The Forest Service (FS) has released an Environmental Assessment (EA) that would withdraw mineral rights on about 101,000 acres of national forest and Bureau of Land Management-administered land near the Kalmiopsis Wilderness in Oregon. The rugged, nearly 180,000-acre Kalmiopsis is one of the original Wildernesses designated by the Wilderness Act in 1964. The FS is proposing to add a five-year mineral rights withdrawal to its current two-year moratorium while Congress considers the Southwestern Oregon Watershed and Salmon Protection Act of 2015 (S. 346 and H.R. 682) to permanently protect the area from mining. Some of the lands proposed for protection border the Kalmiopsis Wilderness and include the Hunter Creek and North Fork Pistol River headwaters and the Rough and Ready Creek and Baldface Creek watersheds. A foreign mining company, Red Flat Nickel Corp., is proposing an open-pit nickel mine on more than 3,000 acres of public lands just outside the Kalmiopsis Wilderness.
Photo: Leon Werdinger Photography