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Merced in Yosemite–Officially Open at Last!!

posted April 27, 2015
by Megan Hooker
article photo 2
On Friday, April 24, 2015, the Merced River in Yosemite National Park was officially reopened to paddlers! Even though the new Wild and Scenic River Plan was finalized a year ago, the actual rules and regulations for the Park were finally updated on Friday. This marks the culmination of seven years of sustained engagement by American Whitewater with the National Park Service and other stakeholders. 
 

New Parking Area Greets Upper Yough Paddlers

posted April 27, 2015
by Charlie Walbridge
article photo 4

May 2nd will be the first Saturday Upper Yough release of the year, and hundreds of white water paddlers will converge on the small town of Friendsville, MD. After $25,000 in paddler-donatedseed money and $160,000 in grants raised by the Town the new parking area is complete and awaiting final approval. We hope the parking will be open, but please park on the side of the road if it isn't. Please observe the usual courtesies when in town: don't drink alcohol in public, change clothes or relieve yourself where others can see you, or park in residential areas on along the river. And do take time to patronize the businesss in town who are eagerly awaiting your arrival.

Ocoee River (TN) Needs Your Help

posted April 23, 2015
by Mark Singleton
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The current agreement for water in the Ocoee River with Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) expires in 2018. A new agreement is needed. TVA is exempt from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s requirements because of its uniques structure as a quasi federal agency. Write your representatives today supporting a legislative solution that would require water for releases.

2015 California Recreational Releases

posted April 23, 2015
by Theresa Simsiman
article photo 5

During dry years like the persistent drought here in California, American Whitewater believes water should be put to good multi-use down our flowing rivers. Thus, most of the agreements that have been negotiated on hydroelectric projects over the past 15 years have conditions that provide for recreational flows even in critically dry years. Paddlers can feel comfortable that water is being put to good multi-use and fortunate that they still have a number of boating opportunities throughout the season. American Whitewater Release Calendar

10th Annual South Platte Clean-up - This Saturday!

posted April 21, 2015
by Nathan Fey
article photo 6

We are excited to announce that AW and Colorado Whitewater are hosting the 10th annual South Platte River Cleanup on Saturday, April 25th in celebration of Earth Day in Denver, Colorado. This is an all-volunteer event to pick up trash along Denver's South Platte River.  UPDATE: Due to ongoing construction at Johnson Habitat Park, the put-in and registration for Section 2 of the South Platte River Clean-up has been moved to the intersection of South Platte River Dr. and Alameda Avenue.

Cheat Festival (WV) Coming May 2nd

posted April 14, 2015
by Charlie Walbridge
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Friends of the Cheat, a long time partner of American Whitewater, will put on the 21st Annual CheatFest on Saturday May 2nd. It's an all day event with races, kid's events, great music, and of course, whitewater! FOC works tirelessly to improve water quality in the Cheat River Watershed and was a key player in the recent protection of the Cheat Canyon. They currently maintain three river access areas on the Cheat and Big Sandy Rivers which they built with help from AW.

Department of Energy - Still Aiming to Dam Every River?

posted April 13, 2015
by Megan Hooker
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Last month Politico reported that top Department of Energy officials continue to push their ambitious goal to double hydropower production in the U.S. by 2030. Hydropower companies have taken note since the DOE first announced its goal last year, and they continue to gear up to help. American Whitewater is deeply concerned to see that this goal continues to be promoted as a viable possibility. With less than 2% of our rivers in the lower 48 left relatively undeveloped, the Department of Energy’s vision to dam every possible river to double hydropower production is not one that we can afford to see. 

Sultan River Whitewater Opportunities to Begin (WA)

posted April 1, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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On Saturday April 25th, Snohomish PUD will be providing a whitewater recreational opportunity on the Upper Sultan River. This class IV gorge is a great piece of whitewater in a spectacular setting. If you wish to check it out, be sure to sign up with Snohomish PUD.

