Summer Updates


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, 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.

Methow Headwaters: Summer Updates

I know, we aren’t quite done with summer yet, but we wanted to take a minute to highlight a few big pieces of news!

1.  Exploratory mining decision delayed as Confederated Tribes express concerns over copper mining on Flagg Mountain

We anticipated the U.S. Forest Service to issue a decision for the exploratory drilling permit this spring, but tribal concerns expressed by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation have delayed the issuance of that permit potentially for another season.

“Members of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation have expressed concern about the potential for future mining in the upper Methow Valley, and the harm it could cause natural resources, as well as the tribes’ cultural and spiritual connections to that land.”

Related News Articles:

Methow Valley News, Confederated Tribes express concerns about proposed Flagg Mountain copper mining // August 10, 2016

Methow Valley News, Exploratory mining decision delayed because of tribal concerns // August 5, 2016

2.  Twisp Town Council passes resolution supporting Methow Headwaters withdrawal proposal

The Twisp Town Council passed a resolution supporting our proposal to withdrawal public lands from mineral entry making these lands off-limits to large-scale mining. This is a great show of support by our local government, and shows just how important protecting our water is for the future health of our community.

The resolution approved by the Twisp Council on July 26 cites the town’s “duty to provide clean water to its citizens under Washington state law” and says that “source water protection is an obligation of the town.”

It goes on to state: “The Methow Valley’s pristine rivers are a key factor to the town and the Methow Valley’s economy, as ranchers, farmers, recreationists and small business owners are all dependent upon a stable and clean source of water . . . The Town Council acknowledges that polluted waters and disturbed land from large commercial mining would pose negative impacts on fish and wildlife and threaten the very foundation of the many established industries of which our local economy is comprised.”

Related News Articles:

Methow Valley News, Exploratory mining decision delayed because of tribal concerns // August 5, 2016

3.  Methow Headwaters delegation advocates in Washington D.C.

In July local campaign members, Maggie Coon of Twisp and Bill Pope of Mazama, spent three full days meeting with our state senators, members of Congress, representatives from the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, and others to advocate for the protection of our headwaters from large-scale mining. The meetings showed policymakers just how engaged the Methow Valley community is in making sure this withdrawal proposal moves forward. We look forward to returning to D.C. in the fall to continue conversations with agency and Congressional leadership.

4.  Field Tour with Senator Cantwell’s Staff

Last week we had the great fortune to partner with The Mountaineers and American Whitewater to bring Senator Maria Cantwell’s staff to the Methow Valley for a field tour of the Methow Headwaters. We were joined by many local representatives for a hike up to Goat Peak Lookout on a beautiful summer day to talk about important recreation and conservation values that we all want to make sure are protected in our beloved valley. We look forward to continuing to build a relationship with our senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and supporting their efforts to pass the Methow Headwaters Protection Act of 2016.


As always, we’re so grateful to have the support from our community far and wide. If you haven’t already, please take a moment to sign our petition, and share it with your friends!


Methow Headwaters Campaign Team