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Take Action: Protect Wild and Scenic Illinois and NF Smith Headwaters (CA/OR)

posted December 18, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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Mining companies are actively pursuing proposals to strip-mine in Southwest Oregon watersheds, threatening Rough & Ready, Baldface and Hunter Creeks and the Wild and Scenic Illinois and North Fork Smith Rivers. One of the surest ways to protect the wild rivers of Southwest Oregon is through a mineral withdrawal, which would prevent future mining activities on these public lands. You can help protect these whitewater gems by contacting your Congressional Representatives today!  

Holtwood Whitewater Park to Open in 2015 (PA)

posted December 15, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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Anticipation was running high for the first public dam releases on the newly constructed Holtwood Whitewater Park this fall, however the final round of testing in early October revealed more work was needed before opening the park. Testing and modifications are ongoing, and we'll release a schedule of releases early next year.  The good news is that the waves are going to be incredible.

Congress Passes River Conservation Bills

posted December 13, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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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.

Mining Co. Appeals Water Right Decision–NF Smith Watershed (CA/OR)

posted December 10, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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Red Flat Nickel Corp is continuing its push to mine near Baldface Creek in the headwaters of the Wild and Scenic North Fork Smith River. Last summer, the Oregon Water Resources Department denied Red Flat's application for a water right, and the company recently filed a petition for reconsideration in response. Read on for a press release with more information. American Whitewater will continue to work to protect the headwaters of the Wild and Scenic North Fork Smith. Stay tuned for ways that you can help. 

AW's December Volunteer of the Month - Presented by Kokatat

posted December 2, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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American Whitewater is pleased to announce Daniel Patrinellis as our December 2014 Volunteer of the Month! For the past several years, Dan has been a passionate advocate for rivers in the Pacific Northwest. He understands that images and visually-compelling stories are important tools for advocacy, and supports our stewardship efforts with great videos and pictures. We're grateful for Dan's contributions, and in thanks he will receive a Kokatat WoolCore Shirt! 

National Park Service Proposes to Raise Entrance Fees Across the Country

posted December 2, 2014
by Thomas O'Keefe
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Currently several National Parks across the country are considering increased fees for park entry and wilderness permits. A number of National Parks provide whitewater paddling and we want to make sure our community is aware of the opportunity to provide comment on these proposals.

Support AW on Colorado Gives Day–December 9th!

posted November 25, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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Whether you live in Colorado, or visit the state for its world-class paddling, American Whitewater needs your help to keep our Colorado river stewardship work going. Colorado Gives Day - Colorado's largest fundraising event - is Tuesday, December 9th. That day, people from across the country can come together to support non-profit organizations working in Colorado. This year, our goal is to raise $5,000 to support efforts to protect instream flows for recreation and defend public access to rivers in Colorado. Whether its $10, or $1000, please make your donation today. You can learn more about how to help us meet our goal here...  

ACTION ALERT: Shorten CO's Boating Season?

posted November 14, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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The future of late summer flows in the Colorado River is at risk, and we need your help to show how important these flows are to paddlers. Front Range entities are questioning whether paddlers even use the Colorado River in Glenwood Canyon after Labor Day. If you enjoy the Colorado River, please take two minutes to write a letter to the City Manager of Glenwood Springs. You can help prove that paddlers enjoy late summer flows and prevent the Front Range from taking away an entire month of the paddling season!

American Whitewater Supports Clean Water Protection Rule

posted November 13, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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Through Outdoor Alliance, American Whitewater joined today with the Outdoor Industry Association to support the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers' proposed Clean Water Protection rule. The rule clarifies Clean Water Act protections for rivers and streams that offer world-class recreation opportunities that improve the quality of life and provide the economic foundation for countless communities. "It's important to American Whitewater's membership that these headwater streams and wetlands are protected by the Clean Water Act," said Kevin Colburn, National Stewardship Director.

Court Finds 2012 Chattooga Decision Legal

posted November 11, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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Last week the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on the case over the Forest Service’s 2012 decision to implement restrictions on paddling the Wild and Scenic Upper Chattooga River.   Conservation-oriented paddlers, Georgia Forest Watch, and the Rust Family had asked the court to overturn various portions of a lower court decision that favored the Forest Service.  These requests were denied, and the lower court ruling was upheld by the Fourth Circuit. 

American Whitewater's 2014 Winter Appeal

posted October 31, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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American Whitewater works to protect and restore the whitewater rivers across the country that you love, and we rely on your ongoing support to keep us going strong. Twice each year, American Whitewater reaches out to you to ask that you become a member or renew your membership to American Whitewater, or to consider making a tax-deductible donation. Learn more about what your contribution will support in our 2014 Winter Appeal!

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.  

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.

