From the Native Fish Society:
Mining companies want to develop nickel strip mines in the delicate headwaters of the Smith, Illinois, Pistol rivers and Hunter Creek. These headwaters play a critical role in providing the cold, clean water necessary to support the wild, native fish that call these watersheds home. Despite overwhelming opposition, the archaic 1872 Mining Law prioritizes mining over all other land uses!
Thanks to the leadership of Senator Wyden and Senator Merkley and Representative DeFazio of Oregon and Representative Huffman of California, the Interior Department is considering a proposal to protect these wild rivers and their native fish by temporarily withdrawing them from mining while Congress considers legislation—the Southwestern Oregon Watershed and Salmon Protection Act—for more lasting protection.
What’s at stake?
The Wild and Scenic North Fork Smith River
Rough and Ready Creek
The headwaters of Hunter Creek and Pistol River
The Interior Department is taking comments on the proposed mineral withdrawal now. Please join us in sending a letter of support. It’s the best way to protect the crystal clear, salmon-studded waters of these wild rivers from damaging pollution.