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American Whitewater Opposes Temperance Flat Dam (CA)

posted October 30, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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American Whitewater submitted comments this week to the Bureau of Reclamation in opposition of the proposed Temperance Flat Dam slated for the San Joaquin River in California. The proposed dam would inundate a reach of river that the Bureau of Land Management recognized as suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System for its cultral and scenic values. Temperance Flat Dam will have steep economic and resource costs while yeilding little water, and is not the solution to California's extreme drought.

Comment Opportunity on Upper Chattooga Access

posted October 28, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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The Forest Service is seeking comments on their Environmental Assessment and proposal to upgrade and designate the trails and access areas that paddlers and others use to access the Wild and Scenic Upper Chattooga River. Comments are due by midnight, November 7, 2014.  Your comments can help encourage high quality and sustainable hiking and paddling opportunities, and help clarify that no permit should be requied to paddle the Chattooga River upstream of Green Creek.  

Warm Springs Film Premiere Set to Drop in Moab

posted October 27, 2014
by Nathan Fey
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Today marks the release of an inspiring, wild ride down the Yampa River. Warm Springs is a film featuring AW staff and friends from all over Colorado, and delivers a rich and gorgeous portrait of one of the West’s last truly wild rivers through the lens of its most famous rapid, Warm Springs. 

Canyon Creek Take-Out Access Project Underway (WA)

posted October 21, 2014
by Thomas O'Keefe
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After years of wondering if it would ever get underway (the six-year deadline has already passed), PacifiCorp has finally begun construction on the new access improvements at the Yale Bridge take-out for Canyon Creek. That's the good news. The bad news is they let the project slip into the fall boating season and have offered no accommodations for access after this weekend until the project is done.

Golf Courses vs. Healthy Rivers

posted October 20, 2014
by Nathan Fey
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A couple of weeks ago AW staff and several like-minded river folks attended the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) meeting in Glenwood Springs. We joined together to let the board know that the upcoming state water plan must ensure that healthy rivers (and the communities that depend on them) are treated fairly in the plan. Sounds pretty non-controversial, right? Wrong. 

Fall Tallulah (GA) Information For 2014

posted October 18, 2014
by Mark Singleton
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The first three weekends in November mark classic boating in the southeast with releases on the Tallulah River. Release weekends are November 1 & 2, 8 & 9, and 15 & 16. The river flows through Tallulah Gorge State Park, the Park has specific regulations for visitors.

Virginia Stream Access Check-In

posted October 15, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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Stream access in Virginia is one of American Whitewater’s Top 10 River Stewardship Issues this year, as it has been in many years past.   The public right to enjoy rivers in the commonwealth is less than clear, leading to confusion and differences of opinion.  A legislative fix is possible, but we'll need a broad coalition of support.  Start this conversation in your networks, and join the Virginia Freedom to Float facebook page to keep in the loop.  

Friendsville Parking Lot Update

posted October 13, 2014
by Charlie Walbridge
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The Friendsville, Maryland paddler parking lot is being finished. This lovely town of 500 people, is doing what it can to accomodate the hundreds of paddlers who arrive here for summer releases on the Upper Youghiogheny River. The project owes much to the vision and leadership of long-time resident Jess Whittemore and the support of Mayor Spencer R. Schlosnagle and Town Council. American Whitewater helped paddlers raise $25,000 towards the lot and this "seed money" has helped attract over $200,000 in grants! We thank the town for their persistence, and their ongoing support for Upper Yough whitewater.

ACTION ALERT: Save San Joaquin River Gorge from New Dam (CA)

posted October 8, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) is proposing to build another large dam on California's San Joaquin River. If built, the Temperance Flat Dam would have significant impacts to the San Joaquin River Gorge, including drowning several Class III-V whitewater runs, such as Patterson Bend. The BOR took a major step forward in bringing the dam into reality when it released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project last month. You can stand up for the San Joaquin by attending a public hearing during the week of October 13th, or submitting public comment by October 27th.

Hydropower Project Proposed for Talkeetna (AK)

posted October 7, 2014
by Thomas O'Keefe
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Northwest Power Services recently filed a preliminary permit application to construct a hydropower project on the Talkeetna River. The Talkeetna is known to many as Alaska's best backcountry whitewater trip. The developer proposes to construct a 2300 feet long and 370 feet high dam located in a scenic canyon just downstream of the confluence of Disappointment Creek. A public comment period is now open for this project.

Mining Water Right Denied–NF Smith Headwaters (CA/OR)

posted September 30, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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The Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) has denied Red Flat Mining Corporation's application for a water right for exploratory mining activities in the headwaters of Baldface Creek and the Wild and Scenic North Fork Smith River! The international mining company seeks to develop a nickel strip mine in the South Kalmiopsis Roadless Area, which is one of the most remote and expansive backcountry areas in Southern Oregon. This is an important victory in the effort to protect the crystal clear waters of Southern Oregon, however our work is far from over.

AW Weighs in on Forest Planning Process in California

posted September 29, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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California's Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra National Forests are home to many rivers cherished by the whitewater community, including the Kern, Kings, and Merced Rivers and Dinkey Creek. On Monday, September 29th, American Whitewater asked the Forest Service to recognize the importance of these and other rivers for whitewater recreation activities, and to update and expand protections for them. Our comments come as the three forests begin the NEPA process for updating their forest management plans.

AW Wins Forest Service Appeals - Rivers to Benefit (ID & MT)

posted September 29, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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American Whitewater was recently notified that our appeals of the new Forest Plans for the Kootenai and Panhandle National Forests were successful.  These forests, in northern Montana and Idaho respectively, contain incredible whitewater streams where paddlers might see grizzly bears, 10-foot white sturgeons, or even a caribou. The result of our successful appeals will almost certainly be the protection additional rivers and streams from hydropower dams and other threats.

First Descender Bill Bickham Returns to the Upper Yough after 55 Years

posted September 7, 2014
by Charlie Walbridge
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Bill Bickham, a seven-time national whitewater canoe champion who made the first descent of the Youghiogheny River in May of 1959, returned to Friendsville this past Saturday for a valedictory trip with Precision Rafting Expeditions. Once considered an extreme expedition, the "Upper Yough" between Sang Run and Friendsville now plays host to hundreds of skilled kayakers every summer weekend and supports an vibrant commercial rafting trip business. Bickham, now 77, was one of the strongest paddlers of his era.He and his friends ran the Upper Yough in aluminum canoes at very low water levels. At a party afterwards Bickham met several people who played an important role in making the Upper Yough accessible to the paddling public. For more information, click the link:

Adventuresport Institute Completes Successful Savage River Release Season

posted September 7, 2014
by Charlie Walbridge
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American Whitewater congratulates the Garrett College Adventuresport Institute for managing another successful season of Savage River whitewater releases. The river, which hosted the 1989 World Slalom and Whitewater Championships, offers five miles of very continuous Class III-IV whitewater that's a joy to paddle. Program Director Mike Mike Logsden and other Garrett College personnel arranged parking, shuttle service, put-in and take-out access, release of liability for the stake-holders, and the removal of dangerous river debris. Takeout procedures this year were re-designed to avoid a dangerous road crossing. Expenses related to the shuttle service and strainer removal was paid by donations from participating boaters. If you enjoyed yourself, send a brief thank you to michael.logsdon@garrettcollege.edu




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