AW's April Volunteer of the Month–Presented by Kokatat!

posted April 1, 2015
by Megan Hooker
article photo 2
American Whitewater recognizes John Simpkin as our April 2015 Volunteer of the Month! As a California Regional Coordinator for American Whitewater, he represents us at monthly meetings on the PG&E Mokelumne Hydroelectric Project, and has advocated for the removal of illegal fences that block access to the Consumnes River. In recognition of all John does for American Whitewater in California, he will receive a custom Kokatat X-Jacket.
 

Space Still Available on AW Colorado Yampa River Trip with OARS!

posted March 31, 2015
by Mark Singleton
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On May 21, 2015, American Whitewater members have a fantastic opportunity to enjoy a 4-day trip on Colorado’s Yampa River - one of the most sought-after whitewater adventures in the world. We invite you to join our staff and Board as we team up with O.A.R.S for a trip through the heart of Dinosaur National Monument, and down the last major tributary in the Colorado River system that runs wild and free.

Tallulah Spring Releases 2015 (GA)

posted March 31, 2015
by Mark Singleton
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The first two weekends in April mark classic boating in the southeast with releases on the Tallulah River. The river flows through Tallulah Gorge State Park, the Park has specific regulations for visitors.

2015 French Broad River Festival (NC)

posted March 31, 2015
by Mark Singleton
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Join American Whitewater at the French Broad River Festival May 1 - 3. Each year the festival features a host of awesome musical acts, art, food, vendors, and raft race. Proceeds from the event support American Whitewater river stewardship projects.

New Mexico: Threats To The Gila River And To Public Stream Access

posted March 30, 2015
by Nathan Fey
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AW and the Adobe Whitewater Club are working hard to derail two very troubling bills in the New Mexico legislature that are proposing to eliminate navigability of the states rivers, while also continuing to fight a devastating Gila River diversion. You can help!

2015 Northeast Whitewater Release Schedule Set

posted March 27, 2015
by Robert Nasdor
article photo 5

Northeast boaters are celebrating the end of a long, cold and snowy winter and are making boating plans for the year. Here is the 2015 Northeast Release Schedule

Deerfield River (MA) Hydro Relicensing: Building on Past Success

posted March 24, 2015
by Robert Nasdor
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Twenty years after reaching a historic settlement agreement on the Deerfield River hydropower relicensing that has transformed northeast paddling opportunities, we began another relicensing process this spring that will likely result in improvement in flows, access and facilities for boaters in the region.

Bill to Promote Access at Bridges Awaits Action in House (WA)

posted March 24, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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As part of our work to protect and promote access to public waterways, American Whitewater is pursuing a bill in the Washington State legislature to require an evaluation of providing public access for state highway projects that include construction of a bridge across a navigable waterway. Our bill has passed the Senate unanimously and is now before the House Transportation Committee. The most helpful action members can take now is to reach out to members on the Transportation Committee.

Opening Day On the South Fork American - April 4th

posted March 23, 2015
by Theresa Simsiman
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American Whitewater invites paddlers to come out on Saturday, April 4th for the 3rd Annual Opening Day of the South Fork American River Celebration organized by California Canoe & Kayak and Jackson Kayak. This event is a benefit for American Whitewater (AW) and to help an injured River Champion, Bob Center!

North Fork Skykomish Road Repairs Continue to be Delayed (WA)

posted March 19, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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As another spring boating season approaches many of our members have inquired about the current status of the Index-Galena road that provides access to the North Fork Skykomish River. We need paddlers to weigh in with the Federal Highway Administration and Washington State Department of Transportation to get this project back on track. 

Tuolumne River (CA) Paddle to Sea 2015

posted March 19, 2015
by Megan Hooker
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Paddle to the Sea is the Tuolumne River Trust's annual paddle-a-thon to protect the Tuolumne River and raise funds and awareness for river stewardship. Sign yourself or your team up for a fun one-day paddle in May or June on the Tuolumne or American River, or challenge yourself to go the distance from the Sierra to the Sea! All funds raised support the Tuolumne River Trust's work to recover from the 2013 Rim Fire, educate the community about water conservation and efficiency, and restore the watershed.
 

