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All of Central Washington can follow Methow Valley's lead

Updated: Jan 30, 2022

#CentralWashingtonProud — We're all in this together Photo by Linda Pastor

  • Wildfires are devastating the 4th Congressional district

  • Carbon-neutrality is achievable

  • Historic federal and state funding is accelerating needed change

Doug White had a chance to discuss the Methow Valley Climate Action Plan with Tom Jones. You can find it at

In 2019, the overwhelming trauma from repeated wildfires and mounting concern over global climate trends compelled the Methow Valley Citizens Council to initiate a community-based planning process. This led to better understandings of the impacts of climate change on the valley, the community’s contribution to the problem, and recommended solutions.

Photo by Stephen Mitchell

Although every community is different, Methow Valley's plan is a model that can help communities identify realistic strategies and practical actions to build resilience, reduce emissions, and support overall well-being based on collective values.

Tom is hopeful that the Methow Valley Climate Action Plan will be a model plan for other Central Washington communities, and rural communities in the western U.S., helping them:

  • Prepare for the impacts of climate change.

  • Reduce local wildfire and transportation sources of greenhouse gas emissions, the primary cause of climate change.

Photo by Cathy Davis

The Climate Action Plan identifies the following key strategies and actions to reduce wildfire and transportation emissions to achieve carbon neutrality:

  • Natural Systems-Sequester of carbon through careful stewardship of natural resources, land use, and agriculture.

  • Focus built environment and infrastructure on energy conservation, efficiency, and distributed energy sources, prioritizing equity-oriented solutions.

  • Strengthen conservation ethic, and promote a sharing and reuse economy to reduce consumption and waste.

  • Electrify vehicles and reduce miles traveled by increasing public transport, rideshare, biking, and walking.

Photo by Patricia Leigh

Once specific strategies and actions to enhance resilience and reduce emissions are identified, the next step is finding the money. That involves understanding the state and federal climate change-related legislation that provides the grants and new job opportunities needed to implement a community climate action plan.

The Methow Valley Climate Action Implementation Hub (The Hub), for example, is organizing a speakers forum by inviting state and federal agency representatives to educate the Methow community about grants and job opportunities that are available for the Methow community.

The Hub also prepares state and federal climate change related legislative summaries that identify grant and job opportunities and specific points of contact for each Methow Valley sector.

These summaries ensure that grant and job opportunities will not be inadvertently missed, especially in the critical transportation sector. Tom even offered to help the Tri-Cities identify climate change-related grant and job opportunities, based on work already done for Methow Valley.

Photo by Patricia Leigh

How supportive of these common-sense efforts is the current 4th District Representative?

Patricia Leigh reports that the people of Methow Valley made multiple requests for a Town Hall meeting with Representative Newhouse. Not once did he honor that request. He agreed to meet in a small conference room with not more than a dozen people and side-stepped every question.

After many months, the community organized a Town Hall meeting with speakers on hot topics like climate change and included a large poster of Dan Newhouse to emphasize his absence.

Photo by Patricia Leigh

What the Methow Valley citizens have accomplished by working together, regardless of political affiliation, is a lesson for us all. Let’s take their lead and make every community in the 4th District a better place to live.

If climate and energy are important to you, please support Doug's campaign with a donation, join us for a conversation about these topics, and vote!

Photo by Nate Hovee

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