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 how to join the celebration at CheatFest click here: http://www.cheat.org/our-work/cheat-river-festival/.
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!
Earlier today the Department of Interior released a new strategy for planning development projects and conservation at a landscape scale. The strategy relies heavily on GIS mapping of natural resource values to tease out hot spots for conservation and other spots where development can occur with relatively smaller impacts. It is a smart, promising, and long overdue approach.
Colorado River - As part of our ongoing Colorado River Basin Project, AW is asking paddlers to evaluate river flows across the seven-state Colorado River basin. We have launched a short survey so that you can provide input on flows along the mainstem of the Colorado River, through Ruby-Horsethief, Westwater, and Cataract Canyons. Please take a minute to participate in the survey. Your input will help us defend the Colorado River, and protect paddling opportunities for the future
A project that has been talked about for many years is finally getting underway. Western Federal Lands Highway Division awarded a construction contract to pave 9.7 miles of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road. Construction will begin later this spring and continue through August 2016. We have made recent strides in improving river access but additional work remains. Working as part of a coalition we have secured a grant through the National Forest Foundation but it requires matching funds.
Prescott, AZ - As part of our Colorado River Basin Project, AW has launched two new surveys of the effects of streamflows on recreation quality. If you have paddled the Verde River or the Bill Williams River, and are knowledgable about water levels - we need your input!
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.
Paddlers in California are invited to the 6th annual Paddle to the Sea–a six-week long paddle-a-thon from Yosemite, through the Central Valley, to San Francisco Bay. You're welcome to come for the whole trip or just a day paddle along the way. This year’s event will kick off on Friday, May 2nd and continue through the middle of June.
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!
Now that spring has finally arrived in the northeast, it's time to start planning our spring boating trips to the Adiondacks to enjoy the Beaver, Moose and Raquette Rivers. Here's the schedule for the 2014 season according to the General.
American Whitewater seeks to maintain a strong, balanced, strategic-thinking Board of Directors that accurately reflects the stewardship mission of the organization. We are currently accepting nominations for two upcoming openings in our Board of Directors. The nomination process is open until July 1. Interested candidates must submit an online nomination form and questionnaire.
The first two weekends in April are scheduled Tallulah releases, a stape of the southeast boating community. On Saturday 500 cfs is released and on Sunday 700 cfs.
The Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corp of Engineers released a draft rule today that will clarify protections under the Clean Water Act for headwater streams and wetlands. American Whitewater supports protecting wetlands and headwater streams that connect to our traditionally navigable waters. The public will have 90 days to provide comment on the proposed rule once it has been published in the Federal Register.
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.
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.
Green River, Utah - The Tusher Canyon Diversion Dam is being rehabilitated by the NRCS after historic flooding damaged the structure. AW has been working to ensure that safe boat passage is incorporated into the project, and new boat passage has been added to the final NEPA alternatives. Now, we need paddlers to send comments that support the boat passage alternative. Please send your letters before April 30!
Whether you live in Colorado year-round, or just visit during the paddling season, you know that our rivers and the communities that depend on them, need sufficient water supplies. A new State-wide Water Plan is being drafted now, that will shape the future of Colorado's rivers, and AW needs your help in urging the State to make healthy rivers a clear objective of the Plan. Make your voice heard, before March 19th!
American Whitewater is excited to attend the 17th Annual French Broad River Fest in Hot Springs, NC this May 2-4, 2014. Pick up your tickets today and come join us! AW will be there spreading the good word about our river stewardship programs and selling Memberships. We hope to see you there!
American Whitewater is proud to announce our March 2014 Volunteer of the Month: Don Perkins! Don was part of the rockstar crew that recently put on the National Paddling Film Fesitval (NPFF) in Kentucky. As many folks may know, NPFF is a great supporter of American Whitewater, raising several thousands dollars for our river stewardship work each year. Thanks for all the hard work, Don! In recognition of his work, Don will be receiving a custom Kokatat Woolcore Shirt!
Springdale, Utah - Zion National Park has released the Final Virgin River Comprehensive Management Plan, which provides protection for 144 miles of designated Wild & Scenic Rivers within the Park. The Park’s management strategy, as outlined in the plan, does not adjust current flow limits for paddling.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
American Whitewater is proud to announce that we've built a new web store: http://store.americanwhitewater.org! It comes complete with a great selection of American Whitewater t-shirts, hoodies, hats, books and miscellaneous gear. We hope you'll check out our store and consider making a purchase today!
On January 29th, 2014, California House Republican David Valadao introduced the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act (HR 3964). Supported by California's entire GOP delegation, the Act is a package of actions that not only revive efforts to de-designate a portion of the Wild and Scenic Merced River, but also undo years of effort and negotiations for a number of major river restoration projects in the state. Senator Dianne Feinstein called the bill "another irresponsible proposal that puts politics ahead of the needs of California."
