Letter to Governor Inslee on Skagit Watershed Protection

Letter to Governor Inslee on Skagit Watershed Protection

ConservationNWAdmin / Sep 06, 2018 / British Columbia, Protecting Wildlands

In response to logging and other Proposed resource extraction in a “donut hole” of unprotected forest in the headwaters of the Skagit River, today we submitted the following letter to Governor Jay Inslee urging him to voice concerns and issue a request that the government of British Columbia stop these destructive operations immediately.
E. C. Manning Provincial Park. Photo: BC Ministry of Environment

RE: Skagit Watershed Protection

Dear Governor Inslee:

I write in support of concerns expressed to you by the Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission (SEEC) and others with logging ongoing on important lands within the British Columbia portion of the Upper Skagit Watershed, and to request that you express concern to BC Premier John Horgan.

This matter regards the donut hole, ecologically important old-growth forest that was left out of the Manning and Skagit Valley Provincial Parks in British Columbia because of a preexisting mining tenure. Out of concern for the integrity of the ecologically sensitive area and its watersheds, the SEEC has for years been working with the mining tenure proponent, First Nations, BC Parks and conservation stakeholders to acquire the mineral claims within the donut hole and transfer the lands to the BC Parks system. The BC government is aware of these interests and has encouraged the dialogue. Logging within the donut hole would undermine these aspirations.

Inexplicably and without due public notice, the British Columbia government under its BC Timber Sales program recently approved and commenced road building and logging in the area. The matter is of great concern to the People of Washington, as this ecological gem lies just north of the border, effects transboundary resources from water quality to grizzly bears, and has been the subject of a rich history of shared conservation planning since the battle over the High Ross Dam, which led to the formation of the SEEC.

Conservation Northwest and many others, including Mayor Durkin, of Seattle, have asked Premier Horgan to issue a stop work order on the logging until options can be explored.

I hope you will communicate to Premier Horgan your concern and request that he stop the destructive operations immediately.

Sincerely,

 

 

Mitch Friedman

Executive Director

The headwaters of the Skagit River. The “doughnut hole” of unprotected land between Skagit and Manning Provincial Parks is highlighted in yellow. Graphic: Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission.
Since 1989, we’ve worked on both sides of the international boarder to protect, connect and restore wildlands and wildlife from the Washington Coast to the British Columbia Rockies. Learn more about our transboundary conservation work on this webpage