Protect Pure Water, Native Salmon and Steelhead, and Wildlands

Protect Pure Water, Native Salmon and Steelhead, and Wildlands

About the Petition

Foreign companies want to mine wild areas in southwest Oregon and northwest California.

At stake:

  • the purest of waters and wildest of rivers,
  • native salmon, steelhead, and cutthroat trout, and
  • a vast ancient geologic feature with one of the highest concentrations of rare plants in North America.

But the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management say they can’t prevent mining unless the areas are withdrawn from the 1872 Mining Law's jurisdiction.

Senators Wyden and Merkley and Congressman DeFazio have long supported mineral withdrawals for the fragile watersheds of Rough and Ready and Baldface creeks (headwaters of the Wild and Scenic North Fork Smith River), and we’ve urged them to add the greater Red Flat area—equally fragile—to their roster.

There’s not much time. The delegation composed of Senators Wyden, Merkley, Feinstein, and Boxer, Representatives Defazio and Huffman, and Secretaries Vilsack and Jewell—needs to take immediate measures to introduce legislation to withdraw the area from mining and to work with the Obama administration to segregate those lands. This will protect the area from new mining claims and require a validity exam of existing claims.

Take action: Urge the Obama administration and delegation to take immediate measures to withdraw this area from mining!

Photo Credit: Roger Johnson/Getty Images

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Earthworks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the impacts of irresponsible mineral and energy development while seeking sustainable solutions.