From the State Department (with some explanatory notes added by GD):
Statement by Secretary Condoleezza Rice
January 9, 2009
January 11 marks the 100th anniversary of the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909. We note with pride the century of cooperation with Canada in managing water quality, quantity, and environmental health along our 5,525-mile border. The Treaty also established the International Joint Commission, which has played a vital role as an independent steward of these shared resources. Comprised of Commissioners from both countries, the Commission has been an outstanding example of collaborative governance and stewardship *, facilitating cooperation, preventing and resolving water-related disputes, and approving and overseeing operation of several major dams and hydropower stations along the border.
Millions of Americans and Canadians depend on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River system for drinking water, trade, jobs, recreation, and more. Through the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and the International Joint Commission, our two nations are working diligently to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Great Lakes Basin ecosystem.**
The Boundary Waters Treaty remains vibrant as it enters its second century. Recent International Joint Commission initiatives such as International Watershed Boards provide opportunities for local stakeholders to build networks that can prevent or resolve problems at the community level. The Treaty continues to be a model for managing shared resources***and a tribute to the enduring friendship between the United States and Canada.****
* The reference to “governance and stewardship” may signify a career State drafter trying out a few liberal, internationalist phrases so as to be ready for the next administration. Had this been drafted in 2003, it’d probably have referred to “the joint commitment of freedom-loving nations to God’s aquatic gift to mankind”.
** I’ve read this a number of times, but it does indeed appear to be a positive reference to international environmental regulation by the Bush administration. I assume they think Dick’s too busy burning stuff to get pissed about this one.
*** Well yes, it’d be easier to resolve resource conflicts if the opponent was always Canada.
**** This is most likely a coded reference to the fact that the Canadian Conservative government is one of the few regimes on earth that may actually be sorry to see the Republicans go…