As one of the largest independent craft maltsters in the United States, we are highly dependent on the bountiful agricultural region in which we reside. We were happy to read the editorial “Environmental wins and two that need protection: Bristol Bay, Skagit River headwaters” opposing a proposed mining permit in the Canadian headwaters of the Skagit River.

Skagit Valley farmers grow the majority of the barley that we purchase for malting. The ability to buy local grains from our neighbors allows us to make hyper regional products that breweries and distilleries across the Western United States and Canada love to use as a base for their beer and spirits. This supply chain is heavily dependent on safe and clean water from the Skagit River. If the pending mining permit in the headwaters moves forward, it puts our business, our partner farms and the whole Skagit River Valley at risk. A mine leak upstream of any kind could be catastrophic to us downstream producers who are dependent on a clean water source to keep our valley growing barley.

Washington breweries and distilleries pride themselves in their ability to brew with Washington grown ingredients. We are proud to be part of a coalition of more than 270 international stakeholders opposing the mining.

Dave Green, president and CEO, Skagit Valley Malting