Nickel strip mining would change forever a unique wild area along the Wild Rivers Coast of Southwest Oregon and Northwest California and the quiet rural communities surrounding it. 

At stake are the purest of waters and wildest of rivers, native populations of salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout and a stark ancient landscape with one of the highest concentrations of rare plants in North America.


In a remote corner of Southwest Oregon and Northwest California there’s a fabled, wild land of spacious ridges, gnarled pine, rare plants and beautiful rivers with the purest of waters. 

Desert-like in appearance, its stark serpentine terrane stands in dramatic contrast to the lush mixed evergreen and redwood forests that surround it.

There is no place like it.  Yet this ancient land of botanical rarities, red rock, stunted forests and the clearest of blue-green waters is threatened by proposals to develop three nickel strip mines. Metal mining is the largest toxic polluter in the nation.

 Because pollution doesn’t respect state lines, the mines—on the Oregon side of the border—could undo much that’s been achieved in California’s Smith River National Recreation Area.  

A Job Half Done 

Congress protected the California half of these extraordinary National Forest and BLM lands in 1990 by establishing the Smith River National Recreation Area and closing 300,000 acres of National Forest land to mining. 

In Oregon—despite longstanding Wilderness and Wild and Scenic River recommendations and the exceptional botanical values—these high priority conservation lands remain unprotected and open to mining by foreign held corporations. It’s time to finish the job and prevent the mining.

Worth More Than Nickel Mine

The solutions: 1) Permanently protect Oregon’s part of this botanically rich wild area and its outstanding wild rivers and 2) prevent the mines
Smith River’s pure water worth more than nickel mine

In an October 2013 Sacramento Bee guest opinion, author and photographer, Tim Palmer, reminds us that the Smith River’s pure water is worth more than a nickel mine. He calls on Oregon legislators to finish a job California began in the 1980s. It was fear of another proposed nickel mine in the watershed of the North Fork...

Concerns surface about proposed RNR Nickel Mine

While the public has heard little about the RNR Nickel Mine at Rough and Ready Creek, a lot has been happening behind the scenes. According to court records, the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest has concerns about certain aspects of the proposal.  The agency has asked mining company, RNR Resources, to provide information on how they will resolve the issues. One...

Rough and Ready and Baldface Creeks among America’s most endangered rivers

You can help by going to American River’s Rough and Ready and Baldface Creek page. Then click on take action to send a message to the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior asking them to act on Senator Wyden, Senator Merkley and Rep. DeFazio’s repeated requests to withdraw Rough and Ready and Baldface Creek from mining and the location...

Mining companies in race with Oregon Senators

In a race that could decide whether the wild near-pristine watersheds of Rough and Ready Creek, Baldface Creek and the North Fork Smith River are protected or strip mined for nickel, the mining companies appear to be winning. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Rep. Peter DeFazio have repeatedly asked the Obama Administration to help them protect...

Wild river fans want Rough and Ready and Baldface Creeks protected

Updated 4/2/2013   Many in the crowd at Northwest Rafting Company’s Wild Rivers Night were seeing Rough and Ready Creek for the first time as Zachary Collier presented slides from two days of kayaking the creek’s little known north and south forks. It would be an adventure under normal circumstances but it turned out one...

New nickel mine proposed at Rough and Ready Creek

Rough and Ready Creek is again threatened by a major nickel mine. Called the RNR Mine Project, it’s similar to the Nicore proposal of the 1990s, only now it includes the construction of a nickel processing facility at the Rough and Ready Creek Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). The proposed RNR Mine is located...

Google Earth shows reclamation at Nickel Mountain Mine

New Google Earth imagery shows mine reclamation (or lack thereof) at the Nickel Mountain Mine near Riddle. Is this what’s in store for Rough and Ready Creek with the new proposed RNR nickel mine and ore processing facility? With higher resolution imagery you can explore in detail Oregon’s own version of mountain top removal mining...

The photographers

Zach Collier of the Northwest Rafting Company
Daniel Wakefield Pasely of Yonder Journal
Barbara Ullian, Friends of the Kalmiopsis