USK, Wash. (AP) - Fish-friendly enhancements at Box Canyon Dam are part of a relicensing agreement between the Kalispel Tribe and the Pend Oreille (pond oh-0RAY') Public Utility District.
The deal being signed Friday morning in Usk, about 45 miles north of Spokane, resolves nearly a decade of legal wrangling. A federal mediator helped settle a range of disputes over federal relicensing of the 57-year-old dam on the Pend Oreille River.
The deal requires the PUD to spend more than $50 million on fish ladders - and, over the next 25 years, the utility must restore 164 miles of trout habitat in rivers that empty into the Pend Oreille. Other provisions mandate new recreational facilities on tribal land along the river.