Public lands package signed, Methow Headwaters protected

Public lands package signed, Methow Headwaters protected

ConservationNWAdmin / Mar 12, 2019 / Legislation, Methow Headwaters, National Forests

After years of tireless advocacy from local residents, businesses and organizations, the Methow Headwaters are now permanently protected from industrial mining!

“Protecting the Methow Headwaters, public wildlands that sustain the farms, communities, outdoor recreation and fish and wildlife in our valley, ensures that our economy and environment will continue to thrive,” said George Wooten, Conservation Northwest’s field staffer based in Twisp.

“We should congratulate ourselves for turning the imminent threat of drilling into an opportunity for this community to come together and determine a healthier, wilder future,” said Wooten.

With a signature from the President today, S.47, the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act, officially became law. This historic legislative package approves more than 100 public land, natural resource and water bills, including reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund and permanently withdrawing 340,079 acres in the Methow Headwaters from new mineral exploration and mine development.

Our heartfelt thanks and congratulations go out to the Methow Headwaters Campaign, which coordinated the defense of this incredible place, and to our activists who submitted more than 3,000 comments on this issue through our WILD NW Action Alerts going back to 2014. THANK YOU!

We also want to thank Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, and Representatives Dan Newhouse and Cathy McMorris Rodgers for their support for the bipartisan public lands package and protections for the Methow Headwaters.

The Methow Headwaters are located in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and is surrounded by lands that include the North Cascades National Park, the Pasayten Wilderness and the North Cascades Scenic Highway. The headwaters are the source of water that sustain the fish, farms, and communities of the Methow Valley, provide critical habitat for the state’s largest mule deer population, and support world class outdoor recreation.

Clean, cold and abundant water from the Methow Headwaters is the lifeblood of the Methow Valley. With a long history working in the Methow and staff in Twisp, Conservation Northwest has for years been a local leader in the fight to protect this special place.