Help American Whitewater Win $5,000!

posted February 26, 2015
by Megan Hooker
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American Whitewater was hand-picked as one of ten of Moosejaw and Patagonia's favorite charities and now we're part of the Moosejaw X Patagonia $10,000 Charity Challenge Thing! That means that we have the chance to win $5,000 for protecting, restoring and accessing rivers across the country, and we need your help to get there! We win the prize if we secure the highest donation amount by March 13th. In addition to earning some awesome river-karma, if you donate at least $25 to American Whitewater, you'll automatically be entered to win a $500 shopping spree at Patagonia! 

Join American Whitewater On A Trip Down Colorado’s Yampa River!

posted February 20, 2015
by Nathan Fey
article photo 5

On May 21, 2015, American Whitewater members have a fantastic opportunity to enjoy a 4-day trip on Colorado’s Yampa River - one of the most sought-after whitewater adventures in the world. We invite you to join our staff and Board as we team up with O.A.R.S for a trip through the heart of Dinosaur National Monument,  and down the last major tributary in the Colorado River system that runs wild and free.

Colorado’s Yampa River Named World’s 10th Most Threatened Paddling Run

posted February 19, 2015
by Nathan Fey
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Canoe & Kayak magazine has compiled a list of ten classic paddling runs around the globe that are critically endangered. With input from American Whitewater, Colorado's Yampa River makes the list for the threats it's world-class whitewater and wilderness paddling faces from dams, diversions or other development projects.

President Obama Designates Browns Canyon National Monument - Colorado

posted February 18, 2015
by Nathan Fey
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On February 19th, President Obama will use his authority under the US Antiquities Act to protect over 20,000 acres of public lands surrounding Colorado’s Browns Canyon of the Arkansas River. American Whitewater has actively worked to protect Browns Canyon since we hosted the Colorado Roundtable in Buena Vista back in 2006, and we are celebrating the result of all the partnerships and work that has gone into this campaign. Join American Whitewater and community leaders in thanking President Obama for designating the Browns Canyon National Monument!

Yellowstone Paddling Legislation Reintroduced with NPS Input

posted February 17, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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Wyoming Representative Cynthia Lummis introduced legislation last week that will require the National Park Service to study and reconsider their management of non-commercial paddling in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.  The legislation is the result of significant dialog among the Parks, conservation-oriented paddlers, Representative Lummis, and others. 

State Clears Way for New Catawba River Dam License & Releases (NC/SC)

posted February 16, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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Last week the State of South Carolina issued the final permit that Duke Energy needed before the federal government could issue them a new license for operating their dams.  With a new license now expected sometime this year, paddlers can start gearing up for some big changes in the Catawba Watershed including new conservation opportunities, access areas, water releases, and stream gages.

Action Alert: Help protect the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook (CT)

posted February 12, 2015
by Robert Nasdor
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Connecticut boaters have a great opportunity to protect the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook. One of the best tools for protecting our rivers from harmful dams and diversions is the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. American Whitewater is working with our partners in Connecticut to designate sections of these rivers as Wild and Scenic, including the Tariffville Gorge. 

We need paddler's voices to make this a reality. Please join us in supporting efforts to enact federal legislation that will permanently protect these rivers for future generations.

Upper Yough (MD) Update

posted February 12, 2015
by Mark Singleton
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Over the last few years, American Whitewater worked with the paddling community to raise $25,000 to go towards a take-out parking lot in the town of Friendsville, Maryland. This "seed money" was leveraged to attract over $200,000 in grants for the town to complete the take-out facility. American Whitewater has learned that Jess Whittemore was re-elected to the Friendsville, Maryland Town Council. Thanks to Jess's leadership the town partnered with the whitewater community to welcome hundreds of river runners to the area for summer releases on the Upper Youghiogheny River. 

