Two southern Oregon creeks are being placed on the "Most Endangered Creeks" list, according to a press release from Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden. The group "American Rivers" says the creeks are being harmed by mining.
Wyden and fellow Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley are urging the BLM to withdraw Baldface and Rough and Ready creeks from mining, and they say they have done so numerous times, the most recent in a 2011 letter. "It doesn't take a list to know that Baldface and Rough and Ready creek are special places deserving of federal protection," says Wyden. "Today's announcement underscores the urgent need for the administration to act now and prevent mining activities from damaging critical habitat for endangered salmon and steelhead."
Merkely says, "Oregon has some very special places that merit protection, including Baldface amd Rough and Ready Creeks." He adds, "These streams are damaged by mining operations and I'm hopeful that federal agencies will step up to protect them."
Mining is allowed under the Mining Law of 1872, which Wyden's release says gives favorable treatment to prospectors. He says the federal government has the power to withdraw creeks from possible mining.