Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Happy 50th Birthday Kalmiopsis Wilderness, birthplace of the Chetco!

View into Kalmiopsis Wilderness from Vulcan Peak, Photo by Tim Palmer

Today is the 50th birthday of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness!

Congress passed the Wilderness Act on September 3, 1964 to protect areas of America’s unique natural heritage for future generations. The rugged mountain country of southwest Oregon--the Kalmiopsis Wilderness-- was one of the original areas designated.

The Kalmiopsis Wilderness has been a remarkable asset for the Chetco watershed. Its rugged, roadless backcountry has protected the river's headwaters and has also safeguarded many miles of pristine, low gradient salmon spawning and rearing habitat for 50 years. 

Many may take these values of the wilderness for granted because it’s just there, quietly doing its "work" --functioning as a dynamic but intact ecosystem. 

But make no mistake, the wilderness is a crucial part to keeping the Chetco River wild and pure and its salmon runs strong. We realize this even more as major nickel mining threats mount just outside the wilderness in remarkable watersheds that flow at its edge. (For more on mining threats at the headwaters of the Smith River at Baldface Creek and at the headwaters of the Illinois River at Rough and Ready Creek, check out:

Just this year, the Siskiyou Mountain Club has completed the project of reopening the trans-Kalmiopsis Wilderness trail, which had been damaged and closed by the Biscuit fire more than ten years ago. The newly open trail system will hopefully give more people the opportunity to experience the rugged mountain country of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness and also the Chetco as it flows brilliant and clear in its remote canyon. 

But even if we don’t go there to experience the stark beauty of the great outdoors, the wilderness is still sharing with all of us its gifts of clean water and fish.

For more about the intrinsic values of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, check out this great Op Ed by author and photographer Tim Palmer in the Medford Mail Tribune: Wilderness for Kalmiopsis has Served us Well.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Chetco Update, summer 2014

Summer fun on the National Wild & Scenic Chetco River
For those of us keeping tabs on Chetco mining threats, the clock is now ticking. Recently, on July 30, 2014, we passed the one-year mark for a 5-year Administrative mineral withdrawal that is temporarily protecting the National Wild & Scenic Chetco River from new mining claims and instream mining proposals. The U.S. Forest Service made the 5-year withdrawal on July 30, 2013 "in aid of legislation" to give Congress time to pass a law that would provide permanent protection for our river and its extraordinary values.

In the meantime, Congressman DeFazio and Senator Wyden, both long-time supporters of the river, have introduced bills into Congress that would permanently protect the Chetco River from instream gold mining in the National Wild and Scenic corridor, upstream of the Forest Service boundary.

However, what was once called the Chetco River Protection Act has become lodged in what's now called the O&C bill, a controversial piece of legislation that our elected officials hope can allow for a substantial increase in logging on BLM lands in western Oregon to fund broke counties while also providing some important increases in environmental protection, including increased wilderness in the Rogue watershed, a salmon and botanical area in the upper Illinois watershed, and more.  The language for permanent protection of the National Wild and Scenic reach of the Chetco remains included in the latest version of Senator Wyden's O&C bill, released on Aug. 2014. 

If you've been following the news, you know that the O&C bill is disliked by most all stakeholders --it does not increase timber harvests enough to satisfy industry and the counties, yet from the perspective of most environmental groups, it allows too much cutting, reduces riparian buffers, and significantly rolls back the opportunity for public involvement through appeals. Nevertheless, Senator Wyden remains committed to finding a way to move his bill forward.

And so, unfortunately, the fate of our river remains entangled in this highly contested legislation.

Here at summer's end, with record low flows, the need to protect the Chetco's watershed and river bed remains particularly apparent. At times like these, with drought taxing natural systems, resilience is of key importance. Protecting the National Wild and Scenic Chetco from a future of instream mining threats is an important investment in the future our our watershed's health.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Chetco River protection update, Fall 2013

Fishing on the Chetco

Now that the Chinook have begun to return to the Chetco, it’s a good time to check in on where we’re at with the Chetco River Protection Act –the legislation intended to permanently protect our National Wild and Scenic River from the threat of instream mining.

Of course, over the summer, Secretary of Interior Jewell signed a administrative mineral withdrawal that will protect the Chetco for 5 years to give Congress timer to make this protection permanent.

