PNWER conference spans the border to address concerns

By on Tuesday, August 17th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

BIG SKY, Montana – State Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Athena) is in Big Sky Montana this week, attending the Pacific Northwest Economic Region Foundation’s annual meeting. One of two senators from Oregon serving on PNWER, Hansell said the organization is comprised of members from Canada as well.

“PNWER is a unique organization,” he said. “It’s the only one of its kind, where you have elected representatives from across the border.”

PNWER lists renegotiating the Columbia River Treaty as one of its priorities. That 60-year-old agreement between the United States and Canada is the subject of an effort to modernize it. Hansell said the treaty isn’t the only thing in which PNWER is involved.

“We have invasive species, the timber industry, the cattle industry, economic trade, and tourism – all the different things that unite us,” Hansell said.

Programs throughout the week address everything from rivers to wildfires in both the United States and Canada.