Mining Threatens World Class Salmon Stream
THE COMMENT PERIOD CLOSED 11/30/2011. IF YOU AREN'T ALREADY AN EARTHWORKS ACTIVIST, SIGN UP TO FIND OUT HOW THE INTERIOR DEPARMENT DECIDES.
The Wild & Scenic Chetco River. Credit: Ann Vilesis
The Chetco River is renowned for its world-class salmon and steelhead runs, and crystal clear water. Flowing from the Kalmiopsis Wilderness in southwest Oregon, it’s truly a national treasure.
Congress recognized the Chetco's specialness, and protected it from most threats, by naming it a National Wild and Scenic River. But it is still vulnerable to mining thanks to the General Mining Law of 1872 -- which gives mining precedence over all other values and land uses.
Now proposals to mine almost half the length of this extraordinary river threaten all the values the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act seeks to protect.
The good news is that the U.S. Forest Service is requesting the Interior Department protect about 17 miles of the river (5,610 acres) from mining for about five years.
That gives Congress time to consider the Chetco River Protection Act, which would provide permanent protection.
The temporary withdrawal would prevent the location of new mining claims. Mining could still happen on existing claims but only if the mining company demonstrates they have a right to mine under the law.
Absent Congress’ reform of the 1872 Mining Law it’s the best we can do for this beautiful Wild and Scenic River.
TAKE ACTION: help protect the Chetco Wild and Scenic River!
Please send the Department of Interior a letter supporting the the U.S. Forest Service's request for a temporary withdrawal of the Chetco River from new mining.
Because some places simply shouldn't be mined. And this is one of them.
- Read the sample letter below appears, and edit the letter text and subject header if you are able. Customized letters have a greater impact!
- Click "Send My Letter!" to send your letter to the Department of the Interior.
For more information:
- Save Our Chetco River
- Earthworks: the 1872 Mining Law. Web page.
- National Wild and Scenic Rivers: Chetco River. Web page.
- Open Congress: Chetco River Protection Act. Web page.
- U.S. Forest Service: Temporary segregation of mineral entry on the Chetco Wild and Scenic River. Web page.
- Western Outdoor News: Chetco River yields four king salmon over 50 lbs in one week. News article.