Take Action and Help Protect An Invaluable Steelhead Stronghold
Washington’s Green River and its downstream rivers the North Fork Toutle River and Cowlitz are home to three species of wild steelhead and salmon listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Recognizing the importance of protecting and restoring the Green’s winter steelhead population, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife designated the Green as a Wild Steelhead Gene Bank – a select program designed to protect and restore some of the most important wild steelhead populations
However, this watershed’s struggling salmonids are being threatened by a proposed hardrock mining proposal for 1,000 acres in Skamania County, Washington on the banks of the Green River. The site is bordered to the east by the Mt. St. Helens Volcanic Monument and the Green River on the south.
It is disconcerting that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service (FS) are even considering allowing test drilling for a mine in such a site, but they are proposing issuing two permits to Ascot USA Inc., a subsidiary of Ascot Resources Ltd. Of Vancouver, B.C. to conduct these test drills. Fortunately, numerous recreation, community and conservation groups (including Wild Steelhead Coalition) are speaking out against the proposal. And concerned individuals have until Feb. 4 to voice objections.
Before BLM can issue the drilling permits, the Forest Service must give its consent, which is why we are asking FS to withhold its consent. In particular, we are using the Environmental Assessment for the project to illustrate that due diligence has not been done to address the habitat issues as well as the fact that the proposed site is on public land with well documented excellent recreational and ecological values.
For the protection of wild steelhead habitat and the surrounding forest, please take a minute to share your concerns and request that this dangerous proposal does not move forward.