NW voices urge lawmakers to protect U.S. waters from B.C. mining threats

NW voices urge lawmakers to protect U.S. waters from B.C. mining threats

Conservation Northwest / Dec 15, 2022 / British Columbia, Healthy Watersheds, Mining

Mitch Friedman, Conservation Northwest Executive Director

“Never in a million years did I think I’d ever see this,” said Mike Allison while touring the U.S. Capital Building. Mike is a councilman of the Upper Similkameen Indian Band. He was part of a delegation of  First Nations and Tribal leaders from Washington (Colville), Alaska (Tlingit-Haida), Montana (Salish-Kootenay), and British Columbia (Upper Similkameen Indian Band) that the National Wildlife Federation and I supported to lobby for help getting B.C. to regulate its mines better and not to endanger transboundary waters and downstream communities.

Mike, who’s from the small town of Hedley, B.C., described himself as “a country mouse in the big city.” But he’s a mouse that roars, and his quiet voice had a massive impact on leaders we met with from the Department of the Interior, Department of State, Environmental Protection Agency, Canada Embassy, and members of Congress and their staff. We also met with media and were well-received in multiple news stories.

I was honored and humbled to be part of this effort, and at times brought to tears by what I heard about the effects mining pollution is having. B.C. has a new Premier, David Eby, who has appointed Josie Osbourne (a former fisheries biologist and environmental educator) to be Minister of Energy, Mines, and Low-Carbon Innovation. These are significant changes that I hope present an opportunity to see much-improved regulations adopted to lessen to impact and risk to our rivers and communities.


Read recent media coverage from the delegation’s visit to Washington D.C.:


Learn more about this delegation’s work to protect U.S. waters from B.C. mining waste.


A delegation of people concerned about British Columbia mining impacts on transboundary waters met lawmakers in Washington D.C. in December. (Left to Right) Brian Gunn (Colville Tribal legislative liaison), Erin Farris-Olson (National Wildlife Federation), Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Jarred-Michael Erickson (Chairman of Colville Confederated Tribes), Cindy Marchand (Councilmember of Colville Confederated Tribes), Mike Allison (Councilman of Upper Similkameen Indian Band)


Read more about our campaign to protect transboundary waters from B.C. mining threats.