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.
Many of you have probably heard about the water level in Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir, has dropped to its lowest level ever. And, it continues to drop every day, as the drought that’s gripping much of the American West marches on. That isn’t great news for water users who are dependent on it. But what does it mean for the Colorado River, river recreation, and the use of water across our country?
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.
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.
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!
The North Fork Smith River needs your help. An international corporation has their sights set on developing a nickel strip mine on a tributary of Baldface Creek, which is a tributary of the North Fork Smith River. Both are whitewater gems with pristine water quality that also provide strong salmon and steelhead habitat and supply drinking water for residents downstream.
The Town of Friendsville, MD asks that everyone running the Upper Yough on Friday and Saturday over 4th of July weekend park in the field next to the liquor store just off Maple Avenue. This is the site of the parking lot that will be developed later this summer. Your cooperation will help reduce congestion in town. Please enter the lot from the main road. Don't forget to stay clear of residential areas along Water Street and Morris Avenue unless invited bu local residents or patronizing a business. And please contribute to American Whitewater's fee box at the Sang Run put-in to help maintain the site. Thank you!
This year is IRIE Rafting Company's 20th Anniversary and July 9th is also Frank, the founders, 50th Birthday. Frank has alwasy felt IRIE needed to give back to the community and the environment. Over the past 20 years IRIE has done just that through their benefit days and by offering very discounted rafting trips for under privileged guests.
This time around, on Wedneday July 9th, IRIE will give all proceeds from their half day Truckee River trips and proceeds from their 20th Anniversary Extravaganza to American Whitewater and the Truckee River Watershed Council.
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!
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.
Green River, Utah - The final proposed action for rehabilitating the Green River/Tusher Canyon Diversion Structure has been released for public review. Thanks to overwhelming support from the public during the public comment period, downstream boat passage is included in the plan.
Thank you for sending in your comments - we did it!
Earlier this month we joined a diverse group of stakeholders for a paddle down the Upper Colorado river – through the roadless section between Catamount and Pinball – to appreciate the mighty river, and the almost-final success of a preservation plan for its long-term flows. Flows were high, which gave us a chance to appreciate just what a lot of water does for riparian vegetation, and also how important it is to have more stream gauges that help us understand the impact of both high and low flows.
Photo Credit: Justice Greg Hobbs
American Whitewater’s affiliate group, The Friends of the Yampa, has been organizing multi day Yampa River Awareness Project raft trips down the Yampa Canyon since 2006. The idea of bringing together paddlers, river advocates, politicians, photographers, videographers and the press was born out of a major threat to the Yampa’s flows some 8 years ago.
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!
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!
Earlier this month, Colorado Governor Hicklenooper vetoed a great water conservation and river protection bill. After a year of work by a diverse coalition of farmers, water providers and conservationists across the state to reach a compromise to address the state’s water woes, Hickenlooper reversed course and killed the bill.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado - Energy development in the Yampa and Green River basins needs to strike a balance with river health. The Steamboat Springs newspaper - The Steamboat Pilot - printed AW's take on this important issue.
The 23rd Annual Feather River Festival (CA) will be held during scheduled releases on the Feather River September 26-28, 2014. The Feather River Festival is the second largest American Whitewater fund-raising event in the country! The benefit event will be held at "Indian Jim School" campground located two miles upstream from the small town of Tobin and one mile upstream from Tobin Vista. Free camping and ample parking will be available.
Jamie McEwan, the whitewater canoe racer whose skill inspired a generation of paddlers, lost his battle with cancer on Sunday, June 14th. He was 61. In 1972 Jamie, then 19, won a bronze medal in C-1 Slalom at the Olympic games in Munich, Germany. That medal, the first won by an American, inspired many younger paddlers (including several future medalists) to train hard and become champions. Twenty years later, he teamed up with partner Lecky Haller to finish 4th in C-2 Slalom at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. His astonishing career continued when, in 2001, he made the U.S. Whitewater Team paddling C-2 with his son Devin. He also participated in serious river expeditions to Mexico, British Columbia, Bhutan, and Tibet. Recently he helped create the Whitewater Slalom Foundation, which supports for a network of Regional Junior Whitewater Teams to encourage youth participation in the sport. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
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.
Glenwood Springs, Colorado - In District Court this week, American Whitewater was granted a Motion to Intevene in the case for recreational water rights in the Colorado River. American Whitewater and Western Resource Advocates have jointly interevened in support of Glenwood Springs water rights application in an effort to help the City of Glenwood secure legal protection of streamflows for recreation.
The Wenatchee River Festival is on for this weekend in Cashmere, WA. This year's festival will include Free shuttles, Riverboard/Raft Surf Competition, Raft and Kayak Down River Races, Freestyle Event, Raft Flip-n-Recovery Event, Throw-rope competition throughout the day, Silent Auction, and Displays featuring festival sponsors, vendors and community groups. All events will take place in Riverside Park in Cashmere. Lunch will be provided by Cascade Canoe and Kayak and the event dinner and party will be at Milepost 111 in Cashmere.
