VICTORY! Protecting the Kalmiopsis Wild Rivers from Mining

The Kalmiopsis Wild Rivers region is home to the highest concentration of designated Wild Rivers in the contiguous U.S., but that didn’t stop a nickel mining company from proposing a 100,000-acre strip mine in this gorgeous area. WELC and our partners worked with the Bureau of Land Management and elected officials to enact a 20-year mining moratorium, protecting Rough and Ready Creek (headwaters of the Illinois River), Baldface Creek (headwaters of the Smith River), and the headwaters of Hunter Creek and the Pistol River. These are some of the nation’s most pristine rivers, with critical habitat for wild salmon and steelhead, and clean drinking water for Oregon and California communities.

It’s a great victory to be sure, but this special area deserves permanent protection, and we’re working toward that goal.