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PacifiCorp, Yakama Nation OK land deal near river

November 20, 2019 GMT

WHITE SALMON, Wash. (AP) — The Yakama Nation has entered an agreement that would allow it to buy hundreds of acres of land along the White Salmon River downstream from the former site of the Condit Dam.

The Columbian reports the tribe agreed to a “right of first offer” agreement with PacifiCorp, which owns the 289 acres of land between the former dam site and the Columbia River. The agreement comes after months of negotiation and includes the still-standing Condit Powerhouse.

PacifiCorp director of hydro compliance Todd Olson says the agreement with the nation is not a sale agreement, but demonstrates their intention and values they share with the Yakama and the people who use and love the river.

The Yakama Nation, which co-manages fisheries around White Salmon, retains fishing rights to the land from the Treaty of 1855 with the federal government.

Yakama Nation Tribal Council chairman Virgil Lewis Sr. called the agreement a unique opportunity to preserve in perpetuity critical river and upland habitats.

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Information from: The Columbian, http://www.columbian.com