Support Clean Water Protection–Comments Due Nov 14th

posted October 1, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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If you've enjoyed getting out on the water with more concern for your shuttle than whether the river you're paddling is polluted, you likely have the Clean Water Act to thank. Over the last eight years, there's been a lot of uncertainty about whether certain headwater streams and wetlands are covered by the Act. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers are taking public comment through November 14th on a proposed rule that brings clarity to this issue. American Whitewater supports the proposed rule, and encourages you to weigh in!

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.

Take Action: OR Rivers Considered for Scenic Waterway Protection

posted September 29, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department wants to hear from you about whether three Oregon rivers should be protected as State Scenic Waterways. Sections of the Molalla, Chetco and Grand Ronde, all of which are well known and loved by Pacific Northwest paddlers, are up for consideration. The agency is seeking public feedback. Comments can be emailed or you can respond to a short survey by October 15th.

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.

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

Oregon State Marine Board Continues Dialogue With Non-Motorized Boaters

posted September 3, 2014
by Thomas O'Keefe
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After an initial round of meetings, earlier in the summer, the Oregon State Marine Board has announced that they will be doing another round of meetings and will continue to seek feedback on the needs of the non-motorized boating community. We encourage those who paddle in Oregon to join the conversation and provide feedback through the meetings or an online survey.

Sullivan Creek (WA) Releases Begin September 3, 2014

posted August 25, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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This year's Sullivan Creek releases will begin September 3, and will continue each day for at least a couple months. These releases, the gage, and a related dam removal were the outcome of a collaborative negotiation between the regional Public Utility District that owns the dams, American Whitewater, and a suite of local, state, and national groups. 

Gauley River (WV) Open Letter to Boaters 2014

posted August 15, 2014
by Mark Singleton
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Gauley season is just around the corner and in preparation for fall releases American Whitewater received the following open letter to boaters from the rangers and staff of the Gauley River National Recreation Area informing boaters of planning efforts for this season.

AW Supports Senate Bills to Protect Rivers in CO, MT & WA

posted August 5, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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On Monday, August 4th American Whitewater submitted testimony to the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks in support of three bills that, if passed, will protect important whitewater rivers in Colorado, Montana and Washington. These include the Browns Canyon National Monument and Wilderness Act (S. 1794), East Rosebud Creek Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (S. 2392), and the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area Act (S. 2602). Our testimony follows the sub-committee hearing held on July 23, 2014.

American Whitewater Presents DamNation Film Screening at NOC

posted July 25, 2014
by Mark Singleton
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American Whitewater and Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) partner to present the new DamNation film produced by Patagonia at NOC’s main campus in on the Nantahala (NC) on Saturday, August 16, at 8:30 p.m.

Weigh In on Wednesday River Conservation Hearing

posted July 22, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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On Wednesday, July 23 at 2:30 ET, Colorado Senator Mark Udall will lead a hearing of the U.S. Senate National Parks Subcommittee on a suite of land and river conservation bills.  The hearing will focus on several bills that are near and dear to the paddling community, including bills to protect Browns Canyon (CO), East Rosebud Creek (MT), and the Mountains to Sound Greenway (WA).  Read more to see how you can help.  

Share Your Vision for the White Salmon (WA)

posted July 17, 2014
by Thomas O'Keefe
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The Mid Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group has begun work on a Lower White Salmon River Fish Habitat Conservation Strategy and as part of this effort they are hosting an online meeting through this Sunday July 20th (you can join any time). We encourage the whitewater paddling community to contribute to the discussion.

Join us at the Deerfield Fest on July 12th in Charlemont (MA)

posted July 9, 2014
by Robert Nasdor
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This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of the Deerfield Fest, an annual celebration of boating on the Deerfield River in western Massachusetts. The festival is an opportunity to come together with your paddling friends and listen to live music, check out the festival vendors, and maybe win a boat and other gear at the silent auction.

Share Your Wild and Scenic North Carolina Opinions

posted July 7, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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Help protect rivers in Western North Carolina!  On Thursday, July 10, 2014, the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests will be hosting a meeting in Asheville to solicit public input on their current Forest Planning effort. A lunch-time Wild and Scenic River session will be offered for people to recommend new protections and improved management.  You can expect a poster or two to check out, a friendly Forest Service staffer to chat with, and some comment cards to fill out.  There may be no easier way to save rivers on your lunch break!  

#MeetTheMoment in July With CLIF Bar to Support AW!

posted July 1, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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Throughout July you can help keep our rivers flowing just by sharing your summer adventure photos on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! For every photo Tweeted, or posted to Instagram or Facebook with the tag #MeetTheMoment, CLIF Bar will donate $1 to American Whitewater. We know you're already sharing your summer fun photos with your friends. Add #MeetTheMoment for a simple and easy way to support American Whitewater's work to restore and protect the rivers you enjoy!

