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3 Governors Stick with Effort on River

by Jonathan Brinckman
The Oregonian, January 15, 2000

Oregon, Idaho and Montana pursue a regional agency without Washington

The governors of Oregon and two other Northwest states will work on creating a new Columbia River governance authority despite a decision by Washington Gov. Gary Locke to bow out from the effort.

"The three governors continue to believe that regional governance with greater authority over fish and wildlife is an important priority," Eric Bloch said Friday. Bloch is one of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber's two appointees to the Northwest Power Planning Council.

Bloch said Kitzhaber, Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne and Montana Gov. Marc Racicot decided Thursday to keep developing the new authority, outlined by Kitzhaber last year.

Aides to the three governors will work with members of the Northwest delegation to draft proposed legislation that would modify the Northwest Power Planning Council, Bloch said. At the same time, the governors will work with Locke to solve short-term problems, such as maintaining the ability of the Bonneville Power Administration to supply low-cost electricity to the region and developing ways to save endangered salmon and steelhead trout.

"The three governors believe they can do both," Bloch said. "Effectively work on what needs to be taken care of now, as well as moving forward to achieve better long-term governance."

Jonathan Brinckman
3 Governors Stick with Effort on River
The Oregonian, January 15, 2000

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