Both Washington residents and out-of-state sportsmen and women long have appreciated the treasure hidden within the shoulder of the North Cascades – and it's not copper or gold.
The Methow Valley provides stunning landscapes and unique ecosystems that are home to a variety of fish and wildlife including steelhead trout, Chinook salmon and the largest migratory mule deer herd in the state. Unfortunately, this stunningly beautiful, resource-rich area also has drawn the attention of mineral extraction companies hoping to develop this unique watershed.
Resource development, pursued responsibly and in the appropriate places, plays an important role on our public lands and waters and forms part of a multiple-use approach to their management. However, industrial mining does not belong in the Methow Valley.
Washington board member and Methow Valley resident Carmen Vanbianchi wrote about this looming threat in the summer issue of BHA’s Backcountry Journal.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers supports the efforts by Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, both of Washington, to conserve this area by introducing the Methow Headwaters Protection Act (S.566). If passed, more than 340,000 acres of public lands and waters will be permanently protected from industrial-scale extraction.
You can view our letter of support to BLM Oregon-Washington State Director Jamie Connell here.
In a joint letter to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, BHA national staff and chapter leaders expressed our support of an administrative mineral withdrawal that would secure protection in the Methow Headwaters for 20 years.
We thank Secretary Zinke and Sens. Cantwell (D-WA) and Murray (D-WA) for their efforts to support the mineral withdrawal that sustains fish and wildlife and boosts the local outdoor recreation economy.
To get more involved with our efforts to protect the Methow Valley and headwaters, sign our action alert and look for boots-on-the-ground opportunities through our Washington Facebook Group and website.