On June 14, 2017, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a Suction Dredge Reform bill into law, after passing out of the Oregon Legislature with bipartisan support. The new law permanently places rivers and streams that provide habitat for sensitive salmon and lamprey off limits from suction dredge mining.
Overwhelming support from local communities and more than 70,000 comments in favor of protecting wild rivers and drinking water made a difference in defending against the imminent threat of nickel strip mining. On January 13, 2016, the Department of the Interior signed off on a 20-year mining ‘time-out’ that encompasses 100,000 acres and 100 miles of the North Fork Smith, Illinois River, and Hunter Creek watersheds.
A broad coalition of local and regional conservation groups including KS Wild secured a victory on the Fremont-Winema to protect rare and threatend frog populations from excessive public lands grazing.
After four local public hearings and thousands of letters to elected officials, support for the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument has been heard! On Thursday, January 12, 2017, President Obama used his authority under the Antiquities Act to expand the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon.
Local business leaders were instrumental in helping expand the Oregon Caves. More than 80,000 visitors visit the park each year, pumping more than $5 million into the local economy. That’s a huge boost for the rural Illinois Valley and its residents.