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Newhouse Applauds Interior Announcement on Methow Valley Headwaters Public Meeting

October 10, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Newhouse (R-WA) applauded the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for announcing a public meeting on the Methow Valley Headwaters’ mineral withdrawal application.

The notice issued in the Federal Register reopens the public comment period on the withdrawal proposal until November 13, 2018. BLM also announced that a public meeting to discuss the Methow Valley Headwaters’ mineral withdrawal will be held at 6 p.m. on November 13, 2018 at the Red Barn in Winthrop, located at 51 North Highway 20. The public meeting is the last step BLM must complete before a final recommendation on the withdrawal is made by Joe Balash, the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management to U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke.

“I thank the Bureau of Land Management for responding to my request to initiate this major step for the Methow Valley Headwaters mineral withdrawal application,” said Rep. Newhouse. “Just earlier this week, I had the opportunity to meet with the folks in the Methow Valley and witness – once again – the natural wonder of region. I encourage local community members to attend this public meeting to have their voices heard.”

“We are very pleased about the announcement of the public meeting and the continued progress of the Methow Headwaters withdrawal. Support for the withdrawal is overwhelming, as it will help ensure the continued prosperity of our local economy, jobs, and region’s rural character,” said Twisp Mayor Soo Ing-Moody. “We are deeply appreciative to Congressman Newhouse and to all of our champions for their support, and to the Bureau of Land Management for its efforts to quickly get this important meeting scheduled.”

If you are unable to attend the public meeting, comments can be submitted for the record by mail or by e-mail. Find more information about the comment period here.

BACKGROUND:

In February, Rep. Newhouse sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke to express support for a mineral withdrawal in the Methow Headwaters and to request that federal agencies move swiftly to complete the environmental review process.

On September 21, 2018, the U.S. Forest Service recommended to the Bureau of Land Management to withdraw 340,000 acres in the Methow Valley from consideration for mining for a 20-year period. This recommendation comes after the completion of an Environmental Assessment.