Eternally Wild, the CalTrout and Keith Brauneis Productions film, recently premiered as one of the official selections of the 2016 Wild & Scenic Film Festival.
Now it’s your turn to enjoy.
We’re pleased to share with you the story of the iconic Smith River, a salmon and steelhead stronghold, its history and its current plight.
Here there are no dams, no wretched clear-cut blocks, no mitigating hatcheries. Instead… ancient forest, iconic redwoods and a powerful symbol of freedom — THE SMITH.
But 4,000 acres of the pristine North Fork are threatened by a giant toxic nickel mine operation.
The Red Flat Nickel Corporation has applied to sink 59 drill holes that would pave the way for one of the largest nickel mines in the Western United States. The film examines current conditions, discusses future threats and asks just how much protection is enough?
UPDATE: In January 2015, members of Congress introduced legislation to permanently protect the North Fork Smith Watershed and other public lands from mining through the Southwest Oregon Watershed and Salmon Protection Act of 2015. If enacted, the bill would put a “mineral withdrawal” in place, meaning that no new mining activities would take place for a five year period.
The proposed withdrawal has overwhelming public support, support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and support from members of Congress. The Legislators who proposed the withdrawal, Senator Ron Wyden [D-OR], Senator Jeff Merkley [D-OR], Representative Peter DeFazio [D-OR] and Representative Jared Huffman [D–CA], are currently urging the Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior to not only ensure the completion of the withdrawal process during the current Obama Administration but to also withdraw the area for 20 years in addition to the 5 years initially proposed. Meaning no new mines on these lands for 25 years.
Since the Red Flat Nickel Mine has existing claims, this mineral withdrawal would not impact it’s ability to move forward. However, progress is being made on other fronts to prevent Red Flat Nickel from moving forward.
- The proposed mineral withdrawal will protect the vulnerable North Fork Smith watershed from future mining claims
- Existing mining claims, such as Red Flat Nickel, must be monitored and additional action will be required to prevent the approval of their mining plans
- Permanent protection of the North Fork will be achieved through legislation and administrative actions
We will continue to monitor the issue and post updates as they develop.