Cantwell Staffers Hike Goat Peak to Learn More About the Methow Headwaters Campaign

The campaign to protect the Methow Valley from mining recently had the opportunity to share their land and perspectives with Senate staffers.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
September 13, 2016

The Mountaineers and other Methow Headwaters Campaign supporters recently bagged a peak with staffers from Senator Cantwell’s office. Our hike up Goat Peak showcased the treasured Methow Valley lands and waters we’re working with Senate leaders to protect from exploratory copper drilling claims.

Our group made the summit to Goat Peak Fire Lookout, a 7,000 foot perch with views of rolling ridges and granite jags stretching into the horizon. With such beauty in our midst, our discussion about conservation and recreation values was no longer hypothetical: we were in it.

Local recreation organizations, including Methow Trails, North Cascades Mountain Guides, and NW Outward Bound, spoke to the importance of protecting the region’s robust recreation economy, which depends on the area’s wilderness character and the healthy ecosystems that underpin it. Currently, drinking water, wildlife habitats, salmon recovery, and the local economy are all threatened by mining interests.

Background

In 2014, a Canadian company filed for permits to conduct exploratory drilling on Flagg Mountain, which sits on U.S. Forest Service land. Drilling is the first step in what could lead to open-pit copper mining. For now, the Forest Service has delayed their decision as they consider objections brought forward by the Colville Reservation tribes.

Last June, in an effort to safeguard the Valley, Senators Murray and Cantwell introduced the Methow Protection Act of 2016. Our meeting with staff from Cantwell’s office was an opportunity for them to experience the land this legislation would protect as well as hear from unified local support.

Thanks to Mountaineers Advisory Council member, Tom O’Keefe of American Whitewater, who helped organize the day out, and to the Methow Headwaters Campaign.

Action

Visit the Methow Headwaters website to learn more about the many aspects of this issue, and if so moved, sign the petition in support of the campaign. 

Sign the petition

Signing the petition will also assure you get future updates on the project.


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