The Washington Department of Natural Resources is embarking on a new planning project that will guide recreation on DNR-managed lands in the Nooksack River and Whatcom Lake watersheds for the next 10-15 years. The effort will kick off with two public open houses that will be scheduled for January.
American Whitewater has worked with local paddlers and agency planners over the past year to create a river access plan for the Harpers Ferry, WV area. Two popular and scenic class III whitewater runs on the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers converge in Harper's Ferry, yet there are only 3 public parking spaces at the take-out and the public put-ins are far upstream on both rivers. The plan is the result of an outstanding effort by our members and partners, and we are now working together to improve river access opportunities based on the plan.
Denver, Colorado - American Whitewater and our conservation partners across Colorado released a statement today that applauds the release of Colorado’s first-ever water plan. After 10 years of work, it is critical that the Plan now be implemented, so that Colorado's rivers are protected, restored, and enjoyed!
American Whitewater, along with other paddling groups and outfitters, filed comments with FERC responding to the Whitewater Boating Evaluation at Turners Falls on the Connecticut River. The study showed that there is strong demand for boating on this section of the Connecticut River if sufficient flows, scheduled releases, better access, and real-time information are provided. The groups filed the comments in order to provide additional information for the environmental review and to respond to the unsupported statements by FirstLight, the utility performing the study, claiming that there is little demand for boating at Turners Falls.
California State Parks and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will need boater input for a joint General Plan/Resource Management Plan (RMP) for Auburn State Recreation Area (SRA). This recreation area was originally land set aside for the construction of the infamous Auburn Dam, which was authorized by Congress in 1965. However, after years of delay and the eventual halt to the construction of the dam, these agencies prepared an Interim Resource Management Plan (RMP) to help them address the approximate 250,000 visitors per year using the area in 1992. Today, in 2015, visitation to Auburn SRA has grown to nearly 1 million users per year. State Parks and Reclamation must formulate a updated management plan that will address the growing numbers of visitors and recreational uses in the area.
PacifiCorp is in the process of repairing the stair treads at the Canyon Creek take-out access on Merwin Reservoir. Several treads were damaged by vandals who were throwing one-man boudlers down the stairs. Depending on weather, the repairs are expected to take 5 work days over the next two weeks.
In a partnership between advocacy groups, outfitters, and hydropower utilities, Brookfield Renewable Energy and TransCanada Hydro Northeast announced support for #optoutside, a national campaign started by REI designed to encourage outdoor recreation rather than shopping mall exploration on Black Friday after Thanksgiving. In support of #OptOutside and at the request of American Whitewater, the utilities will provide whitewater flows on the Deerfield below the Fife Brook Dam between 11-1 on November 27th.
American Whitewater members elect the Board of Directors to represent membership and serve three-year terms. These candidates volunteer to serve on the American Whitewater Board. Current American Whitewater members can cast their votes for Directors through Midnight Pacific Time, December 15th.
Paddlers now have the chance to help protect Western North Carolina's best whitewater runs from dams and other impacts. The Forest Service is accepting public comments in support of WNC rivers and creeks' eligibility for Wild and Scenic designation. No one knows our streams like paddlers, and our community is in a unique position to speak to what makes these streams special. Explore a map of potentially eligible rivers, submit comments, and consider attending a public meeting.
The 30th Anniversary of the Grest West Virginia "Election Day" flood is being remembered this November 5th and 6th. Massive rains (12 - 14"!) in the Cheat, Potomac, Tygart, and Greenbriar Headwaters caused unprecedented floods. The massive high water surge had tragic results: 40 dead, 2600 homeless, and over a half a billion dollars in damages. Many of our favorite runs saw huge changes. Click through for an article on the Cheat Canyon that was published in the Preston County Journal. For more stories, click here.
American Whitewater is pleased to announce our 2015 Holiday Membership Offer – a one year AW membership paired up with our AW Klean Kanteen pint cup. . .and all for just $40!
