The North Fork Smith River is threatened by a nickel strip mine
The North Fork Smith River is threatened by a foreign-owned mining company who wants to develop a nickel laterite strip mine on about 2700 acres of National Forest in the Oregon half of the North Fork’s pristine watershed. All of the companies mining claims are located in the Inventoried South Kalmiopsis Roadless Area.
Go to our new North Fork Smith webpage to learn more
Because of the major threat facing the North Fork Smith River we’ve moved its webpage to KalmiopsisRivers.org.
You can click on these specific links to:
- Learn why the watershed of the Wild & Scenic North Fork Smith River is too special to mine; and
- About the Cleopatra Mining Project that threatens it; then
- Join the The Protection Effort.
Quick Facts | National Wild & Scenic North Fork Smith River
The Smith River in California is famed for the great clarity and beauty of its water. However, the North Fork Smith is the clearest of the Smith’s tributaries. It flows through Kalmiopsis Wilderness and Packsaddle and South Kalmiopsis Roadless Areas in Oregon and then the North Fork Smith Roadless Area and Smith River National Recreation Area in California. The North Fork Smith provides the community of Gasquet, California with some of the cleanest drinking water in the nation. It’s a major contributor of clean water to the Smith River downstream, which provides drinking water to much of Del Norte County.
The North Fork Smith’s upper reaches and its tributary Baldface Creek are refuges for threatened coho salmon. The mainstem and its tributaries in Oregon are also exceptional producers of winter steelhead and cutthroat trout, providing habitat that is considered pristine.
Please visit our Kalmiopsis Rivers North Fork Smith River webpage for more information. Here’s some quick facts:
Dates of Wild & Scenic River designations
Half of the North Fork Smith River is in Oregon and half in California. While the entire length of the river has been included in the National Wild and Scenic River System, the designations were made in different Acts of Congress.
Designated Wild and Scenic River segments in California
In California, Congress designated the mainstem of the Smith River and all its major tributaries National Wild and Scenic Rivers. For the North Fork Smith River (in California) the following segments and tributaries are National Wild and Scenic Rivers:
- Mainstream North Fork Smith
- Diamond Ck. and the North Fork of Diamond Creek
- Bear Creek,
- Still Creek,
- High Plateau Creek,
- Stony Creek
- Peridotite Creek
Managing Agency (California)
The Six Rivers National Forest, in Region 5 of the USDA Forest Service.is the managing agency for the North Fork Smith River in California.
Learn more about the National Wild and Scenic Smith River System at Rivers.Gov.
Designated Wild and Scenic River segments in Oregon
- Mainstem North Fork Smith (13 miles)
River Area Classifications in Oregon
- Headwaters to Horse Ck.—Wild (4.5 miles)
- Horse to Baldface Ck.—Scenic (6.5 miles)
- Baldface Ck. to Calif. border—Wild (2 miles)
Managing agency (Oregon)
The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, In Region 6 of the USDA Forest Service.is the managing agency for the Oregon segment of the Wild and Scenic of the North Forth Smith River.
Outstandingly Remarkable Values in Oregon:
- Fisheries – provides 7 miles of near pristine spawning and rearing habitat for salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout and contributes substantially to the National Wild and Scenic Smith River System.
- Water Quality – the river’s emerald green waters, its clarity and over all quality contributes to the functioning of the river system and is an integral part of the National Wild and Scenic Smith River system.
- Scenery – associated with the river’s emerald hued water, the variety of landscape elements and the pristine character of the river corridor.