In the meantime, on the Congressional front, the Chetco River Protection Act has become entangled in the controversy over increasing logging on federal lands in Western Oregon.

Last spring, the bill was tucked into the House bill introduced by Representatives DeFazio, Schrader and Walden, which would divide the O&C lands in two and create a timber trust to increase logging on one half —while the other half would gain increased protection.

On the Senate side, the bill was appropriately tucked inside the Oregon Treasures Act last summer and has most recently been attached to Senator Wyden’s proposed O&C lands legislation.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Wild & Scenic Chetco: protected from mining for 5 years!

On July 26, the Interior Department announced its approval of a mineral withdrawal for 17 miles of the National Wild and Scenic Chetco River in the Federal Register, Authorized by Public Land Order #7819, the mineral withdrawal protects 5,610 acres of National Forest land along the Wild and Scenic Chetco River from mining for five years.

Action by the Department of Interior will protect the National Wild and Scenic Chetco River from mining for 5 years, while Senator Wyden, Senator Merkley and Rep. DeFazio work to pass legislation to make the protection permanent. Northwest Rafting Co. photo

Friday, July 19, 2013

In the home stretch--our Senators and Congressman come through again

The Chetco is one of South Coast's extraordinary "Wild Rivers." It was protected as a National Wild & Scenic River in 1988 for is outstanding fishery and crystal clear waters owing to the bi-partisan leadership of former Senator Mark Hatfield and Congressman Peter DeFazio.

Since then, Oregon's congressional delegation has always stood firm and supported the protection of our South Coast's extraordinary Wild and Scenic rivers.

"Scenic" reach of Chetco River
When the Chetco was recently threatened by a proposal to dredge mine more than 24 miles of its bed, Senators Wyden and Merkely and Congressman DeFazio quickly introduced protective legislation and asked the Forest Service to segregate the area from new mining claims and to advance an administrative withdrawal in-aid-of legislation.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Wild & Scenic Chetco, an Oregon Treasure

In late June, the Oregon Treasures Act, co-sponsored by Senator Wyden and Senator Merkely, was marked up in the Senate Natural Resources committee. The Oregon Treasures Act includes the Chetco bill that will safeguard the National Wild and Scenic Chetco River from future mining threats.

The Act also includes provisions to protect new wilderness and tributaries in the watershed of the National Wild & Scenic Rogue River and also the Molalla and John Day rivers. Senator Wyden is chairman of the Senate Natural Resources Committee, and so we hope that he'll be able to advance this important public lands legislation.

On June 24, the Eugene Register Guard published an editorial in favor of the Oregon Treasures Act, exhorting Congressman DeFazio to introduce stand alone bills on the House side.

Back in March, Congressman DeFazio did introduce a stand alone bill for the Chetco, co-sponsored by Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici and Congressman Jared Huffman.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Stunning waters of Chetco win Nat Geo photo contest

We all know that the clear blue-green waters of the National Wild and Chetco River are extraordinarily beautiful --so it should come as no surprise that a photo of "Magic Canyon" in the river's wild reaches, recently won a National Geographic travel photo contest.

Northwest Rafting 2013 Chetco expedition
 The stunning photo was submitted by Zach Collier, a river outfitter, who has been supportive of Chetco River conservation efforts.

For more photos from this Northwest Rafting Co. trip, see Zach's blog at the Northwest Rafting Co. website.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Chetco River in April 25th Oregon Treasures Act hearing

The Public Lands Subcommittee of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held hearings on an assortment of public lands bills on April 25 including the Oregon Treasures Act (S. 353), which includes language that would give the Wild and Scenic Chetco River additional protection from mining threats. As of 2013, the Chetco River Protection Act has been incorporated into S. 353.

A cool late summer fun run of the Chetco's wild Scenic River Area (© Northwest Rafting Company)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Chetco bill introduced in House!

Kayaking the Chetco's "scenic" reach  

In mid March, Congressman DeFazio reintroduced the Chetco River Protection Act, H.R. 1215, into the 113th Congress. The bill was co-sponsored by Oregon Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Susanne Bonamici. The language of H.R. 1215 matches up with the bill introduced in the Senate as part of the Oregon Treasures Act S.B. 363. It is exactly the same as what has been proposed in years past.

