Target: Dan Newhouse, Washington Congressman
Goal: Do not open copper mine that would place an unspoiled valley and the endangered wildlife that rely on it at risk.
A Canadian company, Blue River Resources, plans to open a copper mine in the previously untouched Methow Valley, WA. Keeping Methow Valley pristine is crucial to the environmental and economic health of the region. The local community strongly opposes the mining operation. This is why senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell have proposed a bill that would put the 340,000 acres of land off limits to mineral leasing. Call on Representative Newhouse to join his voice and his vote with theirs to protect this precious valley.
Mining in the Methow Valley could destroy the landscape and the species that call it home, seven of which are federally protected. Specifically, it poses a serious threat to upper Columbia salmon, which taxpayers have already invested $100 million to save. If the valley were mined, these efforts would go to waste. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated hard rock mining as the nation’s worst polluting industry. According to their assessment, 40 percent of watersheds in the western U.S. have been tainted by rock hard mines.
Allowing the mining would also damage the region’s economy by taking away the tourism dollars the landscape provides. Methow Valley is a popular winter destination, with over 4,500 skiers arriving in 2016 to support local businesses. One resident said, “We are riding this wave of outdoor enthusiasts who are returning to, or discovering the valley. Primarily it’s outdoor recreation driving the economy.”
Because of the environmental and economic detriment that mining would cause, the community opposes it. Approximately 750 people have sent comments to the Forest Service and the great majority of those comments were against the mining project. Around 100 local businesses are also backing a campaign to stop it.
Mining in the Methow Valley would damage both the environment and the regional economy. Urge Representative Newhouse to preserve this untouched valley and the economic benefits it brings.
Dear Representative Newhouse,
The legislation banning mineral leasing in the Methow Valley must pass. Mining would cause tremendous environmental and economic damage to the valley by destroying the lands the residents depend on for their support. In the words of one resident, “Allowing this [the mining] to go forward is out of the question.”
The EPA asserts that hard rock mining is the nation’s worst polluting industry. They assert that 40 percent of the watersheds in the western U.S. have been damaged by it. Copper mining in Methow Valley would threaten both the landscape and the species that live there, seven of which are federally protected. If their drinking water is poisoned, these species cannot survive.
Mining would also hurt the regional economy, which needs the tourist dollars that the landscape brings in. Methow Valley is a popular ski destination, with over 4,500 people arriving last season. The people living in the valley need to be able to provide wilderness recreation to have a stable economy. One resident said, “I’m in the tourism business. Are mountain bikers going to keep coming through with a drill rig passing by?”
Several hundred community members have sent comments to the Forest Service, most of which have opposed the mining project. In addition, 100 local businesses have assisted in the campaign to stop it. Respect the wishes of the valley’s residents, your constituents, and halt the destruction of the valley.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Julio Silveira