by Tom Banse
Another Columbia-Snake River tribe announced Friday that it's switching from adversary to partner with the federal government. The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of eastern Idaho stand to receive millions of dollars for fish and wildlife enhancement. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.
The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes agree not to sue the federal government for 10 years over hydropower and salmon issues.
In exchange, the Idaho tribe receives $61 million from the Bonneville Power Administration. It can use the ratepayer money to rebuild fish runs on the Salmon and upper Snake Rivers.
The deal should have little effect on wholesale electricity rates over the near term, according to the BPA's Bill Maslen.
Bill Maslen: "Most of what's in this particular agreement was already planned in our 2009 as well as our 2010-11 rates."
The Shoshone-Bannocks are the fifth tribe to reach this kind of pact with federal agencies.
The Yakama, Colville, Warm Springs, and Umatilla tribes did so earlier this year.
Idaho's Nez Perce Tribe has declined to sign. Nez Perce leaders say they want to keep their options open to press for breaching the four lower Snake River dams.
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