[2/22/19] Methow Headwaters Bill Advances

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The proposal to protect 340-thousand acres of the Methow Headwaters from new mineral exploration and mine development has taken a significant step forward. Last week, the Natural Resources Management Act, which includes the Headwaters in a package of more than 100 public lands, natural resources and water bills, passed the U.S. Senate, and is now headed to the House.

You’ll remember it was back in December that the Interior Department took no action on the proposal to put a 20-year moratorium on mining in the Headwaters, despite almost unanimous bi-partisan support from Congressman Dan Newhouse, Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, along with current and former state lawmakers and local officials. At the time, Maggie Coon with the Methow Headwaters Committee was surprised by the inaction of the Interior Department, but remained hopeful:

The bill passed the Senate on a 92 to 8 vote. The Public Lands Package is now before the House of Representatives, where so far no serious opposition to the bill has emerged, and expected to easily pass the House next week, and then sent to the White House.