NWPCC Deadline Extended - Speak Up for Freely Flowing PNW Rivers!

posted July 1, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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The Northwest Power and Conservation Council is currently accepting public comment and holding public hearings about important river protections that impact freely flowing rivers throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho and parts of Montana. Hydropower developers have sought to weaken these protections, and we encourage you to speak up for freely flowing rivers throughout the Pacific Northwest today! Comments are due by July 25th.

Submit Your Photos for the 2015 AW Calendar!

posted June 26, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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Submit your best photos for American Whitewater's annual calendar by August 1st, 2014. You can submit your photos via our simple online form. If your photo is selected you'll get a free copy of the calendar plus the feeling of knowing you helped us put together this important fundraiser!

Help Support AW's Work to Protect and Restore Rivers!

posted June 25, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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Twice each year, American Whitewater reaches out to ask that you help support our work to protect and restore rivers across the country, and ensure that the public can enjoy them safely. Our 2014 Summer Appeal highlights our key projects for the rest of the year, and as you'll see, we've got our work cut out for us–from the Department of Energy's call to dam every river, to projects to protect and restore cherished rivers throughout the country. As a whitewater lover and fierce defender of rivers, your support is more important than ever to help us see these projects through. You can help by becoming a member or making a tax-deductible donation today!

Shining a Spotlight on Darrington’s Iconic Recreation Destinations

posted May 30, 2014
by Thomas O'Keefe
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American Whitewater joins a coalition in unveiling a new "Destination Darrington" map as Highway 530 opens to all traffic this weekend restoring access to recreational opportunities along the Sauk and Suiattle Rivers.The colorful brochure map spotlights recreational opportunities around Darrington and local businesses.

Action Alert! Speak Up for CA Rivers Threatened by Drought Bills

posted May 23, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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The Senate unanimously passed a drought relief bill for California last night. There's a good chance that important river protections, restoration efforts and the Wild and Scenic Merced will get caught in the middle when the bill goes to conference in the House. Help us keep these river protections strong! No matter your home state, contact your Senators and Representatives to speak up for rivers in California and Wild and Scenic Rivers everywhere!

Dept. of Energy Report - Dam Every River for Hydropower

posted May 5, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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Last week the U.S. Department of Energy released a report on the potential for new hydropower projects across the country. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced that the U.S. has the potential to add more than 65.5 GW of new hydropower to the nation's energy portfolio by damming over 3 million river and stream reaches by 2030, including iconic rivers like the Penobscot River in Maine, the Tuckaseegee River in North Carolina, and the Smith River in California. If fully developed, these hydropower projects would destroy over 1,700 whitewater runs across the country. 

Upper Yough Season opens May 3rd

posted April 28, 2014
by Charlie Walbridge
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The first Saturday release on Maryland's busy Upper Youghiogheny River is on May 3. The takeout town of Friendsville, Maryland doubles its population on release weekends, so paddlers need to do all they can to minimize their impact. Please park respectfully on Maple Avenue and don't block traffic. Avoid the riverfront (Morris Avenue or Water Street) unless you have an invitation from a property owner or business. Public drinking and nudity are offensive to local residents so please use the change areas provided. American Whitewater will maintain the put-in facility in Sang Run for the 11th consecutive year. We encourage paddlers to make donations towards upkeep expenses: we suggest $2 per visit or $20 for the season. 

New River Dries Flow Study Dates Set (WV) (Update 5/5)

posted April 22, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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Dates for the New River Dries Paddling Flow Study have been confirmed for May 6 and 7, 2014.   Volunteer paddlers with suitable (Class IV) skills are encouraged to participate in the study, and to RSVP.

Friends of the Cheat Celebrates 20th Anniversary

posted April 18, 2014
by Charlie Walbridge
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American Whitewater congratulates Friends of the Cheat as it celebrates its 20th anniversary at the annual Cheat River Festival on May 3rd. The organization, founded by a group of whitewater paddlers and local residents, has been a driving force in the river’s rapidly improving water quality. The river, which was badly polluted when the group was founded, recently passed a significant milestone: the lower 26 miles of the Cheat River main were removed from the state’s list of acid-impaired waters in 2012! In addition, FOC maintains four paddling access areas on the Cheat and Big Sandy Rivers. American Whitewater worked closely with FOC in developing these sites. For more information on this year's CheatFest use this link: http://www.cheat.org/our-work/cheat-river-festival/.
 

 

Breaking News: Cheat River Canyon Purchased and Protected!

posted April 11, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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Thanks to the tireless work of The Nature Conservancy and The Conservation Fund over 3,800 acres of the Cheat River Canyon were recently protected. The acquisition covers a 7 mile stretch of the Cheat River between Albright and the high bridge at Jenkinsburg, the famous “Cheat Canyon” whitewater run.  Great news for the Cheat!

