Group looks back on active 45 years
The Methow Valley Citizens Council threw a party Thursday afternoon (June 8) for its members to celebrate the past year’s success, and look forward to the work they’ll do in the future.
This year’s annual membership meeting was held for the first time at the MVCC’s new location in Twisp at 305 E. Methow Valley Highway in Twisp.
“We’re really excited to share this space with you,” said board chair Maggie Coon. “We hope you will come by often to visit us, to share your ideas and thoughts about what’s happening in the Methow.”
Coon reflected on her 45 years with MVCC. The group was first formed to combat a downhill ski resort proposed near Mazama, but since then has broadened its influence to include clean air initiatives, advocacy for area interests in conservation and forest management projects, lobbying for local funding from the state legislature and other projects.
“What really keeps me going is all of your enthusiasm, your commitment, and your extraordinary generosity,” Coon said. “Also what keeps me going is the powerful mission of the Methow Valley Citizens Council. We are raising a strong community voice for protecting the natural environment and rural character of the Methow Valley since 1976.”
Executive Director Jasmine Minbashian highlighted the projects the MVCC has been involved with in the past year, including as a part of a local Housing Solutions Network scheduling focus groups to explore the issues causing a lack of affordable housing in the Methow, securing a grant to complete a strategic plan for the organization, and its work with other groups to get state funding for banking water rights in the watershed.
“That makes us competitive against big companies, corporations that want to buy up our water and sell it downstream,” she said.
As part of the North Central Washington Forest Health Collaborative, the MVCC is also continuing to work with the U.S. Forest Service on the planning process for the Twisp Restoration Project, a plan to do conservation and fire prevention work on 77,000 acres of forestland.
“There are some really significant changes that the forest service has made to the project and I think more changes are coming,” Minbashian said, telling MVCC members she expected an announcement from the Forest Service on those changes in the near future.
Minbashian also reflected on a recent trip floating down the Flathead River, comparing the journey to that of the MVCC.
“The current is very strong, and sometimes the easiest thing is to go with the current, but there are times when the current is taking you to a place that is dangerous and you need to row like hell,” she said. “I think oftentimes with MVCC, what I love about this organization Is they’re not afraid to row really hard against the current.”
For more information about the MVCC’s programs, go to https://mvcitizens.org.