The Chetco River Protection Act and the Chetco portion of the Oregon Treasures Act would withdraw the "wild" and "scenic" reaches of the Chetco River (on Forest Service lands from the Kalmiopsis Wilderness boundary down to the Forest Service boundary) from new mineral claims. This legislative action would permanently protect the National Wild and Scenic Chetco River from large-scale, instream mining. such as the proposals submitted a couple of years ago that would have opened up 20 miles of the river to instream mining with 6 to 8 inch suction dredges. The bill would also make minor changes to the designated segment lengths to address recommendations made by the Forest Service.

The "wild" and "scenic" reaches of the Chetco are currently segregated and withdrawn from new mining claims, subject to valid existing rights, pending a 5 year mineral withdrawal that has been recommended by the Forest Service. This administrative action can temporarily protect the river from instream mining, but only Congressional action can permanently safeguard the Chetco.

For more information on the shortcomings of the Mining Law of 1812 and how mineral withdrawals work, check out:
Please take a moment to thank Congressman DeFazio and our other elected officials for reintroducing the Chetco River Protection Act.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Chetco makes USA Today!

Kayaking in Kalmiopsis (Photo courtesy NW Rafting Co.)
The National Wild and Scenic Chetco River made USA Today last week in an article about the top new adventure travel trips of 2013.

“Think crystal-clear pools for swimming, scenic canyon hikes, and the absolute tranquility of a remote and virtually unvisited river,” reporter Josh Roberts wrote about the Chetco when describing a new adventure trip that will be offered this year by Northwest Rafting Company.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Senators Wyden and Merkley re-introduce Chetco Protection bill

Winter steelhead fishing on the Chetco (Tim Palmer photo)
On February 14, Senators Wyden and Merkley re-introduced the Chetco River protection bill into the new Congress as part of their new Oregon Treasures Act.

Please send a note to Senators Wyden and Merkley to thank them and to encourage them to press forward with this important conservation legislation. The name of the act says it all; these truly are Oregon Treasures. For more information on how to send letters, go to the how to help page.

Along with the Chetco, the Oregon Treasures Act will include expanded protections for the Rogue River, the Mollala River, and two areas on the John Day —Horse Heaven and Cathedral Rocks. Bills for all of these areas have already had hearings in the previous Congress.

The Eugene Register-Guard editorialized in favor of the Oregon Treasures Act, underscoring the fact that Oregon has far fewer protected areas than other states and that the bill's "benefits to the state’s recreation industry would offset any loss of revenue from logging or other development on public lands." The Register Guard also suggested that Senator Wyden's new position at the helm of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committe "could help win approval" for this package of well-vetted public lands bills.

“The lands addressed in these bills are among Oregon’s most pristine areas,” Senator Wyden said.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Forest Service recommends withdrawal

Check out the emerald waters of the Chetco!
In January, the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest released its Environmental Assessment (EA) of a 5-year mineral withdrawal for the National Wild and Scenic Chetco River.  In its EA, the Forest indicated that “full protection of the river’s Outstandingly Remarkable Values —recreation, water quality, and fish— can only occur through a mineral withdrawal” and recommended that the Secretary of the Interior take action.

This temporary withdrawal is being considered "in-aid-of legislation," to give Congress time to act on the Chetco River Protection Act. This bill, introduced in the last Congress by Senator Wyden, Senator Merkley, and Congressman DeFazio, would permanently safeguard the Chetco from new instream mining proposals in its designated Wild and Scenic reaches.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Chetco River featured at Wild Rivers Night in Portland

Beautiful photographs of the National Wild and Scenic Chetco River, by Tim Palmer and Ann Vileisis, President of Kalmiopsis Audubon, were one of the keynote features at a wildly successful 3rd Annual Wild River Night in Portland on January 9th. Begun three years ago by Northwest Rafting Company, the event (to raise funds for river conservation) was bigger and better than ever.

Tim Palmer talking to packed crowd at Wild Rivers Night in Portland (Northwest Rafting Co. photo)
The whole room full of wild river enthusiasts (120 people) signed a letter to Senators Wyden and Merkley asking them to reintroduce and champion the Chetco River Protection Act. The letter was mailed the next day with hopes of capturing some of the evening's energy and good spirit.