Deerfield Fest is one of AW's largest fundraising events and the Northeast's biggest whitewater festival. Surrounded by a three day release schedule on the Deerfield River, it's going to be awesome. This year, for the first time, we will have overnight tenting on the festival grounds in Charlemont. Reserve your spot early because they are going fast! We hope to see you there!
A 90 -mile stretch of the Connecticut River, flowing from Wilder Dam in Hartford, Vermont to Turners Falls in Massachusetts, will be the focus of three controlled flow studies this summer and fall. Five hydroelectric projects operated by TransCanada and FirstLight are up for relicensing by FERC. Flow studies are scheduled for June 28-29 at Sumner Falls and July 19-21 at Turners Falls. The Bellows Falls Study is scheduled for sometime in the early fall.
Throughout the month of June, boaters are invited to join the Oregon State Marine Board agency staff and non-motorized advisory committee members for evening dialog sessions about your boating interests and what you need in your area to better support your activities out on the water. The Listening Sessions will focus primarily on discussions about boating access, on-the-water safety, education and information opportunities, and funding options to support these services. Meetings will be held in Portland, Medford/White City, La Grande, Tillamook, Eugene/Springfield and Bend.
Buena Vista, CO - On Friday May 30, Colorado State Parks announced that it closed the Arkansas River between Buena Vista (bottom of the whitewater park) and Wilderness Aware boat ramp until further notice. After meeting with AW and Colorado Whitewater, river managers aknowledged that the closure does not apply to kayaks and canoes.
Photo Courtesy Chaffee County Times
Virgin River Gorge, Arizona -
AW has released the next set of flow-surveys for the Virgin River Gorge, and we need your input! If you have paddled the upper or lower sections of this spectacular gorge, please take a minute to evaluate flows. This information will help protect river health and recreation.
Green River, UT - With flows of over 350cfs, Utah's San Rafael River is drawing lots of visitation this week from paddlers. If you have paddled the San Rafael - please take a minute to help us identify how flows affect paddling opportunities by participating in a quick on-line survey.
There’s simply no better, more popular resource than the American Whitewater website for paddling and river stewardship information. This value is reflected in the incredible amount of usage our site sees with over 800,000 page views a month serving thousands and thousands of river enthusiasts every day. What’s more, all this content is completely free! Now, we need your help to fund an overhaul of this incredible resource so we can serve our users for the next decade. We’re calling on all website users and river enthusiasts to make a tax-deductible donation to support a deeply needed update of our website. Donate Today: Fill out our online donation form and put “website” in the comments field
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!
Yesterday Senator John Walsh (D-MT) introduced legislation to designate a spectacular 20 mile section of Montana's East Rosebud Creek as a Wild and Scenic River. Designation will protect the stream from future hydropower dams, water quality degradation, and other impacts, while allowing continued enjoyment and uses of the stream. American Whitewater fully supports this move and looks forward to permanent protection for East Rosebud and other worthy streams in Montana.
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.
Colorado River Delta, Mexico - It's jokingly said, that few things move as slow as water, especially the work of protecting and restoring water in our rivers. Sometimes, restoring rivers takes a few years - sometimes decades. Today, after years of hard work the Colorado River is reaching the Sea of Cortez. This event is good for everyone, and American Whitewater would like to celebrate the decades of work that have been invested into this restoration effort.
As we do from time to time, we at the AW Journal are soliciting stories from you to help make our magazine the best it can be. So whether you’re a regular contributor or someone who’s never written about paddling before, now is the time to write and send us your stories.
A fun little story on West Fork Tuckasegee releases and the removal of Dillsboro Dam that enabled those recreation flows is a great example of the work we do at American Whitewater to protect, restore and enjoy rivers.
As a result of the imminent bridge replacement in Monroe Bridge, it will not be possible to cross the bridge to access the Dryway put-in on the Rowe side, either by vehicle or on foot, during this summer boating season. We are asking boaters, for this season, to use the old put-in that we used during the original construction of the dam.
Another dry year in California has left us with extreme drought conditions and an almost nonexistent paddling season this winter and spring. Fortunately, paddling opportunities that have been negotiated by American Whitewater were based on information drawn from years of previous hydrographs and water years like the last drought of 1976-1977. After working with the licensee to insure water for downstream consumptive requirements and protection of ecological resources, California will have 27 days of recreational releases on the Pit, Feather and Mokelumne rivers between May and October.
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.
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.
On April 14, 2014 the Forest Supervisor for Stanislaus National Forest issued Rim Fire Closure Order 2014-01 that reopens boating access to the following sections of the Wild & Scenic Tuolumne River as outlined below:
Cherry Creek to Meral's Pool - Access to the Upper Tuolumne/Cherry Creek launch at Holm Powerhouse off Cherry Lake Road by permitted shuttle service only.
Meral's Pool to Ward's Ferry Bridge - Access to Meral's Pool Boat Launch via Lumsden Road (1N10) between Ferretti Road and Lumsden Bridge.
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.
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/.
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.
Camp Verde, 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.