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Environmental, Natural Resources, & Energy Law

US v Oregon: 50th Anniversary Symposium

Date: October 18, 2019 Location: Law Campus

  • Spring Chinook Salmon. Photo courtesy Michael Humling, US Fish & Wildlife Service

Law Campus

On October 18, Lewis and Clark Law and the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) will hold a symposium commemorating the 50th anniversary of Judge Robert Belloni’s landmark decision that interpreted the Columbia River tribes’ treaty fishing rights to ensure that the tribes were able to harvest “a fair share” of Columbia River salmon runs. To achieve this fair share Judge Belloni called for the tribes to “participate meaningfully” in fishery management, the first judicial recognition of importance of tribal sovereign control of their reserved natural resources. The court’s recognition of tribal sovereignty led to several generations of co-management plans governing Columbia River salmon harvests as well as hatchery management.

The symposium will feature tribal and governmental attorneys considering the implications of the case now known as United States v. Oregon, including its effect on the health of the salmon runs, the negotiation and renegotiation of a couple of international treaties, even the formation of CRITFC itself. A half-century after Judge Belloni’s historic decision, Columbia River tribes are fully invested sovereigns of the fish resources they bargained to retain over century-and-a-half old treaties.

Registration is closed.


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