Conservation Groups Lists Rivers in Southern Oregon, Idaho As Most Endangered

Apr 17, 2013

The Kootenai River in northern Idaho.
Credit Idaho Tourism

American Rivers has named three Northwest streams among the most endangered in the United States this year. Two are remote creeks in Southwest Oregon. The conservation group says exploration for nickel could harm the creeks.

Rough and Ready Creek and Baldface creek flow through the Rogue River Siskiyou National Forest.

River guide Zach Collier knows both creeks well. He says they are unusually clear and clean. And they flow through a part of Oregon known for its rare native plants.

“Floating down either one of these creeks, you would run a rapid, catch an eddy, and you would be right next to a carnivorous plant," he says.  "And you float down by Port Orford cedars which are a very rare tree.”

A company called Red Flat Nickel has proposed exploratory drilling for nickel near Baldface creek. Red Flat Nickel was not immediately available for comment. American Rivers also named the Kootenai River at risk due to coal mining. A portion of it flows through northern Idaho.

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