CELEBRATE KALMIOPSIS COUNTRY AND ITS WILD RIVERS
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 celebrated. The congressionally protected Wilderness was established a half century ago. Then Congress added three of its rivers to Wild and Scenic River System but it’s a job less than half done
The unprotected North and South Kalmiopsis—by far the two largest Roadless Areas in Oregon—are equally wild, river rich and botanically unique. The South Kalmiopsis is especially threatened by nickel strip mining proposals that would turn much of it into an industrial zone. 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. A decade ago the Bush Administration recommended Congress add parts of the North and South Kalmiopsis to the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. But the area was too small. Congress didn’t act. It’s time to make this ancient refuge of the purest of waters, wild salmon and great plant rarity whole.