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Success! Mineral withdrawal process officially initiated for the Methow Headwaters

The Methow Headwaters Campaign is pleased to announce that on Friday, December 30,2016 the Department of the Interior filed a segregation notice in the Federal Register, officially kicking off a two-year planning period to evaluate the potential for a 20-year administrative mineral withdrawal for the 340,000-acre Methow Headwaters region in support of S. 2991, The Methow Headwaters Protection Act of 2016. The segregation notice marks the beginning of a two-year planning period during which the U.S. Forest Service will work with the Bureau of Land Management to conduct a ...

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Methow Headwaters Process Update

Photo: Benjamin Drummond of Flagg Mountain and the Methow Valley during sunset Dear Supporters, A huge thanks to all of you who came out to The Grange back in November for our community update meeting.  Over one hundred Methow Valley community members joined us for a campaign update, helped fill out postcards thanking U.S. Forest Service leadership for advancing our proposal and requesting Secretary Jewell to sign off on that request.  Your voices are integral to the success of our campaign, and we're grateful to have you stand with us and stand up for the ...

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Winthrop Town Council Passes Resolution of Support for Methow Headwaters Campaign

The Town of Winthrop has passed a resolution requesting the withdrawal of lands within the Methow River Headwaters in Okanogan County, Washington, from the operation of the General Mining Act of 1872. The resolution requests that the United States Secretary of the Interior and Congress use their authority to protect the Methow Valley’s clean water for wildlife, the local economy, the wellbeing of all citizens and for future generations. Read the PDF here.

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Methow Headwaters Community Meeting

Dear Supporters, Thanks to you, the Methow Headwaters Campaign has made great strides in the last few months, but our work is not done. We now have a very limited window to lock in agency commitment to a mineral withdrawal before the clock runs out on the Obama administration. Please join us this Thursday evening at the Twisp Valley Grange to hear a campaign update, enjoy fun activities, and learn how you can help us protect the headwaters from large-scale mining. The U.S. Forest Service will also attend to update us on its withdrawal efforts. We are ...

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Agency Commits to Mineral Withdrawal, Methow Headwaters Requests Action Now

On October 12, 2016, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack sent a letter to Senators Murray and Cantwell expressing support for S. 2991, The Methow Headwaters Protection Act, and commitment to safeguarding the ecological and economic resources of the Methow Valley through a mineral withdrawal in aid of legislation: “I support S. 2991 and believe a mineral withdrawal is the best path toward mitigating any impacts to the ecological, cultural and economic significance of the Methow Valley to the surrounding communities.” Secretary Vilsack goes on to say that it will take a ...

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Fall Updates + Action Request

Dear Methow Headwaters Supporters, Recently the Methow Headwaters Campaign received great news that the U.S. Forest Service agrees a mineral withdrawal is the best path forward to protecting the Methow Valley from industrial-scale mining. While this is wonderful news that couldn't have happened without immense community support and the continued leadership of Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, we still have a lot of hard work to do to get the U.S. Forest Service to follow through with their commitment and take action before the end of this Administration. "...

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U.S. Forest Service Commits to a Mineral Withdrawal for the Methow Headwaters

Last week, the Methow Headwaters Campaign achieved an important milestone when the U.S. Forest Service voiced support for a mineral withdrawal to protect 340,000 acres of Forest Service land in the headwaters of the watershed from industrial-scale mining. The U.S. Forest Service’s testimony at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing states the agency “believes a mineral withdrawal is the best path toward mitigating any impacts to the ecological, cultural and economic significance of the Methow Valley to the surrounding community.” Senator Cantwell describes S. 2991, The Methow Headwaters Protection Act of 2016, as about “two things: clean water and keeping an amazing place the way it is.” In further questioning, Senator Cantwell not only secured commitment from the agency to immediately start the administrative withdrawal process, but she also received confirmation that the agency would not approve exploratory drilling operations given the agency’s commitment to the long-term withdrawal of the Methow headwaters. The Methow Headwaters Campaign deeply appreciates the leadership of Senators Murray and Cantwell on behalf of the Methow Valley and greater Methow Headwaters coalition to permanently protect the Methow Valley with the passage of S. 2991 and to work with the administration on an administrative mineral withdrawal while the legislation makes its way through the Congressional approval process. Read Senator Cantwell's opening statement, which specifically focuses on S. 2991 Read U.S. Forest Service testimony, S. 2991 excerpt below Read related news articles Watch a recording of the hearing (related statements begin at 32:40.00 and 2:04.24) U.S. Forest Service written testimony for S. 2991, The Methow Headwaters Protection Act (September 22, 2016): S. 2991 proposes to withdraw approximately 340,079 acres of Federal land and interests in the land located in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest from all forms of mineral development. The Methow region is one of several areas on National Forest System lands across the country where the USDA Forest Service is analyzing complex and often controversial potential mineral activities. The agency anticipated completing the NEPA environmental assessment and making a decision during the summer of 2016 regarding a proposed permit for mineral exploration. However, through the public engagement process and subsequent analysis, several new considerations have surfaced, including tribal concerns regarding the impacts of mining activity in the area proposed for exploration. The Department of Agriculture supports S. 2291 and believes a mineral withdrawal is the best path toward mitigating any impacts to the ecological, cultural and economic significance of the Methow Valley to the surrounding community. ...

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Summer Updates

METHOW HEADWATERS CAMPAIGN We are a coalition of local residents, business owners, and organizations working to make federal lands in the upper watershed of the Methow Valley “off limits” to industrial-scale mining. Public support is critical to the campaign’s success, as we work to secure a “mineral withdrawal” for the federal lands that compose the headwaters of the Methow watershed. Learn more about our proposal to protect this beautiful green valley and clean waterways, what's at stake, and why we need your help! The Methow watershed is a fragile, ...

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Twisp Town Council Passes Resolution in Support of Methow Mineral Withdrawal

The Town of Twisp has passed a resolution requesting the withdrawal of lands within the Methow River Headwaters in Okanogan County, Washington, from the operation of the General Mining Act of 1872. The resolution requests that the United States Secretary of the Interior and Congress use their authority to protect the Methow Valley's clean water for the wellbeing of citizens, the health of the natural environment, and the local economy. View PDF: Resolution of the Twisp Town Council Read more in Methow Valley News: Methow Valley News, "Exploratory mining ...

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