Main Content

Wild Rivers or Wasteland?

Wild Rivers or Wasteland?

The southwestern corner of Oregon contains the headwaters of the premier wild rivers in the West. 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.

But mining companies want to excavate a series of nickel strip mines in the pristine tributaries of the Wild and Scenic Smith and Illinois Rivers in the heart of California and Oregon’s much loved Wild Rivers Coast. And they 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.

The Obama Administration is considering protection for roughly 100,000 acres of public land by withdrawing the land from mining for five years while Congress considers legislation—The Southwest Oregon Watershed and Salmon Protection Act—for more lasting protection. The "mineral withdrawal" will protect against new mining claims and require existing claims are tested to determine legitimacy. The proposed withdrawal area would include the headwaters of the Wild and Scenic Smith and Illinois Rivers, and the headwaters of Hunter Creek and Pistol River.

Do you choose Wild Rivers or Wasteland? Take action now 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 the petition