The Washington Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers recently submitted a letter to Jamie Connell, WA/OR State Director of the Bureau of Land Management, voicing our support for withdrawal of the headwaters of the Methow River in the North Cascades of Washington state from proposed mineral exploration and extraction.
The iconic Methow Valley is cherished by sportsmen and women for its high country mule deer hunting and fishing opportunities. Specifically, the headwaters of the Methow watershed provides ideal spawning habitat and refuge for sought after gamefish including wild Chinook salmon, steelhead, cutthroat and bull trout.
Industrial-scale mining in this area would jeopardize the water and riparian habitat in this wildlife-rich ecosystem; possibly altogether eliminating the recreational opportunities that perennially draw hunters and anglers from around the Northwest. The proposed mine location is in the middle of an important corridor mule deer use to migrate between summer and winter ranges, and is directly adjacent to spawning grounds for steelhead and Chinook salmon.
The Washington Chapter of BHA will continue to be engaged on this issue, backing efforts to secure a twenty-year administrative withdrawal through the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service, as well as a permanent congressional withdrawal proposed in early 2017 by Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray as Senate Bill 566.