Support WA Reform on Suction Dredge Mining

January 17, 2017

UPDATE FROM TU:  1/25/2017

Greetings Suction Dredge Mining Reform WA Supporters!  

Thank you for your dedication to the important cause of reforming suction dredge mining regulations in Washington State. Last Tuesday, House Bills 1106 and 1077 received a hearing in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

We would like to extend a huge thank you to all of you that came to Olympia to attend the hearing. We would especially like to thank the anglers, scientists, lawyers, legislators, tribal elders, and concerned citizens who provided passionate testimony on behalf of improving protections for our native fish.

We are extremely grateful to all of you that have engaged with your legislators on this issue by writing letters, sending emails, and making phone calls.  

We still have work to do!

In order for House Bills 1106 and 1107 to move forward and have a chance of becoming law, they need to be voted out of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

If you live in the following legislative districts, please call your legislator, or send them a letter by Clicking Here, urging them to vote yes on HB 1077 and 1106.

Rep. Brian Blake - 19th District - Westport / Aberdeen / Longview area

Rep. Mike Chapman - 24th District - Olympic Peninsula

Rep. Vincent Buys - 42nd District - Bellingham / Whatcom County

Rep. Ed Orcutt -20th District - Centralia / Chehalis area

Rep. Tom Dent - 13th District - Ellensburg / Cle Elum - Kittitas County

Rep. June Robinson - 38th District - Everett / Marysville area

Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon - 34th District - West Seattle / Burien

Rep. Joe Schmick - 9th District - Pullman / Othello

Rep. Derek Stanford - 1st District - Bothell area

Rep. Joel Kretz - 7th District - Tonasket / Republic

Rep. Bruce Chandler - 15th District - Selah / Toppenish area

Rep. Eric Pettigrew - 37th District - South Seattle / Columbia City / Renton

Rep. Kristine Lytton - 40th District - San Juan Islands / Anacortes / South Bellingham

Thank you again for your ongoing support of this important effort to protect native fish by reforming suction dredge mining in WA!

Visit our Suction Dredge Reform Project Page to learn more and stay updated.

FROM 1/172017

A proposal that could positively impact fishing across the state has a first hearing this morning.  Trout Unlimited is supporting and keeping an eye on this.  We have actually seen suction dredge mining in action on the Yakima, and it is alarming how destructive it can be. 

Just received from TU:
Subject: Suction Dredge Mining Reform in Washington State

Help us protect Washington State’s imperiled fish populations by TAKING ACTION to ask your legislators in Olympia to reform suction dredge mining regulations by voting YES on HB 1077 and HB 1106. You are being contacted because your State Representative sits on the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, where the fate of these bills will be decided.

Washington is the only state with populations of Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed Pacific salmon and steelhead that still allows unpermitted suction dredging and other forms of motorized mineral prospecting. 

Due to proven impacts to fish habitat caused by suction dredging, California (2009) and Oregon (2016) no longer allow this activity, and Idaho regulates it strictly under the Clean Water Act (2013). 

The current regulations in Washington allow suction dredge mining without oversight, tracking, or accountability – no permits, no fees, no monitoring required. 

This is simply unacceptable giving what’s at stake with our critical fish populations – many of them on the brink of extinction. Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on fish habitat restoration efforts throughout Washington State’s watersheds over the past 20+ years. These investments are literally being washed downstream.

HB 1077 and HB 1106 will require Washington State to begin tracking and monitoring all suction dredging activities to ensure they do not threaten our already struggling fish populations.

It only takes a moment to TAKE ACTION by contacting your legislator to voice your concerns on suction dredge mining and to urge them to vote yes on HB 1077 and HB 1106.

Learn more about suction dredge mining and why it is imperative we reform Washington State’s regulations now:

Two bills have been introduced in Olympia as of this week, and a hearing for both bills was very quickly scheduled for this coming Tuesday, January 17th at 10 am. (Hearing Room B, John L O'Brien Building)

Please join us at the hearing as your voice is critical to reforming suction dredge mining in Washington State! Arrive early to ensure a seat in the hearing room - as we know, suction dredge supporters will be there en masse! We need to show the committee that our voice is stronger!

Thank you for your support!  Contact Derek Young with questions: 425-373-6417

  1. Important issue, but if your legislator is not on the committee, the TU action link will not submit your email. Presumably after it gets out of committee we can try again.
  2. The Mining lobby is well organized and bankrolled by national chapters. To make your voice heard, email committee chair Brian Blake, and/or call Brian direct @ 360.786.7870 to register your support of both house bills. Committee staff will also log your call - Kaliko Mettao @ 360.786.7144
  3. Thanks Hamilton, will do.
  4. Thanks for the additional info, Michael!
  5. Thank you Red's for posting this and supporting! Rep. Tom Dent is a key legislator on the House Ag and Natural Resources Committee. If you live in Kittitas County reach out to him directly as well - This is critical timing to make your voices heard! Tom Dent: (360) 786-7932