Thursday, May 26, 2011

Green River Among America's Most Endangered

When Mount Saint Helens erupted in 1980 it sent a boiling lahar of hot ash and mud flowing down the North Fork of the Toutle River, devastating the system's once robust populations of salmon and steelhead. Remarkably, as river conditions have stabilized salmon and steelhead have begun spawning in the watershed once again. A major reason for the rapid recovery were nearby watersheds which escaped the eruption mostly unscathed. Among those critical refuges is the Green River in Washington's Cowlitz county, a tributary of the North Fork Toutle and the most productive spawning area remaining in the basin. Now, American Rivers has listed the Green River as one of the nations most endangered rivers because of a proposed mine in the watershed. The mine could be as large as 3000 acres and thus far the Forest Service has refused to conduct an environmental review of its potential impacts. Visit American River's website to learn more and take action.

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