Low River Flows are a top concern of Western Voters

posted February 11, 2015
by Nathan Fey
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This week, the annual State of the Rockies Report was released by Colorado College. The report describes conservation attitudes in the West, with a focus on public lands. What is striking in this years report, is that the concerns over low levels of water in our rivers, and inadequate water supplies, are viewed as an extremely serious problem - even more serious than the economy and unemployment.

Coming Right Up - 2015 National Paddling Film Festival (KY)

posted February 10, 2015
by Mark Singleton
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Right around the corner, National Paddling Film Festival will be held on February 20-21 in Frankfort, KY at the Buffalo Trace Distillery. NPFF has helped to raise the quality of paddle sport entertainment by providing recognition of talent along with important and useful feedback for the artists who make the show a possibility.

2015 National Paddling Film Festival (KY)

posted February 10, 2015
by Mark Singleton
article photo 2

For 33 years the National Paddling Film Festival has been hosting a competition to determine the best in paddle sport videos and images. This year's NPFF will be held on February 20-21 in Frankfort, KY at the Buffalo Trace Distillery. NPFF has helped to raise the quality of paddle sport entertainment by providing recognition of talent along with important and useful feedback for the artists who make the show a possibility.

AWs Volunteer of the Month - Presented by Kokatat

posted February 2, 2015
by Nathan Fey
article photo 2

Lyons, Colorado - American Whitewater is pleased to recognize Matt Booth as our February 2015 Volunteer of the Month! Matt has dedicated countless hours to growing Lyons Outdoor Games and rebuilding local communities after the Colorado floods of 2013.

2015 Member Rewards Announced

posted February 2, 2015
by Mark Singleton
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Our river stewardship efforts are supported by your membership. American Whitewater is pleased to announce the availability of our 2015 Member Rewards for major donors.

2015 Class IV/V Releases Set For Southeast

posted February 2, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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We are pleased to share the 2015 schedule of Class IV and V scheduled dam releases for Western North Carolina and North Georgia.  American Whitewater and our partners negotiated these releases over the past two decades, and the result is 34 days of outstanding paddling opportunities for advanced paddlers on the Cheoah, Tallulah, Upper Nantahala, and West Fork of the Tuckasegee.

AW Appeal Protects Two Montana Rivers, Others Left At Risk

posted January 30, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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Earlier this month Montana's Kootenai National Forest found Callahan and Ross creeks to be eligible for Wild and Scenic designation in response to an appeal crafted by American Whitewater.  This decision will protect these two awesome streams from hydropower development for current and future generations. The Kootenai and Idaho Panhandle national forests however left many worthy streams unprotected, and disregarded paddling values on several incredible streams.  

TAKE ACTION! Clean Water Protection Rule Under Threat

posted January 30, 2015
by Megan Hooker
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The proposed Clean Water Protection Rule is under attack, and your voices are needed today to protect clean water! Today, over 60% of streams and millions of acres of wetlands are vulnerable to pollution. These are the streams we paddle, and they also supply drinking water to one in three Americans. The proposed rule affirms protections for these streams. Please take action for clean water today!

Agency’s new Flow Rule threatens Spokane River (WA)

posted January 27, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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Today river advocates criticized the Washington Department of Ecology for adopting a flow rule for the Spokane River that allows further dewatering of the popular urban river. The state rule sets flows for the Spokane River, including summertime low flows at 850 cubic feet per second. A recreational flow survey by American Whitewater found that all boaters prefer flows higher than 1000 cfs and most prefer flows in the range of 5000 cfs.

