The Kalmiopsis and Oregon’s Wild Rivers Coast
The Kalmiopsis is a rugged, geologically unique range of low elevation mountains located a little inland from the Wild Rivers Coast on the Siskiyou National Forest. While legendary for its rare plants, the Kalmiopsis is best known for its wild rivers and creeks and the beauty of their gin-clear waters
It’s home to some of the last best native salmon and steelhead streams south of the Olympic Peninsula. They include: the National Wild & Scenic Illinois, Chetco and North Fork Smith Rivers—plus five U.S. Forest Service Eligible Wild and Scenic Rivers: Rough and Ready Creek, Baldface Creek, Canyon /Josephine Creeks, Silver Creek and Indigo Creek. All five were recently proposed for addition to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System in the River Democracy Act of 2021.
Millions of years ago the Kalmiopsis acted as a climate refuge. These still wild mountains and rivers can again—if we protect them. The principle threat to the Kalmiopsis and its wild rivers is large scale nickel-laterite strip mining. According to the EPA, metal mining produces more toxic pollution than any other industry sector in the United States.