slightly. Divers were called in to inspect the area on Feb. 27 and discovered a fracture below the water line on Wanapum Dam’s spillway pier monolith No. 4. The fracture ran in a horizontal direction across the 65-foot width of the monolith and had a 2-inch opening. Read Sept. 15, 2014 Wanapum Spillway Update
By Hal Bernton
In his obsession with all things solar, Jeremy Smithson has put photovoltaic panels on top of his house, garage, and even crafted them into a patio awning.
Smithson views his home as a kind of test kitchen for Puget Sound Solar, a business that he co-founded in 2001 that installs solar systems in Western Washington. With the addition of energy-conservation investments such as power-miserly appliances and extra insulation, he has turned his century-old wood frame home into a showcase for solar’s potential. Read more
By Christine Pratt
Commissioners agreed to skip bidding process and award contract. Read more