Oregon Acts to Protect Smith River Featured

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Smith RiverReps. 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.

 

"The pristine waters of these Southwest Oregon rivers are a public treasure that we owe it to future generations to preserve,” said Senator Jeff Merkley. “Mining would have posed an unacceptable threat to the region's clean water and to the fishing and
recreation economy that many rely on. These lands and waters belong to all of us, and today's news is a huge victory in the fight to ensure that our beloved citizen owned resources are passed down to future generations in the same condition we received them."

This news comes with immense satisfaction given that CalTrout, as well as its partner, the Smith River Alliance, has worked for decades on conservation projects in the Smith River watershed. This victory is also owed to their supporters who let their voices be heard through petitions and letters advocating for a ban on mineral withdrawal from these natural lands. Your actions matter!

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