Columbia River Treaty negotiations are underway. The treaty, written in 1964, is immensely important to the Kootenays and the USA for flood control, electricity generation, the economy and the environment. But the dams built as a result of the treaty created huge environmental impacts such as the flooding of massive mountain valleys, huge mud flats that cause dust storms, destruction of fish species….in addition to the devastating impacts to local residents. The main flow of the Columbia is reported to have 14 dams and 470 dams on its tributaries, and is one of the most heavily managed water systems on earth.
Interesting details and background can be heard on recent audio podcasts on the CBC Daybreak South website, including the story of 3 people that canoed the 2000km upstream on the Columbia!