West Fork Tuck Beta and Alert (NC)

posted April 7, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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2014 marks the second year of restored paddling opportunities on the West Fork of the Tuckasegee.  The first of 7 releases this year will be on April 19 and 20, and we would like to share some important facts and lessons we’ve learned about the river to help paddlers know what to expect. First and foremost, be aware that this run requires Class IV/V skills and a commitment consistent with wilderness rivers given the remote nature of the gorge and private property.

April Volunteer of the Month Presented by Kokatat

posted April 1, 2014
by Mark Singleton
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American Whitewater is pleased to announce our April Volunteer of the Month, Jess Whittemore. For his leadership in securing additional boater access at the Upper Yough (MD) takeout Jess will be receiving a custom Kokatat Woolcore Shirt!

New River Dries Flow Study - Participate Online

posted March 25, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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Paddlers that run the New River Dries (WV) between now and July 31, 2014 are encouraged to fill out a flow study survey after each day on the water.  Submitting surveys will add important data to the Extended Whitewater Evaluation Study and will greatly help American Whitewater and others negotiate improved flows for the New River Dries.    

Yosemite Releases Tuolumne River Plan

posted March 21, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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On Friday, March 14th, Yosemite National Park released their Final Tuolumne Wild and Scenic River Final Comprehensive Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement, announcing that boaters will have the opportunity to enjoy the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne by kayak on a trial basis. While we’re pleased that the Park has placed boating on equal footing for this reach, we're disappointed that the plan continues to prohibit boating on the rest of the river.

New Protections for Outstanding Wyoming Streams

posted February 20, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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American Whitewater would like to commend the Shoshone National Forest for expanding their roster of rivers protected as “eligible” for Wild and Scenic designation under their new Forest Plan.  American Whitewater participated in their forest planning process and offered evidence and recommendations for several new eligible streams.  All told over 82 miles of spectacular rivers receive new protections under the new plan. 

Yosemite National Park Releases Final Merced River Plan

posted February 14, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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Earlier today, Yosemite National Park released their Merced Wild and Scenic Final Comprehensive Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement. The new plan places paddling on equal footing with other activities in the Park, and we're very pleased to announce that the Park Service has improved and enhanced opportunities to enjoy Yosemite via kayak, canoe and raft.

A Deeper Dive Into Yellowstone

posted February 14, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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Earlier this week we posted a quick article informing our community that American Whitewater would not pursue the Senate version of the River Paddling Protection Act, ending our exploration of a legislative solution to the management of paddling in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.  We’ve obviously gotten some questions about this decision and would like to offer a more robust explanation. 

AW Not to Pursue Yellowstone Legislation in Senate

posted February 11, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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American Whitewater has decided not to pursue a Senate version of the River Paddling Protection Act, ending our exploration of a legislative solution to the management of paddling in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.  Advocating for this legislation in the Senate with insufficient support would exhaust resources better spent on promising conservation projects, would damage valued relationships, and would be unlikely to produce a favorable outcome.

Yellowstone Bill Passes the US House of Representatives

posted February 8, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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The River Paddling Protection Act, introduced by Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), passed the US House of Representatives on Thursday and now moves to the Senate for consideration.  The bill grants the National Park Service three years to replace 60 year-old paddling prohibitions in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks with modern science-based management.  Doing so would allow Americans to experience these iconic landscapes through non-commercial paddling in a low impact, sustainable, and carefully managed manner. 

AW Testifies on Vermont Low-Impact Hydro

posted February 5, 2014
by Robert Nasdor
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American Whitewater offered testimony on several so-called "low-impact hydro" measures before the Vermont House Committee on Fish, Wildlife & Water Resources. In reality, all hydropower has an impact on rivers, and even small hydropower projects can have significant adverse impacts. AW encouraged the Committee to require state agencies to seek out and consider input from stakeholder groups like American Whitewater before deciding whether to support projects. 

Yellowstone Paddling Bill Clears Committee!

posted January 29, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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A new version of the River Paddling Protection Act, HR 3492, was sent to the full House of Representatives yesterday when it passed in the House Natural Resources Committee by unanimous consent. The bill will ultimately help thousands of Americans connect with the rivers flowing through Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks in a healthy, low impact, and environmentally sustainable manner.  We've included a list of Q&A's as a partial response to recent media articles.  

VA Paddling Bill Heads to Full Senate - More Calls Needed ASAP

posted January 24, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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Great News!  Yesterday, Virginia's "Freedom to Float" bill passed the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources.  The bill could now move to the full VA Senate for a vote as early as Tuesday of next week (1/28/14).  It is more important than ever that every paddler that enjoys Virginia rivers contact state Senators.

