EARTHWORKS

Take 3 minutes: Help Protect Oregon’s Wild and Scenic Chetco River

Bonnie Gestring's avatar
By Bonnie Gestring

November 11, 2011

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Paddling on the Chetco Wild and Scenic River. Photo: Ann Vilesis.

The Wild and Scenic Chetco River is legendary for the beauty and clarity of its waters. And, it has whopping salmon and steelhead runs!

Although Congress protected the Chetco in 1988 by adding it to the National Wild and Scenic River System, the 1872 Mining Law gives mining preference over all other values and uses. Now proposals to suction dredge along much of this extroardinary river threatens allt he values the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act seeks to protect.

The good news!  The Forest Service is asking the Dept. of Interior to provide interim protection for about 17 miles of the river by withdrawing it from mineral entry for 5 years, while Congress considers legislation from the Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Representatives Peter DeFazio and Earl Blumenauer (The Chetco River Protection Act) for longer protection.

As the Oregonian editorial states, "The Chetco need attention -- and it needs it now."

Please take three minutes, and send an e-mail to the DOI in support of protection. 

 

Tagged with: suction dredge mining, oregon, national wild and scenic river, chetco river

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