Catastrophic consequences

Dear Editor:

The Methow valley is an outdoor recreation destination for thousands of tourists each year who come here expressly because of the natural amenities. A rough estimate by the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association of annual trail users comes to nearly 90,000 user days. This number of course is only a part of the total valley visitors.

Regardless of whether they ride horses, bikes, motorcycles, snowmobiles or ATVs; whether they ski, climb, run, hike or stroll the boardwalk in Winthrop; whether they fish or hunt; whether they raft or kayak; whether they come for a family reunion or a wedding; whether they come to build a second home or just for a weekend, they all come for the same basic reason: the serene beauty of this place.

Each of these people brings money into the valley. They shop in our stores, they sleep in our lodging, they eat in our restaurants, they buy trail passes to ski, they buy gas at our gas stations. Our construction industry is sustained largely by the market for second homes and by newcomers moving here to enjoy the things we all cherish.

In a very real sense the beauty of this place provides the life blood for the local economy. This serenity is the precious resource that we must preserve in order to support the local population.

There may indeed be a viable copper ore deposit on Flagg Mountain. The area certainly was home to a great deal of mining and prospecting 100 years ago. But times have changed for the Methow since those days. Our economy has a new base that conflicts directly with large-scale open pit mining. There can be no question that our tourist economy will be dramatically impacted by a mining operation here and hundreds of us will feel the impact directly, with the rest of us feeling it one way or another. Many will lose their jobs as tourism and construction dry up. Many will move away and the real estate market will crash.

Should all of us suffer potential catastrophic consequences so that some Canadians can strike it rich in Mazama?

Scott Johnston, Mazama


Help the pool

Dear Editor:

This is such a great valley. We can be divided and supportive all in the same breath. OK, so the mandate is, no recreation district in the Methow Valley. Got it. Well, we still need help for the Wagner Memorial Pool in Twisp. While we are waiting for the county commissioners to reorganize the existing parks and recreation program, I hope you will remember we need you to keep the pool running.

I write to you every year asking for your help. We need this pool for our kids. We have over 100 young people on the swim team. We have swim lessons to teach our kids water safety. In the old days, lessons were in the lakes with freezing cold kids, and little learned. We have lap swimming and we have water aerobics for adults.

The valley pitched in and helped purchase the new boiler last year. Thank you, Kiwanis, Eagles, Eagles Auxiliary, Senior Center, anonymous donors and everyone who pitched in for this purchase. We are working towards resurfacing the pool. Yes, we need a new one but in the mean time we can keep this one going a few more years while we look for solutions. We need to replace the circulating pump soon. Little things like hot water in the girls’ locker room will be great. We will have a new pool manager this year and there will be some changes to make the pool experience even more fun.

I hope you will join us at the pool. Join Friends of the Pool in making our pool work.

Send donations to P.O. Box 438 Twisp, WA 98856. Call me 997-2910. Come to a meeting at 4 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month at Twisp Town Hall. We have been working since 2004 to keep our pool up and running. The whole valley makes use of this facility. From Lost River to Gold Creek, we all meet here. It’s a wonderful place to play and learn. Get ready — summer is coming into view. Friends of the Pool works hard to make this happen.

Patty Yates, Twisp


Great success

Dear Editor:

To the community — thank you so much for your donations and purchases for our first ever Bee-Cause. We were very happy with the results, as I think you were with your purchases. Thanks also to the vendors. And thanks to the Methow Valley News for your coverage, and to Sunflower Catering for the delicious chili. All in all, it was a great success.

Carolyn Sullivan, Methow Valley Community Center Board