CELEBRATE THE KALMIOPSIS
September 3rd, 2014 is the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act and the establishment of Southwest Oregon’s Kalmiopsis Wilderness.
Pronounced “Kal-me-op-sis,” this ruggedest of wilderness areas is home to three hauntingly beautiful National Wild and Scenic Rivers—the Illinois, Chetco and North Fork Smith. Its legendary plant diversity and beloved rivers are to be celebrated, but it’s a job half done.
The unprotected North and South Kalmiopsis—the two largest Roadless Areas in Oregon—are equally wild, river rich and botanically unique. It’s time to make this ancient primal refuge of pure waters, wild salmon and great plant rarity whole.
A decade ago the Bush Administration recommended Congress add parts of the North and South Kalmiopsis to the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. Congress didn’t act. Two decades ago the Forest Service found, Silver, Indigo, Josephine/Canyon, Rough and Ready and Baldface Creeks nationally outstanding and eligible to become Wild and Scenic Rivers. They remain unprotected and increasingly threatened.
It’s time to finish the job and protect the watersheds and birthplace of some of our last best rivers and the source of the purest waters in the West. Let’s celebrate the Kalmiopsis by making it whole and forever wild.