Good news! Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) recently secured a twenty-year ban on new mining projects in an ecologically and economically critical region in Southwest Oregon. The areas protected include the watershed of the National Wild and Scenic North Fork Smith River in Oregon, the watershed of Rough and Ready Creek (an eligible Wild and Scenic River and tributary to the National Wild and Scenic Illinois and Rogue rivers), as well as 17 miles of the National Wild and Scenic Chetco River. These rivers are known for their wild salmon and steelhead populations, and provide vital economic, recreational and natural resources to the area.
This news comes with immense satisfaction given that CalTrout, as well as our trusted partner, the Smith River Alliance, has worked for decades on conservation projects in the Smith River watershed. This victory is also owed to you, our supporters who let their voices be heard through petitions and letters written on behalf of our organizations advocating for the ban on mineral withdrawal from these natural lands. Your actions matter! Thank you for your help in making this happen.
A press release from Congress was issued last week. (Click the pop-out arrow in upper-right to read)