Saturday, August 21, 2010

State Senator wants to ban suction dredges

Suction dredge mining once occurred primarily on remote streams and rivers. Its proliferation on one of the most populous and visible stretches of the Rogue River could lead to the mining method being banned in Oregon.

State Senator Jason Atkinson (R-Central Point) standing on the banks of the Rogue watching about a dozen suction dredge mining operations:
 “I’ve seen what they do to rivers in California and it’s not going to happen in Oregon.”

Friday, August 20, 2010

Kalmiopsis Wilderness Trail Project

Dedicated volunteers with the Siskiyou Mountain Club recently restored about 8 miles of the 21 miles Trans-Kalmiopsis Trail. This is the only route that dives deep into the steep rugged canyons of Chetco River's watershed in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. Work on the second leg of this project will begin on August 26 and end on September 5 or 6. Volunteers and donation are needed. If you can't commit to the ten days, they can use your help for shorter periods.

Read about the Siskiyou Mountain Club and their work at their blog - - and join the effort. Contact Gabe Howe at 503-545-4911 or e-mail him at

The Kalmiopsis Wilderness trail project, the club's formation and its goals are also described in the Medford Mail Tribune.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Eight plans submitted to mine the Chetco River

On June 2, 2010, Chetco River Mining and Exploration's (CRME) owner called in to KBOO Radio. He said:
"[We] assure Oregonians that after mining this area we intend to follow up with an aggressive thorough clean up of the area and bring this entire 15-20 mile stretch ecosystem back to its original state, after we strip mine it of its gold.” (Emphasis added) KBOO - 6/02/2010.
The blue-green waters of the Chetco River. Photo Barbara Ullian
What CRME means by strip mining the Chetco of its gold is anyone's guess. These are their words not ours. The amount of mining they propose at each of their claims is described in the eight mining plans the company submitted to the Forest Service to mine approximately 20 miles of this Wild and Scenic River.

Brookings - Chetco meeting packed and positive

The room at the Brookings library was packed for Lesley Adam’s (Rogue RiverKeeper) presentation on the Wild and Scenic Chetco River, why it matters and the issues facing it.  About 70 to 80 people were in attendance on August 5th.  The  conversation was lively and enthused, fueled by homemade cookies and coffee brought by volunteers.  The next day, the meeting was reported to be the talk of Brookings, the community at the mouth of the Chetco River on southwest Oregon's spectacular Wild Rivers Coast.  Thanks to everyone who contributed to the great evening.

Chetco River in the news

The Medford Mail Tribune recently editorialized on the need for Congress to reform the 1872 Mining Law and the Associated Press reported on Oregon's new suction dredge mining permit which includes an interesting twist for the Wild and Scenic Chetco and Kalmiopsis Wilderness.