AW and NPS Co-Host Access Meetings in Harpers Ferry (WV/MD/VA)

posted January 26, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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Earlier this month American Whitewater and the National Park Service's Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program (RTCA) hosted a series of meetings and site visits in the Harper's Ferry, WV area.  We met with roughly 35 interested groups and individuals, including 18 leaders from the paddling community, and visited over 20 river access sites.  The meetings kicked off a collaborative effort to create and implement a river access Plan for the Harper's Ferry area, and were highly successful.  

Bill Restricting Access to Washington's Rivers Introduced

posted January 24, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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The legislative session is underway in Washington State and earlier this week we were shocked to learn of a bill that would severely limit access to the state's rivers and shorelines. Specifically the bill would prohibit water access on small parcels of public land that do not provide formal parking.

Common Sense on the Colorado River

posted January 23, 2015
by Nathan Fey
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As many paddlers know, the future of the Colorado River is fraught with competing demands to pump and pipe water to faraway cities, and efforts to protect what little water is left in the river. A group of well-respected academics convened by University of Colorado Professor Doug Kenney has released a short, easy to read summary of the challenges facing the river. Check it out:

Opportunity to Determine Future of Punch Bowl Falls on the Hood River (OR)

posted January 22, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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Punch Bowl Falls is one of Oregon’s iconic scenic and recreational sites on the Hood River in the Columbia Gorge. At the confluence of the east and west forks of the Hood River, the site has been privately owned and its future remains to be determined. Our goal is to see the site become a public park and we encourage the boating community to join that discussion.

Colorado's Windy Gap Firming Project: Troubling Trend?

posted January 22, 2015
by Nathan Fey
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Late December saw the Bureau of Reclamation approval of the Windy Gap Firming Project, yet another major diversion of the imperiled Upper Colorado River. And while AW has worked hard over the years to ensure that projects like this don’t further impact the health of the upper Colorado, we are disappointed to see that recent federal action doesn’t lock in the protections that are essential to mitigating the worst effects of yet another trans-mountain diversion.

Photo Credit: Brian Adkins, Boulder, Co

New Study: Colorado River Economy Valued in Billions

posted January 20, 2015
by Nathan Fey
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What would happen in the Southwestern United States if there was no water available from the Colorado River to support the economy, and no way to replace the water normally used from the River throughout the region?

A new report from Protect the Flows suggests that the Colorado river region would suffer 64.4% loss in Gross State Product if there is no Colorado River water for one year. Loss in the Real Estate, Healthcare, Finance, Professional Services, and Retail Trade sectors, from the absense of Colorado River water, totals Billions of Dollars.

Winter Issue of the AW Journal Online Now!

posted January 14, 2015
by Carla Miner
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The Winter Issue of the AW Journal features "The Top Ten River Stewardship Issues of 2015".

 

Current members - Read the issue now!

Not a Current member - Join or Renew!

Outdoor Recreation Means Business for Washington State

posted January 8, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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A new study, Economic Analysis of Outdoor Recreation in Washington State, by Earth Economics demonstrates the importance of outdoor recreation for the Washington State economy. Residents and visitors collectively spend $21.6 billion annually on trips and equipment purchases supporting nearly 200,000 jobs. Over one third of this economic activity occurs along water. American Whitewater is actively engaged in efforts to promote public access to water and conserve the river resources of the state that represent an important engine for this economic activity

Take Action! Support Funding for Recreation and Conservation Projects

posted January 6, 2015
by Megan Hooker
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Over the last 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund ("LWCF") has been one of the most effective ways to expand and improve opportunities across the country for the outdoor recreation community, including whitewater paddlers. The idea behind LWCF is simple--reinvest some of the wealth from offshore drilling in order to preserve natural areas, culturally and historically significant landmarks, and outdoor recreation opportunities. There's a good chance that you've enjoyed the benefits of the LWCF, which is to expire this September. Your voices are needed to ensure that this important program continues into the future! 

New Board Of Directors Announced for 2015

posted January 6, 2015
by Mark Singleton
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Recent elections for the American Whitewater Board of Directors concluded on December 15, 2014. Please welcome Chris Neuenschwander and Melissa Pennscott as new American Whitewater Directors.