Learn what you can do to protect the Chetco River at our How to Help page and urge the re-introduction and passage of the Chetco River Protection Act.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Chetco River—Oregon's version of Alaska's Kenai River

A recent article in the Medford Mail Tribune tells of Emma Winter's first winter steelhead fishing trip and the reward of landing one of the Chetco River's large mint bright steelhead. Saying the Chetco is to Oregon as the Kenai is to Alaska, the article (appearing in papers as far flung as the Billings (Montana) Gazette) also discusses theories about why the Chetco River consistently produces large winter steelhead and chinook salmon.

According to Wikipedia, the Kenai River is the most popular sports fishing destination in Alaska, especially for Chinook salmon. Little known until fairly recently, the Chetco River's world class salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout fishery has become a magnet for sports fishing in Oregon and California. The salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout the River produces, along with its beauty and exceptional water quality, are of major economic importance to the communities of the Wild Rivers Coast and Curry County.

Emma Winters with her dad, Orie, on the Chetco and Emma's first steelhead (Wild Rivers Fishing photo)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Chetco Mineral Withdrawal EA released

The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest recently released its Environmental Assessment (EA) for an administrative mineral withdrawal on the Wild and Scenic Chetco River. The mineral withdrawal is being considered in-aid-of legislation —the Chetco River Protection Act, introduced by Senator Wyden, Senator Merkley, Congressman DeFazio, and Congressman Blumenauer to permanently safeguard the Wild and Scenic Chetco from future instream mining proposals in its designated reaches.

In its EA, the Forest recommended the administrative withdrawal, indicating that “full protection of the river’s Outstandingly Remarkable Values recreation, water quality, and fishcan only occur through a mineral withdrawal.”

A 30-day public comment period ended on January 4, 2013.

You can read the Environmental Assessment here.

Next, the Forest will forward its recommendation to the Bureau of Land Management and ultimately to the Secretary of the Interior, who will make the final decision.

In order to safeguard the Wild and Scenic Chetco from new mining claims, the Secretary must officially withdraw the river bed and lands along the river before the current, temporary segregation expires in July of 2013. 

In the meantime, we need to ask our Oregon Congressional delegation to re-introduce the Chetco River Protection Act in the new congress. Please call or send a note to Senator Wyden and Senator Merkley, asking them to reintroduce the Chetco River Protection Act. Go to the How to Help page for quick links.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cherish the Chetco — a success!

By all accounts, “Cherish the Chetco,” a 2-day river event held on Sept. 21-22, 2012 was a great success. It was co-sponsored by Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and South Coast Watersheds, and many public agencies, community groups, and volunteers pitched in to help out.

On Friday evening, the library was packed. Noted author and river expert Tim Palmer spoke and showed slides about the history of the National Wild & Scenic Rivers program, which protects the Chetco and three other Curry County rivers (Elk, Rogue, Illinois), and he explained the special significance of the Chetco.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Invitation to Cherish the Chetco: Sept. 21st & 22nd.

South Coast Watersheds and the U.S. Forest Service are co-sponsoring a community river event—Cherish the Chetco--to promote stewardship of the National Wild & Scenic Chetco River. Everyone is welcome.

The event will kick off on Friday Sept. 21 at 7pm with “Wild Rivers Night” at Chetco Library in Brookings, featuring noted river author and photographer Tim Palmer, speaking about the Wild & Scenic Rivers system, and biologist adventurer Slade Sapora showing slides from his recent kayak trek down the Chetco.

On Saturday, Sept. 22, there will be activities up river all day.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Return to the Chetco

This week Zach Collier and friends explored the lower gorge of the National Wild and Scenic Chetco River in inflatable kayaks. On their last trip they took out above this challenging part of the Scenic River Area. So they came back. Only this time instead of 1300 cfs (June 15, 2011), the flow was 90 cfs!

Conehead Rapid on the lower gorge of the Wild and Scenic Chetco River, Northwest Rafting Co. photo

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Invasive species and our rivers and watersheds

Click here to enlarged Jack Ohman's cartoon.
new Oregon Sea Grant report found that teachers and classrooms may be vectors for invasive species. According to the research, one in four teachers who use live animals in the classroom release them into the wild. Read about the report at Breaking Waves and indelibly stamp Jack Ohman's cartoon on your minds.

