A Closer Look: Kalmiopsis Rivers

Get to Know Rough and Ready Creek

Regularly visited by botanists, it boasts the highest wildflower diversity in Oregon. Fisher folk appreciate the habitat it provides for steelhead and cutthroat trout, and it is well known by locals for always running clear. Before entering the Wild and Scenic Illinois River, it flows through a rugged, beautiful wilderness landscape. Part of this area, the South Kalmiopsis Roadless area was recommended as an addition to the Kalmiopsis Wilderness in 2004. A major threat looms over this landscape: RNR Resources has proposed to develop a nickel mine of approximately 4,300 acres, complete with a strip mine, nickel smelter and ore haul roads.

Get to Know the North Fork Smith River

The North Fork is a major tributary of the National Wild and Scenic Smith River, with pure waters and a renowned salmon fishery frequently fished by guides, residents, and tourists. The Smith River provides drinking water for the communities of Gasquet, Crescent City and Hiouchi, and is hailed as the largest undammed river flowing in California. The wild North Fork Smith carves through a beautiful and remote canyon, with 14 miles of river that provide opportunities for remote backcountry whitewater experiences.

The Smith River is threatened by the Red Flat Nickel Corp (a foreign owned company) that has submitted a plan to do test drilling across key tributaries to Baldface Creek and the NF Smith and approximately 2,900 acres of the South Kalmiopsis Roadless Area.

Get to Know Hunter Creek and Pistol River

Along the Wild Rivers Coast, these rivers serve as a stronghold for native salmonids: Chinook salmon, Coho salmon (which are listsed on the Endangered Species Act), Winter Steelhead, Coastal Cutthroat trout and Rainbow trout. These rivers are not only a part of a watershed that provides clean drinking water, but also support a vibrant recreational economy for local communities.

Red Flat Nickel Corp, a foreign owned mining company, proposes to develop a nickel laterite mine on approximately 2,000 acres in the headwaters of Hunter Creek and the North Fork Pistol River. The method of processing will likely be acid heap leaching.