Join American Whitewater on a Trip on the Wild and Scenic Rogue River (OR)

posted January 5, 2015
by Mark Singleton
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In June 2015, American Whitewater members will have an opportunity to join American Whitewater staff and board members for an exclusive trip on Oregon’s Rogue River. We invite you to come learn more about what we're up to while having a great time enjoying one of our nation’s first Wild and Scenic Rivers.

Improved Flows on the Yuba - One Step Closer (CA)

posted December 29, 2014
by Dave Steindorf
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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Yuba/Bear and Drum Spaulding projects in Northern California.  Our review of this 1000 page documents says that it spells good things for boaters.

 

Charity Navigator Awards AW 5th Consecutive 4-Star Rating

posted December 29, 2014
by Mark Singleton
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Thanks to an organization wide effort to provide transparency and operate efficiently, Charity Navigator awarded American Whitewater with its fifth 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 4% of the nonprofits Charity Navigator rates have received five 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.

Take Action: Tell New Mexico's Governor to STOP the Gila River Diversion!

posted December 19, 2014
by Nathan Fey
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Silver Spring, NM - New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has only two weeks left to make a decision on the proposed Gila River Diversion.  This project will drain the headwaters of the Gila River, threatening some of the most beautiful, biologically rich riparian habitat in the state, that also provides amazing paddling opportunities.

Take Action by calling the Governor TODAY!

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!  

Connecticut River Flow Studies Reveal Boating Opportunities

posted December 16, 2014
by Robert Nasdor
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Over the past year, American Whitewater, New England FLOW and Appalachian Mountain Club have been working with hydropower utilities in the northeast to complete flow studies as part of the relicensing of five hydropower projects along the Connecticut River. This past summer, the flow studies at Sumners Falls/Hartland (VT/NH) and Turners Falls (MA) demonstrated that with appropriate flows, there are high quality boating opportunities available at both locations. Next year, we will assist with the completion of the final flow study at Bellows Falls (VT/NH).

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.

Comment Opportunity on the Green River Gamelands Plan (NC)

posted December 12, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has released their draft management plan for the Green River Gamelands in North Carolina.  This plan addresses all uses and activities in the iconic Green River Narrows, as well as the Class III+ Upper Green and the Class II Lower Green. This place and this plan are important to many paddlers in the southeast and across the globe.  You can review the plan, and send in a comment by January 16th, 2015.

Take Action: Comment on Proposed Bear River Dam (ID)

posted December 12, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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The Twin Lakes Canal Company (TLCC) is pushing forward with its 10-year effort to build a new dam on the Oneida Narrows reach of Idaho's Bear River. The reach is one of the last freely-flowing reaches of the Bear River, providing outstanding recreation, ecological and fish and wildlife values. FERC is currently considering TLCC's application for a new hydropower license, and is receiving public comment until Tuesday, December 16th. 
 

Cosumnes River - Illegal Fence Blocking Access at Latrobe Road Bridge (CA)

posted December 11, 2014
by Theresa Simsiman
article photo 5

In the summer of 2013, American Whitewater’s Regional Coordinator, John Simpkin, started the tedious task of gathering the facts and information to help American Whitewater get illegal fences blocking public access to the Cosumnes River at Latrobe Road Bridge removed. To date, El Dorado County Department of Transportation maintains fences obstructing public access and American Whitewater has issued a letter to County Counsel requesting their removal.

Photo by Steve Ruhnau 

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
article photo 3
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.

River Access Mosquito Road Bridge (CA)

posted December 2, 2014
by Theresa Simsiman
article photo 4

Currently, the Transportation Division of El Dorado County in Placerville, CA is in the process of updating a Mosquito Road Bridge Replacement Study that will outline alternatives for a new bridge to be constructed in 2018-2019.   Identified as one of the key take-outs for the Class IV-V Slab Creek whitewater reach, American Whitewater believes this is the perfect opportunity to advocate for river access improvements.  