The problem of invasive species is serious, national and local. It affects us right here in Southwest Oregon. Read more below about the efforts of volunteers and agencies to prevent the spread of a highly invasive plant in the Illinois Valley. We also provide links to government websites about the threats that invasive species pose to the State of Oregon, including invasive marine aquatic species from the Japanese tsunami debris. Watch Oregon Field Guide's program on the problems that common gold fish are causing when released into our streams and lakes.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Saving the Chetco River, salmon ecology 101

The recent Frontline documentary Alaska Gold chronicles many heroic and inspiring stories in the struggle to save Bristol Bay and its wild watershed from a mega copper mine. We provide a link to another one below. Bristol Bay serves as a reminder that the job of protecting our own wild salmon river from mining is far from done.

The Chetco River Protection Act has not been passed into law and the Forest Service's proposed temporary mineral withdraw still faces many hurdles before it's even decided on by the Secretary of Interior. If these efforts fail, we could once again be faced with proposals to mine the entire length of the Chetco—from Boulder Creek to the Forest Service boundary. Please go to How to Help and send a reminder to Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley that we need their help. Go ahead. Please nag the Senators for the Chetco and read about "salmon ecology 101" and what others are doing below.

Recently hatched salmon and salmon eggs from Pebble Science's Salmon Ecology 101.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hatchery salmon threaten wild populations, scientists say

All the citizens and organizations writing the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife out of concern over the high percentage of hatchery salmon allowed on the Chetco are to be congratulated for standing up for the river's exceptional wild salmon populations. Here's an excerpt from a new post, "Hatchery salmon threaten wild populations, scientist say," on Breaking Waves, Oregon Sea Grant's news blog that provides even more science supporting the need to reduce hatchery supplementation:

Watch Frontline documentary—citizens fighting to preserve one of the world's greatest salmon fisheries

If you missed it on PBS, you can watch Frontline's Alaska Gold in full online. Frontline's website contains other resources of interest too. Go to Alaska Gold. The documentary is about great salmon watersheds, how they work and people coming together to protect one of the world's greatest salmon runs. It equally presents the multinational mining company's arguments to develop a mega mine in the watershed. The footage is excellent. The film inspiring. Highly recommended.

Photo courtesy of Felt Soul's Red Gold website. See the Red Gold trailer below.
This is how frontline describes the documentary:

Celebrate our beautiful undammed rivers

Here on the Wild Rivers Coast we are blessed with the most beautiful productive, undammed salmon rivers between the Olympics and Baja.  As river lovers like Phyllis Clausen celebrate the removal of dams on their rivers, it should be a reminder to celebrate and take care of our free flowing rivers—the Elk, Chetco, Illinois and Smith River—and their wild watersheds.

Phyllis Clausen celebrates the removal of the Condit Dam on the White Salmon River.
Below are two powerful short videos about dam removal—one the trailer for DamNation, a new documentary by Felt Soul on dam removal and the other Andy Maser's short film for Outside Magazine on the spectacular removal of the Condit Dam on the White Salmon River.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Support Chetco River's wild chinook salmon—one day left

The Chetco River's chinook salmon are legendary. Preserving the river's wild fish populations and the habitat that sustains them should be the highest priority.

Native fish and wild river advocates are urged to send a short email to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife by Friday June 29th asking them to make the management of hatchery populations in the Chetco consistent with other coastal rivers.  Currently the agency's draft fall chinook conservation plan allows for a much higher percentage of hatchery fish in the Chetco River—out of all other populations in the Rogue Species Management Unit (SMU)  If you can't make the Friday deadline, comments submitted by Sunday, July 1st should still count.

To make it easy, we've provided a sample paragraph (below) that you can just copy and paste and the email address of where your comment should be sent. It will only take you a few minutes to help preserve the integrity and health of the Chetco's famed wild chinook salmon runs.

Map of ODFW's Rogue Fall Chinook Species Management Unit (SMU).

