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COMPLETED ACTION: Tell the Forest Service to Take Immediate Action to Prevent Mining in the Methow Valley

Posted on Oct 19, 2016 in Action Alerts, Conservation News, Mining

Nested on the east slope of the North Cascades just outside North Cascades National Park, the Methow Valley and Headwaters region of Washington is one of the state’s most popular destinations. The Methow offers exceptional recreation opportunities, is home to diverse wildlife and is the source of cool, clean waters for famers, residents and fish. Recently, mining interests have targeted the Methow Valley for exploratory drilling near Flagg Mountain as a preliminary step to developing a mine in the watershed.

Photo Courtesy of Hannah Dewey

Photo Courtesy of Hannah Dewey

Washington Wild is a member of the Methow Headwaters Campaign and is working to oppose mining development in this remarkable area. We need your help!

What YOU Can Do!

The comment period for this opportunity closed on October 31st, 2016. For more opportunities see our Take Action Page.

At the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing in September, the Forest Service committed to working immediately on a mineral withdrawal for the Methow Valley. Send an email  to the Forest Service urging them to begin the administrative withdrawal process by Monday, October 31, 2016 before President Obama leaves office.

STEP 1: Write an email comment to the Forest Service in your own words asking them to officially start the mineral withdrawal process for the Methow Headwaters. Feel free to reference the talking points provided below.

STEP 2: Send your comment via email to Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell, Regional Forester Jim Pena and Forest Supervisor Mike Williams no later than Monday, October 31, 2016. Be sure to sign your name, city and state:

     EMAIL: No Longer Accepting Comments (email removed).
     SUBJECT: Start the Methow Headwaters Mineral Withdrawal Process Immediately

Please Cc:  so we can keep a copy! Thank you.

STEP 3: SHARE on Social Media. See Washington Wild’s Facebook Page for a post to share and get the word out.

Talking Points
  • Hold the Forest Service to Their Commitment.  Request that the Forest Service follow through with their commitment and take immediate action to begin the mineral withdrawal process before the end of this Administration.
  • Protect the Methow from Industrial Mining. Taking one year to complete the withdrawal application, as referenced by Secretary Vilsack’s letter to Senator Murray dated October 12th, 2016, is simply too long to wait. This delay will likely mean the community will have to stare down another exploratory drilling season on Flagg Mountain, which is one step closer to an industrial-scale mine in the Methow. The Forest Service should officially initiate the mineral withdrawal process by issuing a segregation notice before the end of the current term.
  • Impacts to Clean Water for Fish and Residents. The Methow watershed is a fragile, complex, and interconnected system of near-pristine streams that support life in the valley—farmers, recreationists, residents, and a vast array of fish and wildlife are dependent upon the cold, clean water the headwaters provide. The upper Methow is critical to recovery of the Columbia River’s great salmon runs of the past, especially in the face of climate change—nearly $100 million has been invested in salmon recovery efforts in the valley alone.
  • Preserve Recreation and Tourism in the Methow Valley. A much beloved area of Washington State, the Methow Valley is home to bountiful recreation and tourism opportunities that bring nearly 1 million visitors to the area and more than $150 million annually to Okanogan County. New mining developments threaten recreational opportunities in the area and the economic benefit of said recreation to the local community.

For more information on this project visit the Methow Headwaters Campaign Website.


1 Comment

  1. Washington Wild Organizations, Citizens Support Mining Ban in the Methow
    October 25, 2016

    […] for the Methow Headwaters region of Washington State. You can still make your voice heard! Take Action here and urge the Forest Service to prevent mining in the Methow until […]