Obama Administration to meet with Coloradoans to discuss Browns Canyon

posted December 1, 2014
by Nathan Fey
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Salida, CO - This Saturday, Senior officials from the Obama Administration will be meeting with Coloradoans to discuss the Browns Canyon National Monunument. It is important that paddlers attend the meeting, and speak-up for protecting the landscape around one of the Arkansas River's greatest whitewater runs.

While its a tough time of year to travel, WE MUST show public support for this designation. Please attend and speak on behalf of Browns Canyon National Monument!

Support AW on Colorado Gives Day–December 9th!

posted November 25, 2014
by Megan Hooker
article photo 2

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...  

Senators Urge President to Designate Browns Canyon National Monument

posted November 25, 2014
by Nathan Fey
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Colorado - U.S. Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet have urged President Obama to consider designating Browns Canyon of the Arkansas River as a National Monument.  AW has worked directly with Sen. Udall to protect the landscape surrounding our nation's most popular whitewater river, and are confident that designation will not change how the Arkansas River is managed.  Your support is critical to protecting this special place...

Breaking Ground on the Gore Canyon Whitewater Park - CO

posted November 22, 2014
by Nathan Fey
article photo 2

Grand County, Colorado - After several years of negotiations and political maneuvering, engineering, and fundraising, American Whitewater joined representatives from Grand County to break ground on the new Gore Canyon Whitewater Park on the Colorado River. The park is integral to a new water right that protects the river from losing more water in the future, while providing new opportunities for paddlers of all ages and ability.

Enloe Dam Remains an Economic Loser (WA)

posted November 18, 2014
by Thomas O'Keefe
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American Whitewater joined river conservation groups in releasing an updated review of the economics of restoring hydropower at Enloe Dam on the Similkameen River in Washington State. This project would cost $40 million to build, would cost more to operate than it brings in for revenue, and accumulate $170 million losses over the life of the project. It is time to remove a project that has not operated since 1958 and is simply an economic loser.

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. 

White Salmon (WA) River Meeting Nov 15

posted November 7, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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The Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group is developing a Fish Habitat Conservation Approach focused on the long-term management of salmon and steelhead habitat along the lower six miles of the White Salmon River. The Enhancement Group has worked closely with American Whitewater, Yakama Nation, and resource agencies to develop a collective vision for the White Salmon River that realizes the full benefits of Condit Dam removal for fish and the community. It is important for the boating community to be a part of this discussion, and we encourage local boaters to participate in a community meeting in Husum on Saturday, November 15th.
 

Workplace Giving and AW

posted November 3, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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It's workplace giving season, which is a great way to support American Whitewater! If you are a federal employee, American Whitewater is eligible to receive tax-deductible donations through the Federal Combined Giving Campaign (yes, we're a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization). If you're not a federal employee, you can check to see if your employer participates in workplace giving through United Way or other programs, and ask how to donate to the organization of your choosing. Thanks for your support!

2015 American Whitewater Calendar For Sale

posted November 3, 2014
by Mark Singleton
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The 2015 American Whitewater calendar is now available for purchase! Each year, we collect the best photos from our gracious community and pick out our favorites for our annual calendar. Proceeds from calendar sales support our river stewardship work. It's an awesome fundraiser and a product that we know you'll love.

2014 Holiday Membership Offer

posted November 3, 2014
by Carla Miner
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It’s not too early to be thinking about the Holiday gifts you’ll need for all the river enthusiasts on your shopping list. We have a great offer this year - for just $45 you get a standard one year membership with American Whitewater and a 2015 AW Calendar.

We think this is a great gift to give to any river lover. . .or a great gift to give yourself! And, it’s so easy to order.

