The Kalmiopsis – Wild Rivers Coast | Too special to mine
Long-sought interim protection from nickel strip mines achieved
Decades in the making and overwhelmingly supported by the public, interim protection from new mining has been achieved for two special areas in southwest Oregon while permanent protection is being sought.
The two areas—the Rough and Ready and Baldface creeks and North Fork Smith River watersheds in the South Kalmiopsis Roadless Area and the Hunter Creek and Pistol River headwaters along the Wild Rivers Coast—are threatened by nickel strip mine proposals by Red Flat Nickel Corporation—a foreign-owned mining company and RNR Resources.
The 20-year mineral withdrawal that’s in effect prevents the location of new mining claims and requires that the holders of existing federal mining claims demonstrate that any proposals to mine the area comply with the laws of the United States, including the 1872 Mining Law, before mining activities can begin. Learn more here and scroll down for two important actions you can take.
Holding on and making it permanent
The Southwest Oregon Watershed and Salmon Protection Act, which would make closing the area to new mining and require existing claimant to establish their right to mine permanent, was re-introduced in the House and Senate in January of 2017 (H.R. 310 and S. 192 respectively). These paired bills also include still-needed protection for 17 miles of the Wild & Scenic Chetco River.
The new conservation movement | Show up – Speak out
In today’s crazy political climate it’s going to take everything we’ve got to hang onto the interim protection everyone worked so hard to acheive and grow it into permanent protection. The continued support of our members of congress is essential to both.
We’re in a new age of citizenry. We saw it with the hundreds who turned out for the 3 public hearings for the mineral withdrawal. And the many thousands to wrote comments in support of it. Unfortunately we cannot rest on our laurels.
Right now the two most powerful thing you can do to be heard above the din is to call your congressional representatives regularly and show up at town halls at every opportunity. Both are essential.
According to members of congress, agencies and the latest research, what really counts is to make phone calls, send faxes, write personal/substantive letters and show up for town halls and hearings. Our members of Congress cannot do it without us.
Please make phone calls thanking our members of Congress for their tireless work to protect the rivers of the Kalmiopsis and Wild Rivers Coast regions from nickel strip mining
Here’s a sample script. At the beginning of your call provide your name, where you live and your personal connection to the area and its rivers:
I’m calling to thank you for re-introducing the Southwest Oregon Watershed and Salmon Protection Act to protect our precious wild rivers from the threat of mining.
The National Wild and Scenic Illinois, Smith and Chetco rivers and Rough and Ready and Baldface creeks and their clean clear waters are irreplaceable. Hunter Creek and the North Fork Pistol River are beloved by those who live along them and the local community. They’re too special to mine.
I especially appreciate your strong leadership to get the current interim protection from new mining in place for 101,000 acres of the Kalmiopsis and Wild Rivers Coast regions.
Scroll down for links to where you’ll find the phone numbers of the key congressional offices.
Show up and make your voices heard
We were told that the number one thing we could do to thank our members of congress, who fought long and hard for the 20-year mineral withdrawal, is to show up at town halls.
This 20 second video, of an inspirational moment at the Gold Beach hearing for the then proposed Southwest Oregon Mineral Withdrawal, shows that the local citizens of the Wild Rivers Coast showed up and stood up. Dave Lacey, who lives, works and is raising his family about 4 miles below one of the proposed mines is the speaker.
Congressional office phone numbers and contact information
- Senator Wyden: http://www.wyden.senate.gov/contact/
- Senator Merkley: https://www.merkley.senate.gov/connect/office-locations
- Representative DeFazio: https://defazio.house.gov/contact/offices
- Representative Huffman: http://huffman.house.gov/contact/offices
This page was revised and updated on May 14, 2017.
- Click here to learn more about the proposal for a 20-year mining withdrawal and the effort to protect the beautiful rivers of the Kalmiopsis Region and Wild Rivers Coast from nickel strip mining.
- Learn more about the proposed withdrawal and support for it here.
- And about the legislation to make it permanent.
- Click here to learn about the Rough and Ready and North Fork Smith River (including Baldface Creek) Proposed Mineral Withdrawal Area;
- And here to learn about the Hunter Creek and North Fork Pistol River Headwaters Proposed Withdrawal Area.
- See our special page on why a mineral withdrawal is a must for places like the Kalmiopsis and Wild Rivers Coast regions that are simply too special to mine
- Click here for the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest web page for the proposed mineral withdrawal.