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Remembering and Celebrating Vicky Welch (August 3, 1946 – June 10, 2013)

On August 3, 2013, hundreds of friends and family gathered to celebrate Vicky’s life. Today, two years later, would have been her 69th birthday.

I invite you to pause on this special day to consider the many ways in which Vicky’s life influenced yours and how vibrantly alive is her memory

– in the ever growing number of young Twisp River farmers (and the diaspora of Sunnypine Farm interns around the globe)

– in goat packers glorying in high alpine meadows as she did with such exuberance

– in the community which she and Ed built, and the love they broadcast far and wide

– in Vicky’s work as an ardent environmentalist.

And because I know she would cheer me on in doing so, I ask that you consider contributing now to her legacy through the work of her organization, the Methow Valley Citizens’ Council. For forty years, Vicky gave herself wholeheartedly to the cause of protecting the Methow Valley the old fashioned way – by informing citizens and politicians about the issues and inspiring us to get involved.

What would Vicky think of current proposals to allow dramatically increased development along our shorelines, to further the prospect of an open pit copper mine in Mazama, or to turn our alpine ridges into a landing zone for Army Black Hawk helicopters? We know she would speak with clarity and passion and encourage each of us to take a stand in favor of our rivers, our wildlife, our beautiful open spaces.

Today, the Methow Valley Citizens Council (MVCC) is alive and well, tackling these and a host of other issues, keeping our voice of advocacy strong and ever stronger. In her honor,

– please join us on our website and contribute to the Vicky Welch Legacy Fund

– please follow us on Facebook and be sure to “like” us!

Vicky would be so very proud!

Vicky at the Arts Festival

Maggie Coon
Vicky’s friend and co-conspirator with MVCC

Comments Needed: County Proposes Lower Speed Limits for ATV Access

Click here for more information.

Election Results

Thanks to our members for voting in all 5 candidates for the MVCC Board of Directors

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Plans to Open Selected Roads to WATVs in June

There are proposals to open six routes on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest to wheeled all-terrain vehicles (WATVs) under a “pilot project”, beginning June 26. Click here to see the letter that 7 conservation organizations, including MVCC, recently sent to Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Deputy Supervisor Jason Kuiken, regarding the OWNF’s proposal to open hundreds of miles of Forest roads to WATVs in June of this year.

One route has been proposed on the Methow Ranger District.

Click here for a map of the proposed routes on the Methow Ranger District. Note that this map does not show one route going from Black Canyon to the Ridge.

MVCC is wary of this effort for two main reasons. First, this is a cart-before-the-horse proposal. The Forest Service has not completed the long-term planning process to adopt a new Travel Management Plan (TMP) that would determine appropriate levels of road use.

Secondly, the Forest Service is depending entirely on volunteers to monitor roads and enforce the rules. With hundreds of new miles open to ATVs, there is no commitment of money or personnel to prevent environmental damage.

MVCC and six other conservation and recreation groups have written to the Forest Service to advise the agency that we believe their proposal is not in compliance with federal law.

Click here for more details and a schedule of proposed openings.

Public Comments Needed NOW on Okanogan County Regional Shoreline Master Program (SMP)

It is critical for Ecology staff to see that the public is interested in the SMP, concerned and willing to speak out about the possible long term consequences of the proposed SMP on rivers and lakes in the Methow Valley and throughout the county. When the proposal is adopted by the Okanogan County Commissioners, it will go to the Department of Ecology for review and eventual adoption.

Your comment does make a difference. Spread the word – and help us get the comments flowing like a river!

Public Hearing: Tuesday June 9, 2015 at 3:00pm in the Commissioners Hearing Room

Email Comments:

cc: Lennard Jordan, Department of Ecology:

Please also send a copy to mvcc (at) mvcitizens (dot) org. Comments are due by June 9.

MVCC recommends stressing the following points in your comment letter:

1. Reinstitute a public outreach program to explain the proposed plan, so the public can understand what they are commenting on. more…

MVCC supporters submit comments on Shorelines Master Program

On March 9, 7:00 pm, MVCC supporters submitted comments about the Shorelines Master Program to the Planning Commission members.

MVCC takes ATV Ordinance to Court of Appeals

Feb. 10, 2015. Winthrop, WA. On February 10, MVCC and Conservation Northwest filed an appeal of an Okanogan Superior Court ruling on the 2014 county ordinance opening over 400 miles of county roads to All Terrain Vehicles.

Contact: Melanie Rowland, Methow Valley Citizens’ Council: 509 997 0888

Read our press release here

MVCC Appeals Comp Plan

Jan 12, 2015, Twisp, WA: The Methow Valley Citizens Council (MVCC) and Futurewise have filed a lawsuit in Superior Court against Okanogan County, challenging its recent adoption of a Comprehensive Plan, the associated Interim Zoning, and Determination of Non-Significance under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) for the Plan and Zoning. This lawsuit comes after years of debate and citizen participation, and adoption of all documents by the county Commissioners on December 22, 2014.

MVCC is taking this action now even though the county will hold a belated public hearing on February 2nd. The hearing has been scheduled so the county Commissioners can take oral testimony on the Comprehensive Plan, which they failed to do in error on December 22, and now wish to correct.

From our perspective, the plan is Comprehensive in name only. First, it fails to meet state law by not providing for the protection of water quality and quantity or taking water availability into account when setting the allowed densities. Second, the law requires that the county designate Resource Lands best suited to forestry, agriculture, and mining. Yet the plan designates only public lands as resource lands; it fails to designate any private lands that are currently used for, or best suited for, agriculture. Third, the plan ignores the lessons learned from the record 2014 wildfires and floods. The county made no changes to the plan after the fires and mudslides, failing to reconsider land use and zoning in flood-prone areas, the water needed for future firefighting and fire prevention, or whether some roads are adequate for emergency egress during fires, given the allowed densities.

Read the press release here

Read the appeal here

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