- Associated Press - Saturday, December 31, 2016

MAZAMA, Wash. (AP) - The Bureau of Land Management says it will make 340,000 acres in Methow Valley off-limits to mining for two years while it studies the potential impact of large-scale mines.

Washington Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell say the BLM’s decision is a step toward protecting the Methow Headwaters in North Central Washington.

Murray and Cantwell say they’ll continue to pursue permanent protection of the U.S. Forest Service land in Okanogan County.

They hope to safeguard the natural resources in the region, including water and salmon, as well as local recreation opportunities.

In May, the senators introduced the Methow Headwaters Protection Act of 2016 in order to protect part of the Methow River watershed in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest from potential development of a large-scale mine.



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