A proposal for a nickel mining operation in the headwaters of the North Fork Smith River and other streams is making its way through the Forest Service review process and will soon be up for public input.
An informational meeting on the nickel mining possibility in southwestern Oregon will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Lighthouse Inn, 681 Highway 101, Crescent City.
The short presentation, hosted by the Smith River Alliance and KS Wild, will highlight the “serious environmental and economic impacts associated with strip mining,” according to a statement.
The groups’ statement notes that the Smith River provides the domestic water supply for Crescent City, Gasquet and Hiouchi, and the metal mining industry is the largest source of toxic pollution in the United States.
The proposed exploratory drilling would take place at 59 sites above Baldface Creek, a primary tributary to the North Fork Smith, between the Oregon-California state line and the Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area.
The public comment scoping period was expected to be held earlier this year, but that process has been put on hold as Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest officials are meeting with Smith River Rancheria and Elk Valley Rancheria representatives, who have expressed interest in the project.