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.
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.
On January 15th, 2014, the California Energy Commission adopted a final report that reaffirms the integrity of the state's Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) regarding imported hydropower. After 5 years of hard work, American Whitewater and our partners in the California Hydropower Reform Coalition (CHRC) and river advocates in British Columbia are celebrating this important victory, which will have a reaching impact on rivers across the border.
A broad and diverse coalition of Olympic Peninsula community members, including American Whitewater, cheered the introduction today of the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 2014 by Representative Derek Kilmer and Senator Patty Murray. The measure, similar to that introduced in the last Congress, by Senator Murray and former Congressman Norm Dicks would permanently protect more than 126,000 acres of ancient and mature forests on Olympic National Forest as wilderness and 19 Olympic Peninsula rivers and their major tributaries as Wild and Scenic.
This summer, 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 trip will take place June 5-8.
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.
Come see American Whitewater and the year's best photos and videos at the National Paddling Film Festival (NPFF)! This year's NPFF will be held on February 21-22 in Frankfort, KY at the Buffalo Trace Distillery. You can buy a ticket to the magic via this easy online order form. Tickets are $20 online or $25 at the door. We hope to see you there!
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!
Recent elections for the American Whitewater Board of Directors concluded on December 15, 2013. Over 500 current members cast their votes for new Directors. Please welcome Brent Austin and Trey Colemen as new Board members.
American Whtiewater is proud to announce our January 2014 Volunteer of the Month: Ian Buckley! With a background in design engineering, Ian put his skills to work authoring detailed comments for Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) regarding their license amendment to add the New Slab Creek Powerhouse to the Upper American River Project (UARP) #P-2101. In recognition of his efforts, he'll be receiving a custom Kokatat WoolCore Shirt! Thanks Ian!
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.
The January/February issue of the AW Journal features American Whitewater’s “Top Ten River Stewardship Issues of 2014”.
Current members - Read the issue now!
Not a current member? Renew or Join today!
If you haven't started already it's time to start planning for that big multi-day trip you've been wanting to do. American Whitewater's permit database can help you find the information you need.
AW means a little something different to each person who has been involved in the organization over the years. While we will be telling our own story in the AW Journal in 2014, we know that it's equally important to tell our members' stories as well as those of our past stakeholders of all kinds. If you or someone you know has a story to share that would help others understand a period of AW's history, please contact us. Let your story become part of AW's story.
American Whitewater has received updated information on the impacts of the Rim Fire in the Stanislaus National Forest in California.
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!
Through it’s Colorado River Program, American Whitewater has been an active participant in the US Bureau of Reclamation’s Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study. Building on our success as part of this multi-state policy effort, American Whitewater is now serving as the sole recreation voice engaged with other Colorado River Interests to examine both the challenges we face, and the potential solutions to the water shortages in the basin.
AW is hard at work for paddlers and our rivers!
Colorado - Its official! On December 10th, U.S. Senator Mark Udall introduced S. 1794 to create the Browns Canyon National Monument, covering 22,000 acres between Salida and Buena Vista. The legislation includes 10,500 acres of new wilderness and preserves the most popular rafting destination in the country. American Whitewater has played a direct role in securing permanent protection for Browns Canyon over the past several years, and worked directly with Senator Udall to advance this legislation.
The 2014 American Whitewater calendar is now available for puchase! Each year, we collect the best photos from our gracious fans and pick out our favorites for our annual calendar. We then sell this calendar and use the funds to support our river stewardship work. It's an awesome fundraiser and a product that we know you'll love. Please consider picking up one today. Thanks!
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.
American Whitewater has teamed up with the Community First Foundation to help raise support for our Colorado River Program through ColoradoGives Day. We invite you to take part in this fun opportunity, and help us reach at least 30 donations in support our River Access and Conservation work across Colorado. Your donations will be matched with donations from Colorado-based FirstBank.
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.
If you're a member of a local boating group and you're seeking funding for an innovative project that will promote safe and clean boating on local waterways, the BoatUS Foundation's Grassroots Grant Program might be able to help. Local grassroots non-profit organizations, boating clubs, and student groups are eligible to apply.
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.
The mighty Missisquoi, running along the Vermont/Quebec border, finally saw its first releases this fall, nearly 30 years after they were first promised. After a series of disappointing attempts to schedule releases earlier this year that were canceled due to low flows, we finally got our opportunity this fall and we were able to arrange for several weekend releases with the help of the Vermont Paddling Club. These first test releases demonstrated that the Missisquoi is a first class paddling opportunity unique to Vermont.
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.
California is currently accepting comments on whether or not it makes sense to import run-of-river hydropower from Canada to meet renewable energy standards. The prospects of importing British Columbia's dirtiest hydropower to California are currently very dim, but the state is soliciting public comment on the report with a deadline of November 15th.