Giving a great gift and supporting your favorite non-profit at the same time. . .great river karma!
Over the next several months, American Whitewater will continue to work to protect and restore the rivers that you love across the country, and ensure that everyone can enjoy them safely. Twice each year, we reach out to whitewater lovers everywhere to ask for your support. As you'll see in our Winter Appeal, we've got our work cut out for us throughout 2016. We hope that what we're working on supports the special places that bring you joy, adventure, inspiration and community, and that you'll remember AW as you begin to consider your end of year giving.
Hot off the presses. . .get your 2016 American Whitewater calendar. We collect the best photos from our gracious paddling community and pick out our favorites for the annual AW calendar. Consider picking one up today. . .they also make great gifts.
This week, the Clean Water Rule is under attack in Congress, threatening the rivers you love to paddle on. American Whitewater has supported this new rule by the EPA and Army Corps because it restores protections to our nation’s headwater streams and wetlands, which are directly connected to the rivers we paddle. A vote is expected in the afternoon on Tuesday, November 3rd in the Senate. Speak up for clean rivers today!
American Whitewater recognizes Dan and Ginni Vernau as our November 2015 Volunteers of the Month. Hats off to you two for helping make this year's Feather Fest a success! In recognition of Dan's and Ginni's efforts at Feather Fest, they will each receive a custom Kokatat X-Jacket.
Thanks Dan and Ginni for all you do!
Thanks to an organization wide effort to provide transparency and operate efficiently, Charity Navigator awarded American Whitewater with its sixth consecutive 4-star rating. Receiving four out of a possible four stars indicates that American Whitewater adheres to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way. Only 3% of the nonprofits Charity Navigator rates have received six consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that American Whitewater outperforms most other charities in America. This “exceptional” designation from Charity Navigator differentiates American Whitewater from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust and support.
Make your online shopping mean something for the rivers you love. American Whitewater is participating in the Amazon Smile program. With each purchase through Amazon Smile a small percentage is passed through to American Whitewater supporting river stewardship.
American Whitewater is deeply disappointed to see Congress fail to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund ahead of its expiration on September 30. You can help us continue the push by contacting your member of Congress and highlighting the importance of this vital program that helps provide river access. If constituents speak up we can keep it near the top of the agenda and we will be able to get it reauthorized.
Citing a host of environmental concerns raised by American Whitewater and our partners, the federal government has recommended denial of an application seeking to build a 109-foot-tall hydroelectric dam on the Bear River in southeast Idaho. Federal regulators agreed with our view that the Oneida Narrows represents a regionally unique and important river recreational resource that would be destroyed by the proposed dam, for which mitigation is not possible.
Virginia officials have confirmed that they consider Johns Creek and several other whitewater streams navigable and public unless proven otherwise. This is a common sense approach that respects the rights of citizens that own property adjacent to rivers, as well those who wish to rightfully enjoy those public rivers and streams. Legal challenges are possible though, and we encourage caution, discretion, and respect within the paddling community as this exciting development plays out.
Since 1965, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has been a critical source of funding for important river access projects and other recreational pursuits across the country. This fund however is set to expire on September 30, 2015 unless Congress reauthorizes it. We’re calling on all paddlers to reach out to their Congressional representatives and ask them to reauthorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
On Wednesday, May 13th the House Energy & Commerce Committee will hold a hearing about the draft "Hydropower Regulatory Modernization" Act, which proposes to gut important environmental and public interest protections in the Federal Power Act. These are the very tools that American Whitewater and our partners have used to put water back in rivers across the country that were once completely devastated by the impacts of hydropower. If passed, all of the whitewater and access gains we've made over the last 25+ years could easily become a thing of the past. We encourage everyone to contact their Representatives and make their voices heard.
Northeast boaters are celebrating the end of a long, cold and snowy winter and are making boating plans for the year. Here is the 2015 Northeast Release Schedule
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.