To: Obama Administration

Sign this: Protect Southwest Oregon's world-class rivers from strip mining

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Stop Strip Mining—NOW IS THE TIME to protect SW Oregon and NW California's world-class wild rivers: the Smith, Illinois and Pistol Rivers! Three proposals for nickel strip mines are proposed on our public lands in these river basins, two of the mines are backed by a foreign company. Thankfully, legislation was introduced to protect our public lands and we have an opportunity until Sept 28 to ask the Obama Administration to temporarily protect this area in Southwest Oregon until this legislation can pass.

Why is this important?

"I think this is probably the most important, the most biologically significant, unprotected landscape in the American West."– Secretary of the Interior under President Clinton, Bruce Babbitt on this region.

This area encompasses PUBLIC LANDS BELONGING TO ALL AMERICANS and pristine watersheds of nationally outstanding rivers, including the National Wild and Scenic North Fork Smith River, and Rough and Ready and Baldface Creeks — tributaries to National Wild and Scenic Rivers.

Nickel strip MINING WOULD DEVASTATE THIS REGION: these rivers are home to healthy salmon-runs and provide communities with clean water, while sustaining local recreation economies. When nickel mine turn to a toxic waste sites, the American taxpayer is responsible for cleaning up pollution for years to come.

We have an incredible opportunity NOW to prevent industrial nickel strip mining in the Kalmiopsis and Wild Rivers Coast region of Southwest Oregon. Please ask the Obama Administration for long-term protection for this region. This is one of the most wild and beautiful areas in the US, and it is worth more than a nickel mine.

Please sign-on to a public comment letter to support the Kalmiopsis Wild Rivers. Thanks for making a difference!

THE LETTER:

Dear Oregon BLM State Director Perez,

I am writing in support of the proposed withdrawal of approximately 95,805 acres of National Forest and 5,216 acres of BLM managed land in Southwest Oregon’s Kalmiopsis region from entry and location under the mining laws of the United States. Withdrawal of this unique and scenic area would protect its high scientific, social and ecological values. The rivers and streams flowing though these federal lands provide outstanding opportunities for boating, swimming, hiking and sport and commercial fishing, while supplying pure drinking water for downstream communities and homes. They are prized for their native salmon and steelhead populations.

I ask that you provide the maximum possible interim protection available while Congress considers permanent protection through legislation, such as the Southwest Oregon Watershed and Salmon Protection Act, which I fully support. A 20-year withdrawal would be most effective and efficient to preserve the status quo and avoid future taxpayer expense.

The proposed withdrawal area encompasses federal public lands belonging to all Americans. The greatest value of these lands is for conservation. The withdrawal area includes the pristine watersheds of nationally outstanding rivers and streams, including the Wild and Scenic North Fork Smith River, and Rough and Ready and Baldface creeks — both are tributaries to National Wild and Scenic Rivers and have been determined by the Forest Service to be eligible for “Wild and Scenic” designation in their own right.

The withdrawal area also includes botanically rich serpentine terrain in the West Fork Illinois River watershed, which hosts the highest concentration of rare plants in Oregon, and the headwaters of Hunter Creek and the North Fork Pistol River—two cherished native salmon and steelhead streams on the Wild Rivers Coast.

There is broad and diverse support for protecting this area from proposed nickel strip mining, which would cause irrevocable harm to the highest concentration of pristine, undeveloped wild rivers in the contiguous United States. Downstream communities depend on the outstanding natural resources of the withdrawal area to fuel local economies based on clean water, sport and commercial fishing, recreation, scenery, and tourism. I urge you to move forward as quickly as possible to complete the proposed withdrawal of these irreplaceable national forest and BLM managed lands.

Sincerely,


Reasons for signing

  • Protect our rivers!
  • To keep our rivers pristine & clean providing natural habitat for all!
  • I rafted the Illinois back in 1980 and paddled the Smith in 1989. They're two of the most beautiful, crystal clear rivers I've seen, and both in pristine watersheds. Given the recent toxic spill that happened during an EPA cleanup operation, I don't think anyone can guarantee that mining activities cannot cause terrible damage.

Updates

2015-08-25 13:22:40 -0700

100 signatures reached

2015-08-07 12:48:07 -0700

50 signatures reached

2015-08-03 12:18:50 -0700

25 signatures reached

2015-08-02 18:31:36 -0700

10 signatures reached