AW Defends Paddler Rights in South Carolina

posted January 23, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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Five days before Christmas, a Limited Liability Corporation initiated a lawsuit in South Carolina asking the court to declare a section of the South Fork of the Saluda River non-navigable.  American Whitewater and the Foothills Paddling Club have filed a motion to intervene in the case to defend the public's right to paddle this river and others.

2014 Bear River Releases Announced (ID)

posted January 15, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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We are pleased to announce the 2014 scheduled pulse flows on the Bear River's Black Canyon located in southeastern Idaho.  Releases will vary from 900 to 1500 cfs based on inflows to the hydropower project, and offer outstanding Class IV and V paddling opportunities.  

AW Objects to Faulty Wild and Scenic Analysis in MT & ID

posted January 8, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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American Whitewater recently filed formal objections to proposed Forest Plans for the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, and the Kootenai National Forest in Montana.  The objections assert that the Forest Service ignored their own policies and the facts before them when they determined many spectacular whitewater rivers are not eligible for Wild and Scenic designation.  If successful, we'll bring vital protection to many awesome whitewater streams in the Northern Rockies.  

Advanced Southeast Dam Releases Set for 2014

posted January 7, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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American Whitewater has consistently worked to restore flows to rivers in the Southeast that were previously de-watered by hydropower operations.  In addition to vast opportunities for beginners and intermediates, we have helped create an incredible series of advanced paddling opportunities on the Tallulah, Cheoah, Nantahala, and West Fork of the Tuckasegee.  Check out the awesome schedule for 2014!    

AW, VPC Intervene in Green River (VT) Relicensing

posted January 6, 2014
by Robert Nasdor
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American Whitewater and Vermont Paddling Club have filed a Motion to Intervene in hydropower relicensing application filed by Morrisville Water & Light for the Green River dam. We are asking FERC to require the utility to provide 8-10 annual releases on this scenic and challenging run in northern Vermont. While MWL has agreed to provide two scheduled annual releases, we are seeking additional boating opportunities through the relicensing process. 

 

Wild Rivers Night - January 9th in Portland, OR!

posted December 11, 2013
by Megan Hooker
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Mark your calendars for Thursday, January 9th for Wild Rivers Night! American Whitewater joins Northwest Rafting Company and our river conservation partners to bring you a fun evening of films, photos and presentations celebrating the wild rivers of Oregon. Doors open at 7 p.m....reserve your tickets today!

Western Oregon BLM Lands and Rivers: Community Listening Sessions

posted December 3, 2013
by Thomas O'Keefe
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The BLM has recently announced a series of community listening sessions as part of the revisions for Resource Management Plans for Western Oregon. American Whitewater has engaged in this process and we will be advocating for river conservation and the value of whitewater recreation on BLM-managed lands. Some of the rivers include Umpqua, Alsea (and Drift Creek), Nehalem, Wilson, North Santiam, and Rogue. You can help by attending a meeting or contributing information to our database.

Yellowstone Bill Hearing Goes Well

posted November 22, 2013
by Kevin Colburn
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Last week the River Paddling Protection Act, HR 3492, was discussed in a hearing in the House Natural Resources Committee.  This bill aims to lift a 60-year-old federal-level ban on paddling rivers in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks in favor of normal and flexible river management.  Aaron Pruzan testified on behalf of conservation-oriented paddlers, and we are actively working to improve and pass this landmark legislation.  

Take Action: Protect PNW Rivers from Hydropower Development

posted November 18, 2013
by Thomas O'Keefe

The Northwest Power and Conservation Council's Protected Areas Program protects about 20% of rivers in the Pacific Northwest from future hydropower development. Hydropower developers are working to weaken the Protected Areas Program, and paddlers' voices can help maintain this important river protection program. The Council is receiving comment on the initial recommendations through Wednesday, November 20th.

Yellowstone Paddling Legislation Introduced

posted November 15, 2013
by Kevin Colburn
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Yesterday, Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) introduced the River Paddling Protection Act, H.R.3492 , in the US House of Representatives.  The bill would eliminate federal prohibitions on paddling small human-powered boats like canoes and kayaks on rivers within Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. American Whitewater will spend the next few days and likely weeks reviewing the bill and discussing it with our regional partners who share a commitment to the preservation and sustainable enjoyment of these special places. 

New Sullivan Creek Gages Online (WA)

posted November 13, 2013
by Kevin Colburn
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American Whitewater is pleased to announce the availability of two new online stream gages in the Sullivan Creek watershed in northeastern Washington.  These gages are brought to you by a partnership between American Whitewater and the Pend Oreille Public Utility District, and will offer paddlers, anglers, and other visitors to the area vital flow information.  

Please Read: Winter Appeal 2013

posted November 6, 2013
by Jeffrey Paine
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American Whitewater is asking all paddlers and river lovers to take 5 minutes to read our 2013 Winter Appeal (pdf) and consider making a donation to our river stewardship efforts. In this appeal, you can learn more about the hard work we will be doing in the coming year on behalf of river lovers everywhere.

