Land of Wild Rivers

The Klamath-Siskiyou region is comprised of the mighty Rogue River watershed in the north (where our Rogue Riverkeeper program works) and the iconic Klamath River watershed in the south, but also includes the spectacular Illinois, Applegate, Salmon, Trinity, Upper Sacramento, Smith and Chetco Rivers. These beloved rivers support Coho and Chinook salmon, steelhead, cutthroat trout, green sturgeon, and Pacific lamprey.

The western Siskiyou Mountains of southern Oregon contain more federally recognized Wild and Scenic Rivers than any other National Forest system in the lower 48 states. There are several more that are worthy candidates for additional Wild and Scenic designations, including Rough and Ready and Baldface Creeks.

Show Me Your Coho!

Many of these rivers and their tributaries are degraded by dams, dredging for gold, toxic runoff from mining operations, destruction of riparian and floodplain habitat, water withdrawals, urban development, sedimentation and other associated impacts from logging and road-building. While salmon and steelhead are part of our cultural identity, these living river icons are increasingly threatened today. Throughout the West Coast of North America, once-thriving salmon populations are in trouble.

Few experiences are more evocative of the Pacific Northwest than the sight of a salmon leaping a waterfall. People gather to watch as they make their way to ancestral spawning grounds each year at Rainie Falls on the Rogue River or the mouth of Wooley Creek on the Salmon River. Some rivers of the Klamath-Siskiyou are strongholds for wild salmon, including the federally listed Northern California/Southern Oregon Coho Salmon. Right here in our region we have an opportunity to restore an iconic piece of natural history, if we make smart land management decisions.

Working for Clean Water

KS Wild protects rivers and fish by advocating for management decisions that help restore riparian health while opposing projects that harm salmon and water quality. We aim to “protect the best and restore the rest.” We save forests that stabilize soils and provide critical habitat for salmon while encouraging road removal and maintenance to minimize sedimentation from a crumbling logging road system.

We are proud to have launched the Rogue Riverkeeper program in 2009 to watchdog Clean Water Act implementation in this southern Oregon salmon stronghold. Retaining streamside forest canopy cover, preventing destructive in-stream mining activities, and reducing the impact of poorly maintained logging roads on streams and creeks are continuing priorities.

 Smith River

Smith River

Protected wild rivers

Tens of thousands have written in support of protecting the Kalmiopsis region from toxic nickel strip mining. Hundreds more turned out at local public forums to voice their support for wild salmon and clean water. We are on the cusp of securing protection under the 1872 Mining Law, while more permanent solutions are being explored through the Congressional action.

 

Safeguarding Local Rivers & Clean Water

Rogue Riverkeeper is leading a statewide effort to reform the state’s suction dredge mining laws in order to better protect sensitive salmon and bull trout habitat. Earlier this year, a five-year moratorium on suction dredge mining in Oregon waterways kicked in.

No LNG Campaign

In a surprise March announcement, after nearly 10 years of effort, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission denied the permits to build the Pacific Connector Pipeline. Our Rogue Riverkeeper program is working in partnership with Rogue Climate and other allies to oppose the 230-mile long pipeline and export facility. We continue our fight since pipeline companies recently appealed and hope to construct what would become Oregon’s largest greenhouse gas emitter.