Mining companies are actively pursuing proposals to strip-mine in Southwest Oregon watersheds,
including Rough & Ready Creek (tributary to the Wild and Scenic Illinois River), and Baldface
Creek (tributary to the Wild and Scenic North Fork Smith River). These proposals threaten the
pristine waters of these whitewater gems, which provide a stronghold for salmon and drinking
water for downstream communities.
One of the surest ways to protect the wild rivers of Southwest Oregon is through a
mineral withdrawal, which would prevent future mining activities in the area unless
there is a valid existing right. Senators Wyden and Merkley and Congressman DeFazio of Oregon
have long supported withdrawing the fragile watersheds of Rough and Ready and Baldface Creeks
from mining, and Congressman Huffman of California has joined them in support of protecting the
Wild and Scenic Smith River.
This week, American Whitewater joined a coalition of groups in thanking Senators Wyden and
Merkely and Representatives DeFazio and Huffman for their efforts to date, and asking that they
introduce legislation to withdraw the public lands in the Rough & Ready and Baldface Creek
watersheds from mining in the new year. We also urged the Oregon delegation to add neighboring
Hunter Creek’s headwaters to their roster.
TAKE ACTION! As mining
companies press forward with their plans, quick action is important
. We encourage you to
make your voice heard about protecting these special places by contacting your Senators and Representatives and asking that they make
withdrawing Rough & Ready, Baldface and Hunter Creeks from mining activities a priority in
the new year.
If you live in Oregon or Northern California, be sure to thank your
Congressmen for their support to date.