The Yakama Nation has entered an agreement that would allow it to purchase hundreds of acres of land along the White Salmon River downstream from the former site of the Condit Dam.
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, according to a news release Monday from the power company. The agreement comes after months of negotiation and includes the still-standing Condit Powerhouse.
While the company may sell the property in the future, it is not currently for sale, according to PacifiCorp.
“Having been involved in the White Salmon community for more than a century, we know there is a tremendous amount of interest in what happens to the lands on both sides of the river below the former dam site,” said Todd Olson, director of hydro compliance with PacifiCorp. “The agreement with the nation is not a sale agreement, but (it) demonstrates our intention and the values we 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. Virgil Lewis Sr., vice chairman of the Yakama Nation Tribal Council, called the agreement “a unique opportunity to preserve in perpetuity critical river and upland habitats that sustain our way of life.”