Dam Proposal Fails on Boulder Creek (ID)

posted October 28, 2013
by Kevin Colburn
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Last week the Federal government cancelled a permit granting North Hydro, LLC exclusive rights to persue a hydropower development on Idaho's Boulder Creek. The hydro project would have largely dewatered 2 miles of Boulder Creek, an otherwise highly scenic and ecologically valuable whitewater stream.  American Whitewater is pleased to have played a role in successfully defending Boulder Creek from this threat.  

Snoqualmie Powerhouse Run, New Access Opens (WA)

posted October 23, 2013
by Thomas O'Keefe
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After more than three years of waiting the access to the Powerhouse run on the Snoqualmie River is now open for public use. While this is a short run of less than a mile, it is a popular and important section of river less than 30 miles from Seattle.

Fall 2013 Tallulah (GA) Release Reminders

posted October 10, 2013
by Mark Singleton
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The first three weekends of November in the southeast are scheduled Tallulah releases, a stapel of dixi boating. Here are a couple quick reminders for Tallulah releases.

Government Shutdown Drags On: What We're Doing and How You Can Help

posted October 9, 2013
by Kevin Colburn
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As the US Government shutdown drags into a second week many of our members have reached out to us for assistance on river access issues. Impacts include closure of access points to several rivers, a halt to work on river access improvements we are working on with federal partners, and no federal agency participation in important dialogues over river management. We are working to raise the profile of impacts to our community and you can help us by weighing in.

Congress Proposes To Log Yosemite After Rim Fire

posted October 8, 2013
by Megan Hooker
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In August, a hunter's illegal campfire exploded into the massive Rim Fire in California, burning forestlands throughout the Stanislaus National Forest, Yosemite National Park and private lands. Earlier this month, the House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing on HR 3188, also known as the Yosemite Rim Fire Emergency Salvage Act, which would expedite "salvage" logging in the national forest and Yosemite National Park.  American Whitewater joined our with partners through Outdoor Alliance to weigh in on the issue.

Teanaway River Protected (WA)

posted October 4, 2013
by Thomas O'Keefe
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Earlier this week the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Forterra announced the purchase of 50,272 acres along the Teanaway River and its three forks to be designated as the Teanaway Community Forest. Of importance to the whitewater paddling community, this acquisition will protect riverside lands, maintain water in the river, and keep the river open and accessible to the public.

AW Completes Purchase, Donation of Contoocook River Access (NH)

posted October 3, 2013
by Robert Nasdor
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American Whitewater, with the help of Merrimack Valley Paddlers and local boaters, has completed its effort to acquire, protect and donate property along the Contoocook River. AW has long been involved with the Contoocook and was active in the sucessful effort in 2004 that resulted in the removal of a dam that extended the whitewater section of the river near the takeout.  The recent acquisition of land at the put-in will assure that paddlers will continue to have access to the Class III/IV section of the river which is a popular run in southern New Hampsire for paddlers throughout New England.

Piru Creek (CA) Releases Cancelled for Fall 2013

posted September 25, 2013
by Megan Hooker
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Releases into Piru Creek below Santa Felicia Dam in California have been cancelled this year due to low rainfall last winter. Unfortunately, this year Piru Reservoir did not fill, and is currently 70 feet below normal levels. As a result, United Water Conservation District will not be providing access to the creek this fall.

Friendsville - Upper Yough Parking Lot Update

posted September 23, 2013
by Charlie Walbridge
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Eighteen months ago whitewater paddlers raised over $20,000 for off-road parking in Friendsville, Maryland. This small riverside town sees a large influx of paddlers running the Upper Youghiogheny on summer weekends. Work continues despite unexpected challenges that have greatly increased costs, but the town remains committed to the project. Click through to get the latest details:

AW Recommends Stronger Protected Areas for OR, WA, ID & MT

posted September 17, 2013
by Megan Hooker
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Today, American Whitewater submitted recommendations for amendments to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council's Fish and Wildlife Program. The Program has significant influence over rivers in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana, and American Whitewater encouraged the Council to strengthen areas that are protected from future hydropower development. 

Visiting the Elwha (WA)

posted August 26, 2013
by Thomas O'Keefe
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While paddling the Elwha River is a fascinating way to experience restoration and recovery of a free-flowing river in action, it's not the only way to get a first-hand look at one of the nation's most ambitious and fascinating restoration projects.

Sustainable Roads Analysis on Mt. Baker - Snoqualmie NF (WA)

posted August 23, 2013
by Thomas O'Keefe
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With more than 2,500 miles of roads, the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest has an extensive road system that supports a variety of public needs, from recreation to resource extraction. Current budget resources are insufficient to support maintenance needs for this road network. American Whitewater is encouraging paddlers to participate in the public process to develop a vision for the future of the roads on this Forest.

