Today river advocates criticized the Washington Department of Ecology for adopting a flow rule for the Spokane River that allows further dewatering of the popular urban river. The state rule sets flows for the Spokane River, including summertime low flows at 850 cubic feet per second. A recreational flow survey by American Whitewater found that all boaters prefer flows higher than 1000 cfs and most prefer flows in the range of 5000 cfs.
Earlier this month American Whitewater and the National Park Service's Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program (RTCA) hosted a series of meetings and site visits in the Harper's Ferry, WV area. We met with roughly 35 interested groups and individuals, including 18 leaders from the paddling community, and visited over 20 river access sites. The meetings kicked off a collaborative effort to create and implement a river access Plan for the Harper's Ferry area, and were highly successful.
The legislative session is underway in Washington State and earlier this week we were shocked to learn of a bill that would severely limit access to the state's rivers and shorelines. Specifically the bill would prohibit water access on small parcels of public land that do not provide formal parking.
As many paddlers know, the future of the Colorado River is fraught with competing demands to pump and pipe water to faraway cities, and efforts to protect what little water is left in the river. A group of well-respected academics convened by University of Colorado Professor Doug Kenney has released a short, easy to read summary of the challenges facing the river. Check it out:
Punch Bowl Falls is one of Oregon’s iconic scenic and recreational sites on the Hood River in the Columbia Gorge. At the confluence of the east and west forks of the Hood River, the site has been privately owned and its future remains to be determined. Our goal is to see the site become a public park and we encourage the boating community to join that discussion.
Late December saw the Bureau of Reclamation approval of the Windy Gap Firming Project, yet another major diversion of the imperiled Upper Colorado River. And while AW has worked hard over the years to ensure that projects like this don’t further impact the health of the upper Colorado, we are disappointed to see that recent federal action doesn’t lock in the protections that are essential to mitigating the worst effects of yet another trans-mountain diversion.
Photo Credit: Brian Adkins, Boulder, Co
What would happen in the Southwestern United States if there was no water available from the Colorado River to support the economy, and no way to replace the water normally used from the River throughout the region?
A new report from Protect the Flows suggests that the Colorado river region would suffer 64.4% loss in Gross State Product if there is no Colorado River water for one year. Loss in the Real Estate, Healthcare, Finance, Professional Services, and Retail Trade sectors, from the absense of Colorado River water, totals Billions of Dollars.
A new study, Economic Analysis of Outdoor Recreation in Washington State, by Earth Economics demonstrates the importance of outdoor recreation for the Washington State economy. Residents and visitors collectively spend $21.6 billion annually on trips and equipment purchases supporting nearly 200,000 jobs. Over one third of this economic activity occurs along water. American Whitewater is actively engaged in efforts to promote public access to water and conserve the river resources of the state that represent an important engine for this economic activity
For 33 years the National Paddling Film Festival has been hosting a competition to determine the best in paddle sport videos and images. This year's NPFF will be held on February 20-21 in Frankfort, KY at the Buffalo Trace Distillery. NPFF has helped to raise the quality of paddle sport entertainment by providing recognition of talent along with important and useful feedback for the artists who make the show a possibility.
Recent elections for the American Whitewater Board of Directors concluded on December 15, 2014. Please welcome Chris Neuenschwander and Melissa Pennscott as new American Whitewater Directors.
In June 2015, American Whitewater members will have an opportunity to join American Whitewater staff and board members for an exclusive trip on Oregon’s Rogue River. We invite you to come learn more about what we're up to while having a great time enjoying one of our nation’s first Wild and Scenic Rivers.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Yuba/Bear and Drum Spaulding projects in Northern California. Our review of this 1000 page documents says that it spells good things for boaters.
In the final days of the 113th Congress, several river conservation measures have been passed designating significant new Wilderness Areas and Wild and Scenic Rivers in areas vitally important to the paddling community.
American Whitewater joined river conservation groups in releasing an updated review of the economics of restoring hydropower at Enloe Dam on the Similkameen River in Washington State. This project would cost $40 million to build, would cost more to operate than it brings in for revenue, and accumulate $170 million losses over the life of the project. It is time to remove a project that has not operated since 1958 and is simply an economic loser.