Summary

The Methow Valley Citizens’ Council (MVCC) has a distinguished history of fighting for progressive land use and environmental values in the Methow Valley since 1976. Among our most notable accomplishments is the major role we played in averting development of a large downhill ski area in Mazama, Washington. A series of legal challenges by MVCC and others, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, raised key environmental issues and delayed the project for over two decades, paving the way for ultimate victory.

During the lengthy course of this debate, MVCC worked tirelessly at the county level to establish special land use protections for the Methow Valley, now codified as the Methow Review District. This zoning specifies 5 acre minimum lot sizes on the valley floor and 20 acres in the uplands, much more restrictive than zoning in the rest of Okanogan County. The healthy rural character of the Methow, with low density development, considerable open space, clean air and water, has been preserved in significant part through our work on land use planning. We have also brought citizen oversight to bear on development of Shorelines and Critical Area rules mandated by state law.

Increasingly, we are called upon to engage on an array of environmentally harmful proposals from a “property rights” orientation toward land use planning and zoning, to widespread opening of roads to all terrain vehicles to the threat of a massive copper mine near the headwaters of our pristine valley. Our advocacy voice must be heard, loud and clear.

MVCC pursues its work by monitoring planning activities at the county and local level; tracking development proposals; writing letters to the editor and elected officials; organizing educational events; working on litigation and seeking proactive and creative ways to preserve this place. MVCC is committed to working with members and partners who bring diverse perspectives—geographical, cultural, professional, and socio-economic—on conservation issues in the Methow Valley and Okanogan County. We actively seek to collaborate with regional and statewide groups and increasingly are finding opportunities to lend a credible voice from Eastern Washington on issues of statewide significance.
MVCC is an advocacy group, serving as an intelligent voice and a powerful watchdog for actions that affect the quality of the natural environment and rural character of the Methow Valley and Okanogan County.

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