Protecting the Methow Headwaters

Pushing back against an industrial-scale mining proposal

The Methow Valley in north-central Washington is one of the Pacific Northwest’s most treasured areas, offering an abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities, important habitat for endangered wildlife, family farms and agriculture, and a resilient community driven by the natural beauty and clean watersheds of the area.

Clean, cold and abundant water from the Methow Headwaters is the lifeblood of the valley. But this special place is under threat from a proposed industrial-scale mine. With a long history working the Methow Valley area and several staffers and a field office in Twisp, for years we’ve been a local leader in the fight to protect this special place.

The Methow Headwaters. Photo: Benjamin Drummond

We’re part of the Methow Headwaters campaign, a coalition of dozens of local groups and businesses working to protect the clean, cold water, vital wildlands and vibrant community of the Methow Valley from industrial-scale mining. Learn more at:!

News on the Methow Headwaters

Support for mineral withdrawal

In late 2018 we submitted organizational comments in support of a mineral rights withdrawal.  Unfortunately, the Department of the Interior did not take action to approve this withdrawal before the end of 2018 deadline, despite strong local and bipartisan support. Work continues with our elected leaders to secure a permanent congressional mineral rights withdrawal. 

In November 2017 we joined a dozen other conservation and recreation organizations in a formal comment letter to voice support for a proposed 20-year administrative mineral withdrawal for the 340,079-acre Methow Headwaters region.

Collectively our organizations represent nearly 200,000 members in Washington state and the greater Pacific Northwest. We have joined together to show our support for protecting the beloved Methow Valley from industrial-scale mining because of its exceptional beauty, high conservation values, abundant recreational resources, and unique character.

Allowing any industrial-scale mining operation in the headwaters region would jeopardize the natural environment and devastate the local economy that depends on protecting the Methow Valley’s rural character and safeguarding its natural resources.

You can read the full letter by clicking on the screenshot below. We also shared an action alert with ways for individuals to take action. Be sure to sign-up for our WILD NW Action Alerts email list to receive future alerts in your inbox!