River regions:

  • Location: Southern Oregon
  • Length: 11 mi
  • Drainage: 44.4 square miles covering 28,405 acres


The area has had a history of logging, urbanization, and unreclaimed mining sites, but remains an important native fish stronghold in Southern Oregon. A persistent threat is that Wild Chinook and Winter Steelhead harvest is still permitted on this river. Currently there is pressure in this watershed from the prospect of a nickel laterite mining operation from foreign investors in its headwaters that will jeopardize the future for its wild, native fish. Read about this proposed mining operation in the Curry Coastal Pilot article, “Hunter Creek Mining Proposed“.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the metal mining industry is the largest toxic polluter in the United States, and the degradation resulting from the development of this resource is often irreversible. We have seen the legacy of nickel laterite mining in Oregon before, in the case of the Nickel Mountain Mine near Riddle, OR. Nickel laterites are generally mined via open cut mining methods, and the typical mine is operated as either an open cut mine or a strip mine. Mining activity of this nature would be devastating to the plants and wildlife, as well as the local communities of Curry County who receive no mining royalties from development.

Hunter Creek enters the Pacific Ocean south of Gold Beach, Oregon. It is home to an array of unique plant and animal species, including California pitcherplant, Labrador tea, Port Orford cedar, clouded salamander, mountain quail, and winter steelhead. Within this watershed are two BLM Areas of Critical Environmental Concern designated for exceptional natural resource values because of its special plant community, fish and wildlife habitat, and historic and cultural resources.

News Articles


  • Gold Beach City Council Referendum against strip mining in the headwaters of Hunter Creek and Pistol River
  • Gold Beach City Council letter supporting the Administrative Mineral Withdrawal
  • Helped organize 300 Curry County citizens to attended and comment at September 2015 BLM Public Comment Meeting in Gold Beach, OR
  • Gold Beach City Council Restricts Water Usage for Proposed Red Flat Nickel Mine
  • Resolution of the Curry County Democratic Central Committee Opposing Nickel Mining in Curry County
  • Submitted over 600 comments to the Forest Service in support of increased protections for the wild, native fish of Hunter Creek and Pistol River
  • Held community meeting in Gold Beach to inform local residents on the proposed nickel mine and the impacts of surface mining practices
  • Secured Curry County Commission letter of opposition to the prospective nickel mine operation in Hunter Creek and Pistol River watersheds
  • Gained hundreds of signatures from local residents in opposition to the nickel mine

To donate funds to support our grassroots efforts to protect Hunter Creek and Pistol River from nickel mining click here!

For more information on the Red Flat Nickel Mine and other area mining threats visit these organizations’ websites:

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