#7 Chetco River, Oregon
Southern Oregon's Wild and Scenic Chetco River boasts pristine waters and the prized opportunity to fish for large wild salmon and steelhead trout. However, this natural gem is threatened by proposals to mine half its designated length.
Oregon’s Senators Wyden and Merkley, Congressman DeFazio, and Governor Kulongoski have asked the U.S Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Interior, the agencies responsible for management of the river and for minerals, to prevent suction dredge mining on the river by administratively withdrawing it from mineral entry under the antiquated Mining Law of 1872. The motorized instream mining on this national treasure can begin as soon as July 15, 2010, so immediate administrative action is needed.
This reprieve for the river will allow Congress time to legislate the best possible long-term protection for the Wild and Scenic Chetco River. Congress needs to provide similar protection for other national Wild and Scenic Rivers from the harmful effects of mining.