Jawbone Flats Mining Camp in The Opal Creek Wilderness, Oregon
with the Wanderfawn
In the year 1859, miners came to Opal Creek Forest and struck gold. By 1931, what used to be land used by the Santiam Kalapuya Indians for vision quests and trade routes became a bustling mining camp by the name of Jawbone Flats. After a successful run of producing lead, zinc, copper and silver, the mining company ceased activity in 1992, but not before a group of environmentalists calling themselves “The Friends of Opal Creek” focused their attentions on the land that the mines inhabited. Formed in 1989 and dedicated to preserving the 35,000-acre Opal Creek watershed, the group was rewarded for their commitment to the area when the Shiny Rock Mining Co. gifted to them 151 acres of land – Jawbone Flats and a stand of old-growth forest worth $12.6 million.