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.:
- E&E News, Tribes lobby lawmakers, agencies against Canada mine pollution
- Public News Service, Tribes Call for Greater Regulation of B.C. Mines Threatening NW Waters
- The Narwhal, ‘Nature has no borders’: why Americans are worried about Canadian mines
- iFIBER One News, Colville Tribes call for greater regulation of British Columbia mines threatening waters on U.S. tribal land
- The Canadian Press, Get tough with Canada over cross-border mining contaminants, First Nations tell U.S.
- Daily Montanan, Tribes seek U.S. help to curb Canadian mining threats to Northwestern states
- Alaska Beacon, Alaska tribes join with Lower 48 allies to seek protections from impacts of Canadian mines