The southwestern corner of Oregon contains the headwaters of the premier wild rivers in the West, including the Wild and Scenic Smith and Illinois Rivers. Sparkling emerald water flows through forested canyons to the ocean, these rivers are important fish and wildlife habitat and provide clean drinking water that local communities depend on. The rivers and streams flowing though these public lands provide outstanding opportunities for boating, swimming, hiking and sport and commercial fishing.
But mining companies want to excavate a series of nickel strip mines in the pristine headwaters of the Wild and Scenic Smith and Illinois Rivers in the heart of California and Oregon’s much loved Wild Rivers Coast. They also want to mine in the coastal streams of Hunter Creek and Pistol River. These devastating proposals would turn these wild and pristine watersheds into a wasteland of haul roads, ore smelters, and piles of
toxic mining waste.
There is a unique opportunity to temporarily protect this wild region from industrial nickel strip mining with the Southwest Oregon Watershed and Salmon Protection Act, while Congress considers more lasting protection. The “mineral withdrawal” will protect against new mining claims and require existing claims to be tested to determine legitimacy. The withdrawal area includes botanically rich serpentine terrain in the West Fork Illinois River watershed—which hosts the highest concentration of rare plants in Oregon—and the headwaters of Hunter Creek and the North Fork Pistol River—two cherished native salmon and steelhead streams on the Wild Rivers Coast.
Effective support for this campaign will come from large numbers of US citizens who sign-on to the public comment letter to the Bureau of Land Management by the end of the comment period on September 28th, 2015.
Take action to save one of America’s most beautiful natural wonders by signing the petition asking that the Kalmiopsis Rivers and the Wild Rivers Coast remain free
from toxic pollution!
Sign-on today at kalmiopsiswildrivers.org/submit-a-public-comment
To learn more, click here to watch the video Emerald Waters of the Klamath-Siskyou.
Click here for Forest Service updates about public comments and meetings.