Nooksack River Recreational Use Survey (WA)

posted August 23, 2013
by Thomas O'Keefe
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Do you enjoy boating on the Nooksack River? If you do, please tell us about your experience. American Whitewater is working with several partners through the National Park Service Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance Program to develop an updated recreation plan for the upper Nooksack River basin. Your input will help us guide development of this plan.

Recreational Survey for Susitna River (AK)

posted August 22, 2013
by Thomas O'Keefe
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In an effort to better understand the recreational impacts of the proposed Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project that would dam the Susitna River upstream of Devil's Canyon, a recreational survey is underway for those who have experienced this stretch of river. We encourage our members who know this river to take the survey.

 

New River Flow Study Delayed 1 Week (WV)

posted August 13, 2013
by Kevin Colburn
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The first of a series of flow study dates have been rescheduled for 28 and 29, 2013 due to excessive flows predicted this week.  The study aims to assess the recreational flow needs for whitewater paddling on the New River Dries in West Virginia.  This flow study was requested by American Whitewater and other stakeholders, as part of the relicensing of the Hawks Nest Hydroelectric Project.  Paddlers with suitable skills are encouraged to sign up to participate.

Illegal Megaloads Push Ahead, Drawing Protests and Lawsuit (ID)

posted August 9, 2013
by Kevin Colburn
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Earlier this week a massive piece of industrial equipment was shipped through the Wild and Scenic Lochsa River Corridor, against the wishes of the US Forest Service, the Nez Perce Tribe, and river advocates.  As the shipment moved towards the Wild and Scenic River corridor though, the US Forest Service failed to take any actions to stop its progress.  The result was high profile protests, and now a lawsuit against the Forest Service for failing to act.  

UConn Abandons Plans to Divert Water from the Farmington River (CT)

posted August 9, 2013
by Robert Nasdor
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The University of Connecticut announced selection of Connecticut Water Co. as the preferred option to provide additional water needed for the Storrs campus.  This option had been opposed by river watershed organizations at the local, regional, and national levels including American Whitewater.  The Farmington River, including the Tariffville Gorge section, site of the annual New England “Triple Crown,” is an important paddling river.  

Middle Fork Snoqualmie Legislation Continues to Move Forward (WA)

posted August 1, 2013
by Thomas O'Keefe
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Legislative momentum continues to build for the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act (S. 112, H. R. 361). Following passage of the bill by unanimous consent in the Senate, the House formally took up the legislation with a hearing before the House Natural Resources Committee.

State Board Rules: Similkameen Falls Deserve Water (WA)

posted July 31, 2013
by Thomas O'Keefe
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The Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board issued an order directing the Department of Ecology to do an aesthetic flow study if Okanogan PUD decides to build its economically troubled Enloe Dam project on the Similkameen River in Washington State. Of significance to the paddling community, the Order recognizes the critical importance of considering impacts to aesthetics and recreation in decisions that impact water quality.

West Fork Tuck (NC) Release Info and Schedule

posted July 24, 2013
by Kevin Colburn
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Recent high flows have moved wood and even boulders around in the West Fork of the Tuckasegee, requiring extra caution during this weekend's recreational release.  A previously cancelled release has been rescheduled for August 11, making a two-day weekend of releases.     

Agency Asks for Green River Management Input (NC)

posted July 23, 2013
by Kevin Colburn
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The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is hosting a public meeting to discuss a new management plan for the Green River Gamelands on the evening of August 1, 2013.  The new plan will inform how the Green River is protected and managed for at least the next decade.  The meeting announcement specifically welcomes kayakers and other recreationists to attend the meeting and offer their opinions.

AW Files Comments on CT River Study Plans

posted July 23, 2013
by Robert Nasdor
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AW has filed comments with FERC in response to proposed study plans for the Connecticut River filed by FirstLight and TransCanada. Based on testimony and comments filed by AW, New England FLOW, AMC and other groups, FERC directed FirstLight and TransCanada to study the potential for whitewater boating at Turners Falls, Bellows Falls, and Sumner Falls along the Connecticut River. AW recently filed comments asking FERC to address certain deficiencies in the proposed studies so that the licensees can more completely assess the potential for whitewater boating and through paddling along the Connecticut River.

AW Comments on Proposed Sunset Falls Hydro Project (WA)

posted July 19, 2013
by Megan Hooker
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Today, numerous partners joined American Whitewater in filing comments in opposition to Snohomish PUD No. 1's proposed hydroelectric project on the South Fork Skykomish river at Sunset Falls in Washington. Our comments highlight the significant impacts the project would have to fish and wildlife habitat, water quality and quantity, recreation and scenic values, and call out the questionable economics of the project.