Colorado - In Late September, Representatives Scott Tipton and Jared Polis introduced H.R. 3189 with the intent of resolving the conflicts between the US Forest Service and the Ski Industry over proposed water rights conditions being applied to ski area permits. American Whitewater and our conservation partners are working to oppose the bills. Take Action Today!
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.
For 2013, we've put together a great Membership deal: An American Whitewater Membership plus your choice of one of four different t-shirts(!) all for just $45. It’s not too early to be thinking about the Holiday gifts you’ll need for all the river enthusiasts on your list. No matter if they’re at home on the water, or just enjoy supporting river stewardship, an AW Membership is the perfect gift! Act fast though, this offer is only good through Dec. 31st, or while supplies last.
Advertising in the American Whitewater Journal is a great way to reach your customers in the paddling and outdoor community. What's more, your advertising dollars help support American Whitewater's river stewardship work! For complete details on advertising in the American Whitewater Journal, see our 2014 Media Kit. Thanks!
Thanks to an organization wide effort to provide transparency and operate efficiently, Charity Navigator awarded American Whitewater with its fourth 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 6% of the nonprofits Charity Navigator rates have received four 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.
The November/December issue of the AW Journal features "Reminiscing About the Early Years of American Whitewater".
Current members - Read the issue now!
Not a current member? Renew or Join today!
As an organization, American Whitewater has been quite fortunate to have a committed group of volunteer Board of Directors that provides the organization with high-level oversight and strategic direction. To sustain this healthy and vibrant Board an effective process is in place to insure an appropriate transition of Directors over time. This transition process balances the need for fresh ideas with appropriate leadership continuity. Current American Whitewater members have the opportunity to elect Directors online through December 15th, 2013.
American Whitewater is pleased to announce the November 2013 Volunteer of the Month: Todd Schindler! Todd directs over 130 volunteers in kayaks and other watercraft to provide safety support for typically 2800 athletes during the first leg of the Ironman triathlon, a 2.4 mile swim on the Ohio River in Louisville. Proceeds from this event are donated to American Whitewater. In recognition of all his contribuations, Todd will be receiving a custom Kokatat WoolCore shirt!
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.
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.
American Whitewater is pleased release a full report on the results of our summer 2013 Gunnison River Flow Survey, in addition to recommendations for regional water managers. This data will enable the management community to better evaluate opportunities to protect recreational flows in the Gunnison Basin now and into the future. Please read the post for full results and how we are using them.
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.
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.
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.
Last week, a random run of Gunnison River Flow Survey respondents revealed that Amanda Crosby of Gunnison Colorado was the lucky winner of a free pair of KEEN's. Since we always like to know our members and volunteers better, we asked her a few questions. Here's what she had to say...
American Whitewater is proud to announce two Volunteers of the Month for October: Brian Aubin and Elizabeth Fet! Gauley Fest's awesome Volunteer Coordinator, Natalie Price, had the following to say about Brian and Elizabeth. Thanks for all the help putting on our critcal Gauley Fest fundraiser, Brian and Elizabeth! In recognition of all your efforts you'll both be receiving custom Kokatat WoolCore Shirt!
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.
Paddlers from throughout New England converged on Jamaica State Park in southern Vermont last weekend for the annual release on the West River. The annual one day release, held the last weekend in September, is the only remaining scheduled release by the Army Corps of Engineers from the Ball Mountain Dam. Spirits were running high as approximately 800 boaters and an additional 300 commercial rafters enjoyed the warm fall day. In past years when there were two day releases, the number paddlers coming up to the West Fest was double the number who come out for single day release. AW is continuing its efforts to restore releases to the West River.
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.
The impacts of the government shutdown are being felt far and wide, and river runners are no exception. Congress failed to come to an agreement on funding the government, and as a result access to rivers on federal lands is being denied across the country. From private boaters to commercial rafting companies, the government shutdown is making a mess of river access. We encourage you to contact your Congressional representatives and tell them how the shutdown is affecting you.
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.
American Whitewater is proud to announce another successful Gauley Fest, this one the 30th anniversary! A huge thanks goes out to Subaru for being Gauley Fest’s title sponsor. We’d also like to thank the many companies that support American Whitewater and Gauley Fest through their partnerships. Thanks also to the Nicholas County Veteran’s Memorial Park, the Summersville Police Department and the beautiful town of Summersville, WV for being our host. If it weren’t for the incredible efforts of our many, many volunteers (lead by Natalie Price of Hood River, OR) we simply couldn't put on Gauley Fest. We’re sincerely humbled by your support, thank you! Finally, remember that Gauley Fest will always happen on the third weekend of September, so go mark September 19-20, 2014 as the dates for the next Gauley Fest. We hope to see you there!
