Southern Oregon Fisheries: Say NO to Nickel Mining Out of Hunter Creek and Pistol River Headwaters

by Mark McGlothlin on December 1, 2013

in Water Worth Saving


From the Native Fish Society –

A proposed nickel mine from foreign investors threatens wild, native fish in the headwaters of the free flowing Hunter Creek and Pistol River watersheds in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in Southern Oregon.  These rivers are home to several native fish species, including Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, Steelhead trout, Coastal Cutthroat trout, Pacific eulachon, and White and Green sturgeon.  A nickel mine in this area would be a major limiting factor for this important native fish stronghold, which both currently have no dams or hatchery programs.

The Forest Service is currently taking comments from the public on the proposed plan of operations submitted by the U.K. based Red Flat Nickel Corporation (RFNC) to mine for nickel laterite in the Red Flat area in the Hunter Creek and Pistol River watersheds.

We are asking that you submit comments to the Forest Service to tell them that additional protection measures are warranted to minimize the adverse environmental impacts to this important habitat, and ask for the Red Flat area to be withdrawn from the 1872 Mining Law.

An open pit nickel mine in the headwaters of the Pistol River and Hunter Creek would be disastrous for these native fish.  According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the metal mining industry is the largest toxic polluter in the United States.  While the full extent of RFNC’s plans has not been revealed to the public, the implications of the development of large blocks of nickel laterite mining claims are huge and the impacts are irreversible.

NFS has simplified the process for you, click here to use the form on their site to comment by the 13th.