About Us

Building on 27 years of trust in the community, our mission is clear: to inspire people to care for the land of the Methow Valley.

The Methow Conservancy is using innovative and powerful approaches to:

  • Protect healthy land, clean water and fresh air
  • Connect people to the land

  • Support local agriculture
  • Be a role model for the rural mountain West
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Mazama Fall by Jason Paulsen

A Delicate Balance:

What does it mean to be a role model for the rural mountain West? Like any ecosystem, it's a delicate balance. It's enough healthy habitat protected so wildlife can thrive and enough thoughtful development to embrace people, too. It's fertile soils that still support agriculture and a community that values that heritage. It's a resilient economy vibrant with visitors and cutting-edge opportunities and yet still "undiscovered" enough to allow for solitude and quiet. It's diverse people who care for each other and for the land.

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Our float in a local parade by Mary Kiesau

Our Beginnings:

The Methow Conservancy formed from a 1996 merger between the Methow Valley Land Trust and the Methow Valley Environmental Center. What started as an energetic vision to protect land in the Valley has grown into a well-respected mainstay of the Methow Valley community. Now, the Methow Conservancy now has a staff of 10, an active board of 13 Valley landowners, and a membership base of almost 1000 households and businesses. After more than two decades of conservation, we've come to understand that our land protection work does not, and cannot happen independent from all other aspects of life in the Methow Valley.

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Bear Creek Birders photo by Mary Kiesau

Our Mission:

To inspire people to care for the land of the Methow Valley.

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Spring hike by Jason Paulsen

Our Vision:

We envision the Methow Valley as a place where people care for the land and know that the vibrancy and sustainability of the economy is based on the natural beauty of the surroundings.

The Methow Conservancy:

  • Dedicates itself to preserving the Methow Valley

  • Acts with integrity

  • Encourages private, voluntary participation in land conservation

  • Provides careful, ongoing stewardship of protected lands

  • Offers opportunities for community education and engagement
  • Recognizes and Honors that this landscape has been loved by many diverse people for generations and generations and that all of these voices matter in conversations about the future of the Valley

We believe that a love of the land is the common denominator in the Methow Valley and we believe that when people share that common ground, amazing things can happen.

— Sarah Brooks, Executive Director

The Methow Conservancy does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.

Our conservation work takes place on land where the original mətx̌ʷu/Methow People and their descendants have lived since Time Immemorial

13,000 years ago the last of the Missoula floods swept across Eastern Washington and down the Columbia River Gorge. Glaciologists estimate that the glaciers in the Methow Valley were up to a mile deep. The First People of the Methow Valley have stories about the great flood and its impacts.

For hundreds of generations, the Methow Valley has been the home of the mətx̌ʷu/Methow People. When the first white settlers arrived in the Methow Valley in the late 1800s, most of the mətx̌ʷu/Methow People were forcibly relocated from the Moses-Columbia Reservation, formed in 1879. In 1884, the Moses-Columbia Reservation was dissolved and most of the Methow People were moved to the area east and south of present-day Omak, becoming one of the twelve tribes of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

Others in this diaspora refused to enter the reservations and simply stayed or dispersed in the region. Even today, many Methow Tribal families maintain a consistent presence in this valley. We are grateful for the mətx̌ʷu/Methow People’s careful stewarding of this land and hope to learn from their example.

Learn more about the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and the mətx̌ʷu/Methow People here.

Today, more than 9,432 descendants of 12 aboriginal tribes of Indians are enrolled in the Confederated Tribes of the Colville. The twelve tribes which compose the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation include: ščəlá̕ mxəxʷ (deep water) or Chelan; walw̕ áma (Wallowa people) or Chief Joseph Band of Nez Perce; sx̌ʷyʔiɬp (sharp pointed trees) or Colville; šnt̕ iyátkʷəxʷ (grass in the water) or Entiat; snʕáyckst (speckled fish) or Lakes; mətxʷu (blunt hills around a valley) or Methow; škwáxčənəxʷ (people living on the bank) or Moses-Columbia; nspilm (prairie) or Nespelem; uknaqin (seeing over the top) or Okanogan; palúšpam (people from Palouse) or Palus; sənpʕʷilx (grey mist as far as one can see) or San Poil, and šnp̓ əšqʷáw̓ səxʷ (people in between) or Wenatchi.

Inspiring people to care for the land of the Methow Valley since 1996.

Join Team Methow Conservancy and support conservation work in the Methow Valley!