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Washington

Green River Valley

© Michael Sulis

Highlighted Value

Recreation Opportunities

The Green River Valley is a remote destination for true wilderness recreation experiences in Washington’s South Cascades.

Located more than two hours from Portland, and accessible only by one single-lane U.S. Forest Service road, the valley is sought out by hunters, anglers, equestrians and backpackers looking to escape into the Washington wilderness. Here, the Green River winds in and out of the iconic Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, along whose northeastern border the valley is situated. The Green River Valley is a place of stunning scenery and unbound backcountry recreation opportunities.

The Threat

Hardrock Mineral Mining

A Canadian mining company has been trying for more than a decade to conduct exploratory drilling for copper, gold and molybdenum in the Green River Valley, on the very land that was protected for its conservation and recreation values decades ago. Mining activities would not only permanently destroy the beauty of the valley and myriad recreational opportunities, they would also pollute the Green River, which provides critical aquatic habitat and drinking water for the downstream communities of Kelso and Castle Rock.

Years ago, the Forest Service acquired these lands with the express purpose to preserve the area’s scenic beauty and the ecological integrity of the Green River that flows into the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.
No exploratory drilling in Washington’s Green River Valley

Please protect the Green River valley from mining and withdraw the Forest Service’s draft decision to consent to hardrock prospecting permits near Goat Mountain. Mining exploration and development is inconsistent with public recreation in this area, threatens clean water for local communities and wild steelhead, and would set a terrible precedent for the millions of acres of public lands protected through the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The Green River valley provides exceptional backcountry recreational opportunities bordering the iconic Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. The constant drilling and noise due to the proposed exploratory drilling would disrupt recreation within the valley. Also, drilling additives and waste could pollute the Green River, which is a proposed Wild and Scenic River that provides water to downstream communities and supports federally-listed wild steelhead populations. These treasured public lands and waters should be protected in perpetuity, not opened to mine prospecting. I object to this draft decision and request that the Forest Service withdraw their consent for exploratory drilling within the Green River valley and provide a visionary alternative to permanently protect this beautiful valley from future mining.