Posts tagged wilderness
Kalmiopsis and Wild Rivers Coast Protected from Mining!

We are celebrating the recent victory to protect some of our most prized rivers from proposed industrial strip mining for a period of 20 years. We are hopeful that this victory will stand, even in the Trump administration.

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Kalmiopsis Tales: Rugged Mountains, Long fights & Wild Women

Long fights with no reward can feel tiresome and unrewarding after awhile. That’s why this May we held the first annual Return to the Wild, a rustic retreat along the Illinois River for female activists from around Southwest Oregon. Elders told stories of past trials and triumphs, we bonded and benefited from the therapy of nature, and were reinvigorated for our work ahead.

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Public Lands for All

While most Americans cherish the idea that public lands belong to and benefit all of us, corporate timber, mining and grazing interests have long sought to privatize public lands in order to maximize profits to their respective industries. While subsidized logging, mining and grazing occur on the vast majority of public lands, these extremists bristle at the idea of there being any rules regarding their exploitation of our forests and rivers.

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A Closer Look: Kalmiopsis Rivers

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.

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Wilderness in the Klamath-Siskiyou

The Klamath-Siskiyou region is home to the largest expanse of wildlands on the West Coast. Some of these pristine wild areas are protected under the Wilderness Act as Wilderness Areas, but many other wilderness-quality lands are unprotected and face a variety of threats including logging, road-building, over-grazing, and irresponsible off-road vehicle use. 

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Kalmiopsis Wilderness

The mountains of the Kalmiopsis emerged from the ocean floor as result of geological uplift (rather than volcanism) and have been subject to folding and faulting ever since. As a result, the unique soils are packed with heavy metals including nickel, iron, chromium, and magnesium that make life hard for most plant life. To survive in this environment plants have had to evolve and adapt to get by in circumstances that would normally kill most flowering species. More than any other wilderness in the region, the Kalmiopsis is the home of oddball survivors.

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A Wilderness Celebration

But what is more important is that wilderness offers something more than just its value to humanity. In wilderness is the essence of all life; it is where complex biological systems continue to function in ways that humans are only beginning to understand. Saving the remaining pieces of wild nature is part of our duty to ourselves, our children, and for all life on the planet. 

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