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Skagit Headwaters map. Click to expand.


Southern British Columbia has become a dangerous hotspot for toxic pollution from mines in watersheds that flow into Washington state, including the beloved Skagit River.

There is currently a pending request for a mining permit in the Skagit Headwaters by Imperial Metals, the company responsible for the infamous Mount Polley mine disaster of 2014, which spilled more than 24 million cubic meters of wastewater laden with arsenic, lead, selenium and copper into the Fraser River watershed, one of the biggest environmental disasters in Canadian history.

The iconic Skagit River begins in British Columbia, flows down through the North Cascades and Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, eventually ending in the Puget Sound, providing 30% of the Sound’s freshwater. The Skagit Watershed is critical to the health and well-being of the region’s residents, Indigenous communities, and local recreation and agriculture economies.

Decisions made by our neighbors to the north affect us all downstream.  Moving forward with mining is a direct threat to Indigenous communities and to one of our state’s most beloved natural resources. That’s why we’re working to #Protectskagit.

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6/25/2021 The Seattle Times (Letter), “Skagit mine permit: ‘Protect our quality of life’
6/25/2021 The Seattle Times (Letter), “Skagit mine permit: Protect farms, local businesses
4/7/2021 Go Anacortes, “Anacortes City Council formally opposes mining permit on Skagit River headwaters
1/29/2021, The Guardian, Opposition rises to Canadian mining plan that poses risk across US border
1/24/2021, Skagit Valley Herald, Potential B.C. mine remains a concern for those downstream
1/14/2021, 980 CKNW Radio, “Urging the province to shut down the mine 
2/25/2020, Seattle Times, “Washington’s Rivers, Salmon, and Orcas Need Protection from Canadian Mines”  
2/21/2020, Crosscut, Tribes Worry Canadian Mine Could Poison Washington Salmon  
1/8/2020, The Narwahl, The border is this imaginary line’: why Americans are fighting mining in B.C.’s ‘Doughnut Hole 
12/6/2019, Skait Valley Herald, Logging prohibited in Skagit River headwaters, mining still a possibility 
12/4/2019, Seattle Times, British Columbia will no longer Log in the Skagit Headwaters, key to Puget Sound 
10/31/2019, Castanet, First Nations meet in ManningPark to Oppose Proposed Mining Work 
8/25/2019, Mt Baker Experience, Loggin and Proposed Mining in BC Headwaters Threaten the Skagit River 
8/23/2019, Vancouver Sun, BC Must Reform Mineral Tenure Laws that do not Require Aboriginal Consultation: First Nation Leaders 
8/20/2019, Seattle Times OPED, Salmon and Mining: The Science is Clear, the Future is Uncertain 
8/15/2019, KGMI Radio Bellingham, Canadian Groups Oppose Skagit River Watershed Mining 
8/14/2019, CTV News Vancouver, Proposed Mine Between two Provincial Parks draws Cross-Border Opposition
8/14/2019, CBC News Radio, 140 organizations and officials oppose exploratory drilling in area between 2 protected B.C. parks
8/14/2019, Vancouver Sun  OPED, What will it take to finally save the Skagit River? 
8/13/2019, Skagit Valley Herald, Groups Oppose Proposed Mining 
8/13/2019, Castanet, Mining Work Backlash Grows
8/9/2019, Vancouver Sun , Canada-U.S. watershed commission renews effort to buy Skagit-Manning area mining tenures 
7/16/2019, The Narwhal, The government agency at the centre of B.C.’s old-growth logging showdown 
7/5/2019, KNNX NPR, Mine proposal near U.S.-Canadian border raises concerns on both sides 
6/21/2019, Hope Standard, International coalition launches campaign in opposition to proposed mining in local ‘donut hole’ 
6/17/2019, The Narwhal, Why an international coalition is going all out to stop mining in B.C.’s Skagit headwaters 
6/17/2019, The Star, U.S. demands for B.C. to clean up its mining practices getting louder 
6/16/2019, Vancouver Sun, Environmental groups fight to prevent mine exploration on edge of Manning Park 
6/16/2019, The Province, Environmental groups fight to prevent mine exploration on edge of Manning Park 
6/16/2019, The Western Star,  Environmental groups fight to prevent mine exploration on edge of Manning Park 
6/13/2019, Seattle Times, Eight U.S. senators ratchet up pressure on B.C. over mining’s effects on American rivers 
6/13/2019, The Narwhal, U.S. senators to Horgan: clean up B.C.’s mining mess 
6/7/2019, Everett Herald Editorial,  Editorial: B.C., Canada should block mining on upper Skagit 
6/4/2019, Seattle Times Editorial, Mining Skagit River Headwaters Invites Disaster 
Jun-19, Fly Fishing Journal, Skagit Headwaters: No to Imperial Metals Mining Permit 
5/24/2019, Skagit Valley Herald, Members of Congress oppose mining Skagit River headwaters 
5/22/2019, Seattle Times, Mining Proposal for Skagit River Headwaters in BC sparks outcry from Congressional Dems, Gov. Inslee
5/19/2019, Skagit Valley Herald, Opposition Grows for Proposed Mining in Skagit River Headwaters 
5/17/2019, Seattle Times LTE, Yes to Fish Runs; No to Gold Mine in Skagit River 
5/12/2019, Seattle Times OPED, Tribes and First Nations say no to gold mining in Skagit River headwaters  
4/30/2019, Castanet, Mining plans spark uproar 
4/23/2019, The Narwhal, Imperial Metals’ plan to drill in Skagit headwaters spawns cross-border backlash 
4/5/2019, Seattle P.I., Connelly: British Columbia — Don’t trash the ‘magic Skagit,’ eh? 


Washington Wild has led efforts to protect the Skagit Headwaters from both logging and mining threats. View recent posts from Washington Wild below.

Skagit Valley Craft Brewing Industry Opposes Mining in the Skagit Headwaters

Thirteen craft breweries, distilleries, and beer industry businesses located in the Skagit River Basin sent a letter to B.C. Minister of Mines expressing strong opposition to a pending mining permit in the Skagit River Headwaters. The businesses join a growing opposition of nearly 300 entities formally opposing mining.  Water is one of the most valuable […]

Washington Wild honors Upper Skagit Tribe Elder, Mount Vernon Resident, and Yakima Hop Supplier at Annual Conservation Awards Event

Statewide Conservation Nonprofit Washington Wild will host their annual Awards Ceremony and Fundraising Gala, Wild Night Out, virtually on Thursday, September 30.   The three awards presented — the Conservation Voices Award, Karen M. Fant Founder’s Award, and the Brewshed® Alliance Award — honor community members who have played an invaluable role in advancing conservation efforts over the past year.  CONSERVATION VOICES AWARD  The Conservation Voices Award is […]

British Columbia Stakeholders Join Growing Opposition to Mining in the Skagit Headwaters

Today, 39 British Columbia organizations and local businesses sent a letter to the British Columbia Ministry of Mines to express their deep concern and opposition to Imperial Metals’ proposed mining permit in the Skagit Headwaters. The B.C. stakeholders are the latest to join an opposition list totaling over 280 entities formally opposed to the mining […]

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