What's Happening at MSRF?

Cleaning Up the Methow River

MSRF is looking for volunteers and donations to help clean up the Methow River in response to the recent floods and fires. If you want to volunteer, please click here to send us an email and/or friend us on Facebook. Donations can be made directly to MSRF at PO Box 755, Twisp, WA 98856. All donations will go directly to cleanup efforts on the ground, and are fully tax deductible, as MSRF is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit.

The recent mudslides following the Carlton Complex fire put an unprecedented amount of debris into the Methow River from Benson Creek down to Pateros. With the help of volunteers from the Washington Conservation Corps and local river guides, MSRF has been able to remove 15,000 lbs of tires, wood, fuel tanks, appliances, and even a yurt from the Methow river. Despite this initial effort, there is still a lot of work to be done this year to remove the debris currently visible and the additional debris likely to surface over the coming year.

The response from members of the community and beyond to the initial cleanup efforts has been powerful, with volunteers contacting us from as far as Seattle and Spokane, looking for a way to contribute. We have created this page to help connect volunteers with those in the community most familiar with the areas affected.

MSRF and volunteers will coordinate cleanup dates between now and the first freeze to ensure removal of as much flood debris as possible. The current plan is to organize work parties with experienced river guides to focus on hard-hit areas. If you want to work outside of organized cleanup efforts, but are not familiar with the Methow river, or have never navigated it during low water, please contact Kevin van Bueren or Steve Taylor (contacts listed below) for guidance.

While working in the river, beware of sharp edges on roofing metal, screws and nails sticking out of lumber, and barbed wire, and be aware that drums and buckets may still contain fuels, pesticides, or other hazardous substances. Some bank areas are covered in deep sticky mud. As always, watch out for strong river currents and slippery rocks. Always wear a life jacket while working in the river. If you do not have a life jacket, contact Kevin van Bueren (phone number below) to borrow one.

Please note that log jams, fallen trees, and brush piles are beneficial to the river and do not require removal. They may also be dangerous to work around.

MSRF has arranged with Wastewise to locate dumpsters for debris removal at the Carlton and Libby Creek (also known as 20 Mile) fishing access points. Signage at each dumpster will clearly identify debris allowed in the dumpster, and an area will be clearly designated for materials not allowed. The locations of the two dumpsters are indicated on the map below. When working outside of an organized group, please stick to these two sites for put-in and take-out to avoid disturbing sensitive landowners.

Map

SCHEDULE OF CLEANUP

We’re working on a community cleanup day at the beginning of October after fishing season ends. The event will be announced via email and on our Facebook page.

Local landowners along the river who can provide river access for organized cleanup are encouraged to contact Michael Notaro.

LOCAL CONTACTS FOR CLEANUP

Chris Johnson, Project Director (509) 429-1232

Michael Notaro, Landowner Access (509) 429-2939

Tara Gregg, Volunteer Coordinator (509) 429-5999

Kevin van Bueren, River Guide (509) 846-4939

Steve Taylor, River Guide (509) 341-4659


For past updates, please visit our archive.