Monday, June 4, 2012

ODFW's Draft Fall Chinook Salmon Conservation Plan

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife have released their draft conservation plan for fall chinook salmon in the Rogue Basin and the coastal rivers and streams between Euchre Creek and the California border. It includes Chetco, Winchuck and Pistol Rivers. The Elk River will be part of the Coastal Fall Chinook Species Management Unit.  The public comment period for the Rogue/Chetco SMU closes June 30th. There are two public meetings between 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.:
  • Grants Pass: June 5 at the Marie Hill Conference Room, 510 NW 4th Street.
  • Brookings: June 7 in the Council Chambers of Brookings at City Hall, 898 Elk Drive.
 The draft plan and an executive summary are available at ODFW's website, along with other information, and will also be available at the meetings.

A nice chinook salmon caught during the Labor Day Ocean Salmon Derby at Brookings/Harbor.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Proposed Chetco withdrawal wildly popular in Oregon

We wrote earlier that local support for the proposed "withdrawal in aid of legislation" for 5,610 acres of the Wild and Scenic Chetco River was overwhelming. At the Bureau of Land Management's Brookings Oregon October 26th hearing—90 percent favored the measure, with only about 10 percent in opposition. Until now, however, we didn't know just how wildly popular the proposal is with Oregonians, and people across the nation.

Mining on the National Wild and Scenic Illinois River in 2011. These are small dredges operating under the State of Oregon's general 700 PM permit.  Now imagine the impacts of mining 15 miles of the Chetco River with dredges weighing up to one ton, with six mining operations each mining up to 470 cubic yards of streambed per year for 10 years. Rich Nawa photo.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Businesses and communities caring for salmon rivers and watersheds

"Now the most important right we have is the right to be responsible." 
These are the words of Gerrald Amus, Kitimat Village elder, from Patagonia's new video about the Skeena River, its salmon fisheries and the communities along it. Patagonia is an outdoor clothing company that's demonstrated business can be ethical, promote conservation and sustainability and be profitable at the same time. Now working with the First Nations of the Skeena, they're beginning a new venture—salmon products.

Port Orford Ocean Resource Team's 2011 Water Festival.  Ocean Resource Team photo.

By their nature, the salmon and steelhead fisheries, the watersheds and the communities of the Chetco River and Oregon's Wild Rivers Coast are different from those in British Columbia. But perhaps this beginning on the Skeena River can serve as added impetus for finding our own unique ways to preserve and restore the watersheds and wild fisheries of the Elk, Illinois, Chetco and Smith Rivers and grow healthy communities at the same time. See Patagonia's thought provoking video below and read about some of inspiring work that's already happening on the Wild Rivers Coast.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Prominent scientists speak for protecting Chetco River

Writing in the Oregonian Jack Williams and Mike Dombeck, two of the nation's most prominent fisheries scientists and conservationists, urge Congress to take advantage of the second chance that's been given the Wild and Scenic Chetco River and its wild salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout. They write:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Chetco River Family Day May 12th

The Chetco River Watershed Council and the local Wild Rivers Chapter of Trout Unlimited are sponsoring: Family Day on the Chetco River. Come and enjoy a day at Loeb State Park on Saturday May 12th, 2012 starting at 11:00 a.m. and ending at 3:00 p.m. Free hot dogs and soda will be served from 11:00 to 2:00 as well as free drift boat trips for the entire family. Life vests are provided for the drift boat trips.

Drift boats on the Chetco River.  Chetco River Watershed Council Photo
This event will provide an opportunity to ask questions about the health of the Chetco River and learn about the aquatic ecosystem and water quality measurements from biologists. Heavy rain will cancel the event. For additional information call (541) 661-1820.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Claim forfeiture: Saving a river, saving taxpayer money

This idyllic reach of  the upper  Chetco River below Mislatnah Creek will be permanently protected from mining if Congress passes the Chetco River Protection Act before July 2013. Ann Vileisis photo.
The recent forfeiture of nearly 20 miles of mining claims on the Wild and Scenic Chetco River means the effort to permanently protect this world-class salmon and steelhead river just got a whole lot easier. It also means there's a significant savings for the taxpayer with the potential for more. However, to take full advantage of this rare opportunity, Congress needs to pass the Chetco River Protection Act before July of next year. Learn how you can help.