Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 26, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Columbia River Basin is a valuable resource for people and wildlife

Treaty rights must include ecosystem-based functions

Conspicuously absent from Bruce Chandler’s guest column on the Columbia River Treaty is any mention of the treaty rights of First Nations people in either the United States or Canada [“Thoughtfully consider the Columbia River Treaty,” Opinion, Nov. 26].

Environmental organizations and native peoples propose rewording the treaty to include “ecosystem-based function” as one of three major goals of a new treaty for two crucial and related reasons:

First, native peoples’ treaty rights in the Northwest and Canada, including fishing rights, have been systematically and illegally ignored for decades. Second, the proposed revision will not only improve the general ecological health of the entire Columbia River system but also help restore salmon runs that have been decimated by dams and narrowly focused irrigation, transportation and power interests, including on the Snake River.

Recognizing and actually implementing First Nations’ treaty rights and managing the Columbia River Basin for ecological values will simultaneously achieve two major and related goals.

No one working toward these goals wants to damage the commercial viability of the Columbia River. Rather, we want to balance this economic value with ecological values that will eventually restore all of this magnificent river system to its full potential as a resource for people and wildlife.

—Michael W. Shurgot, Seattle

0 Comments | More in Environment | Topics: environment

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►