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:
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.
If you're coming out to Gauley Fest, make sure you check out the Ladies on the Lower G fundraiser put on by Anna Levesque and Girls at Play. It's a fun paddle down, you guessed it, the Lower Gauley and all the funds raised are graciously donated to American Whitewater. It should be an awesome trip and we hope you'll check it out. But, there is a catch, you have to sign up in advance! Check out the link above for full details and sign up now! See you at Gauley Fest!
The American Canoe Association and the Steering Committee of the Whitewater Symposium will be co-hosting the Whitewater Symposium this year in Bend, Oregon. The event will take place September 27 through 29th at the Mt. Bachelor Village Resort and Tumalo Creek Outfitters, and will bring together a diverse cross section of industry and program advocates. The event affords a unique meeting of minds who are dedicated to the whitewater medium and pro-active in fortifying its future.
This September 20-21, come join American Whitewater at the world's largest paddling festival (and our biggest fundraiser): Gauley Fest Presented by Subaru! American Whitewater is proud to join all our paddling friends in Summersville, WV for a weekend of great paddling, camping, music, vending and comraderie. What's more, this year is the 30th year of Gauley Fest, which means we have three decades of excellent whitewater paddling to celebrate after paddlers prevented a dam project and secured releases on this iconic river. See you there!
American Whitewater is pleased to announce the August 2013 Volunteer of the Month: Katrina O'Brien! Katrina is a core volunteer helping with American Whitewater's Deerfield Fest in Massacussetts each year. Deerfield Fest is AW's largest event and fundraiser in the Northeast and it takes a ton of work to put on. Katrina helps AW with all parts of the event from several months in advance all the way through clean up afterwards. In recognition of all her hard work, Katrina will be receiving a custom Kokatat WoolCore shirt! Thanks for all your help over the year's, Katrina!
Just a friendly reminder to all our wonderful vendors that plan to attend Gauley Fest: booth prices increase 15% September 1st! Make sure you reserve your booth space now! If you have any questions, check out our Gauley Fest vendor FAQ. See you there!
The 22nd annual Feather River Festival (CA) will be held during scheduled releases September 27-29, 2013. This event is a fundraiser for American Whitewater, and will be hosted once again by local paddling club Chico Paddleheads. Join us for a weekend of celebrating the Feather River through races, films and fun!
The rangers and staff of the Gauley River National Recreation Area share an open letter to boaters regarding what to expect this season on the Gauley River (WV).
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.
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.
Northwest hydropower developers and utilities currently have more than a dozen projects where they are seeking to build new dams on rivers and streams. At least three, the Sunset Falls and Black Canyon projects in Washington, and the Bear River Narrows project in Idaho would be located on rivers designated as Protected Areas by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. You can keep these rivers free-flowing by writing in support of maintaining the protections of the Protected Areas program.
If you have ever run Uncompahgre, Cimarron or North Fork of Gunnison please help us protect flows there by answering this very brief survey...
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.
As part of the new license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, PG&E released flows for paddlers for the first time this past weekend. Elite padder Macy Burnham had this to say about the run, "Cali has many amazing class III and Class IV rivers that are accessible to your average kayaker; unfortunately, it does not have many solid class IV rivers. The Pit 5 stretch from Madesi to Big Bend Bridge definitely fills that void. It is a great little stretch of whitewater."
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.
Submit your best photos for American Whitewater's annual calendar. The deadline is August 31st, 2013. You can submit your photos via our online submission 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!
Gauley Fest is the world's biggest paddling festival and American Whitewater's biggest fundraiser - but we need your help! Please sign up to volunteer and become a part of the Gauley Fest Volunteer Team! It's a fun and easy way for you to be a critical part of an amazing festival.
Bailey, Colorado - American Whitewater is pleased to recognize Ian Foley as this months Volunteer of the Month. Ian has been the lead organizer for Bailey Fest, and this year he accomplished a major milestone in improving public safety and access along the the North Fork of the South Platte River. Thanks to Ian's efforts, all the major rapids and the main canyon of Bailey are safe from the threat of private landowners shutting down river access or preventing safe portage and scouting of Four Falls. Thanks for all your work, Ian!
A team of experts assembled with U.S. Coast Guard grant funding seeks national content validation of a set of entry level, skill-based Human (manually propelled) boat operation standards. The collaborative development of sail, power and human propelled standards will eventually be recognized (not mandated) by the US Coast Guard for incorporation in recreational boating training programs nationwide. Recreational paddling and rowing enthusiasts and especially those with experience in On-Water teaching or training are urged to participate in an on-line survey.
The BLM has implemented a river closure for the Wild and Scenic Rogue River between Grave Creek and Mule Creek due to extreme fire conditions and public health and safety. In addition the Bear Camp shuttle road and Rogue River trail are closed.
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.