Henniker Town Selectmen Vote to Accept Took Land Donation from AW

posted July 17, 2013
by Robert Nasdor
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The Town of Henniker Board of Selectmen voted to accept the donation of a 10-acre parcel of land on the Contoocook River in New Hampshire.  The parcel, which is used by paddlers to access the Class III/IV section of the river, is being purchased by AW in order to permanently protect access to this section of the river.

Dam Proposed For South Fork Skykomish Would Be An Economic Loser

posted July 16, 2013
by Thomas O'Keefe
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A new economic study of the controversial Sunset Falls Dam on Washington’s South Fork of the Skykomish River, reveals the power generated at the proposed site would cost 2.3 times more than the Snohomish County Public Utility District (SnoPUD) estimates.

Volunteer Of The Month - Presented By Kokatat

posted July 6, 2013
by Mark Singleton
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David Hill has represented paddlers interests and helped drive the City of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio effort to decommission two dams located in the Upper Gorge of the Cuyahoga River. In recognition of David's efforts to decommission these two dams he will be receiving a Kokatat WoolCore shirt!

Upper Yough July 4th Update

posted June 30, 2013
by Charlie Walbridge
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The town of Friendsville will welcome paddlers to Maryland’s Upper Yough this Fourth of July Weekend. If water levels cooperate this will be a busy day on the river. For Friendsville, MD (population 491) the influx of hundreds of whitewater paddlers is not without its problems. Plan to minimize your impact on the town by driving safely, being discrete while changing clothes, and by being careful when carrying boats along busy Maple Avenue. Remember that the town requests that paddlers not park along Water Street or Morris Avenue (the two riverside streets) unless you are patronizing local businesses. It’s not strictly illegal, but it’s the kind of neighborly consideration that country people expect.! Those invited by local residents on these streets to take out on their property should park completely off the street. American Whitewater maintains the put-in at Sang Run; our suggested donation, $2 per visit or $20 for the season, remains unchanged. For an update on the planned boater parking lot, click the link below.

Proposed Dam on Boundary Creek Defeated! (ID)

posted June 20, 2013
by Kevin Colburn
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Earlier today the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) cancelled the permit that  had granted a limited liability corporation exclusive rights to study and pursue de-watering Boundary Creek, located in Northern Idaho.  The proposed hydropower project would have severely impacted over 6 miles of the pristine and biologically vital stream in the wild Selkirk Mountains.  

AW, MVP Protect Land and Access on the Contoocook River (NH)

posted June 18, 2013
by Robert Nasdor
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American Whitewater and Merrimack Valley Paddlers have reached an agreement to purchase a 10-acre parcel fronting on Contoocook River in Henniker, NH. The land serves as an important launch point for whitewater paddlers enjoying the popular section of the river that runs from Hillsborough to Henniker. This section of the Contoocook River contains rapids ranging in difficulty from Class II to Class IV.

American Whitewater 2012 Annual Report

posted June 18, 2013
by Mark Singleton
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American Whitewater releases the 2012 Annual Report. Your membership support allows American Whitewater’s river stewardship staff to work on important projects in their respective regions. Our team consists of professional staff supported by board members and volunteers from communities across the country.

Montana Dam Proposals to be Withdrawn!

posted June 7, 2013
by Kevin Colburn
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The company that has been seeking permits to build three new hydropower projects in Montana announced today that they are abandoning their proposals - for now.  This is a great relief for the many Montanans that care about the incredible paddling, fishing, and scenery of East Rosebud Creek, West Rosebud Creek, and the Madison River.  

2013 Summer Appeal

posted June 4, 2013
by Jeffrey Paine
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Only twice each year, American Whitewater appeals for financial support for our river stewardship work. To this end, we've put together the 2013 American Whitewater Summer Appeal (pdf). It details just how our supporter's money is spent and features a national listing of some of the major projects we're currently involved with. We sincerely hope you'll take the time to peruse this document and consider donating or joining/renewing with American Whitewater.

Parks Ask For Comments On Paddling Prohibitions

posted May 29, 2013
by Kevin Colburn
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Earlier this month, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks released their draft plan for managing several new Wild and Scenic Rivers. They dismissed any consideration of allowing paddling on the rivers except where it is currently allowed If you would like to be able to take a canoe, kayak, or pack raft trip down these Wild and Scenic rivers, please consider attending one of two public meetings June 4 and 5, 2013, or submit written comments. 

Public Meetings Scheduled for Pit 1 - June 11th (CA)

posted May 23, 2013
by Megan Hooker
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On Tuesday, June 11th, California's State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) will hold two public meetings about whether to permanently cancel summer flushing/whitewater flows through Northern California's Pit River Canyon. The Pit 1 reach is a valued whitewater resource, and it's important that boaters weigh in on the process, either by turning out to a meeting or submitting written comments!