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A Moment in Time to Protect the Chetco

A unique opportunity has emerged to permanently protect the National Wild and Scenic Chetco River from mining claims that have threatened this prized stream for decades.

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On December 5, 2011, the Bureau of Land Management issued a decision that the nine mining claims had been abandoned and forfeited due to the miner’s failure to pay annual fees.  Click here to read a recent article about the forfeiture

Now, we have an opportunity to permanently protect this wild stretch of salmon haven by urging Senator Wyden and Senator Merkley to advance the Chetco River Protection Act.

The Wild and Scenic Chetco River is a national treasure that supports a high-value salmon and steelhead fishery, provides unique recreational experiences for thousands of boaters and anglers, forms a key foundation for a local tourism-based economy, and is the drinking water supply for the communities of Brookings and Harbor.

The Chetco River Protection Act is pending legislation in the U.S. Congress that would prohibit new mining claims along the Wild and Scenic Chetco River. The recent forfeiture of pre-existing mining claims presents an important window of opportunity to permanently safeguard the Wild and Scenic Chetco River from future mining threats —and at the same time save taxpayer dollars. 

But, the Chetco River Protection Act must be passed before an existing, temporary withdrawal from the 1872 Mining Act expires in July 2013.

If there is no permanent withdrawal in place at that time, the Chetco will be open again to new mining claims on this important salmon stream and taxpayer dollars will be used again to process mining proposals.

Please sign a petition to Senator Wyden and Senator Merkley urging them to take the lead on the Chetco River Protection Act (H.R.1415 and S.764).