Lower Spokane Flow Survey (WA)

posted November 3, 2014
by Thomas O'Keefe
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American Whitewater needs your help to define flows that support the full range of whitewater boating opportunities for the Lower Spokane River in Washington. This survey is designed so individuals can evaluate flows, which will then help American Whitewater and our conservation partners describe how flows affect recreation quality. We are seeking responses by Thursday November 6th.

November Volunteers of the Month–Presented by Kokatat

posted November 1, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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American Whitewater's Volunteers of the Month for November are Charlie and Karin Guilbault, who have been long time volunteers at the Feather River Festival in California. The success of this event would not be possible without key volunteers who work tirelessly to make this event a reality, and Charlie and Karin certainly fit the bill. In recognition of their efforts, they will receive custom Kokatat WoolCore Shirts. Thanks so much Charlie and Karin!

American Whitewater Journal Schedule For Winter 2014-15

posted November 1, 2014
by Mark Singleton
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The American Whitewater Journal is the longest running whitewater paddlesports publication in the US. Our Journal has also documented the evolution of paddlesports and chronicled the development of kayaks that were primarily imported from Europe, to homemade glass layups, squirt boats, the rise and fall of play boats. This winter we will be combining the November/December and January/February issues to create a winter issue that will be in your mailbox this January.

2014 Board Of Directors Election - Current Members Vote Now!

posted November 1, 2014
by Mark Singleton
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American Whitewater is very fortunate to have a Board of Directors with a passion for our mission and a mix of appropriate skills to help guide American Whitewater and meet the challenges we face, both now and in the future. Each year American Whitewater’s membership elects volunteer Directors to serve three-year terms on the American Whitewater Board of Directors. Current American Whitewater members can cast their votes through Midnight Pacific Time, December 15th.

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.  

Warm Springs Film Premiere Set to Drop in Moab

posted October 27, 2014
by Nathan Fey
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Today marks the release of an inspiring, wild ride down the Yampa River. Warm Springs is a film featuring AW staff and friends from all over Colorado, and delivers a rich and gorgeous portrait of one of the West’s last truly wild rivers through the lens of its most famous rapid, Warm Springs. 

Canyon Creek Take-Out Access Project Underway (WA)

posted October 21, 2014
by Thomas O'Keefe
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After years of wondering if it would ever get underway (the six-year deadline has already passed), PacifiCorp has finally begun construction on the new access improvements at the Yale Bridge take-out for Canyon Creek. That's the good news. The bad news is they let the project slip into the fall boating season and have offered no accommodations for access after this weekend until the project is done.

Golf Courses vs. Healthy Rivers

posted October 20, 2014
by Nathan Fey
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A couple of weeks ago AW staff and several like-minded river folks attended the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) meeting in Glenwood Springs. We joined together to let the board know that the upcoming state water plan must ensure that healthy rivers (and the communities that depend on them) are treated fairly in the plan. Sounds pretty non-controversial, right? Wrong. 

Fall Tallulah (GA) Information For 2014

posted October 18, 2014
by Mark Singleton
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The first three weekends in November mark classic boating in the southeast with releases on the Tallulah River. Release weekends are November 1 & 2, 8 & 9, and 15 & 16. The river flows through Tallulah Gorge State Park, the Park has specific regulations for visitors.

Virginia Stream Access Check-In

posted October 15, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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Stream access in Virginia is one of American Whitewater’s Top 10 River Stewardship Issues this year, as it has been in many years past.   The public right to enjoy rivers in the commonwealth is less than clear, leading to confusion and differences of opinion.  A legislative fix is possible, but we'll need a broad coalition of support.  Start this conversation in your networks, and join the Virginia Freedom to Float facebook page to keep in the loop.  

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!

October 2014 Volunteers of the Month–Presented by Kokatat

posted October 1, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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October's Volunteers of the Month are Neal Dana, Jim Patterson, Paul Araujo, and Jerry Stehman! Gauley Fest came close to having no electricity this year, but thanks to their cool heads and skillful efforts, American Whitewater's largest annual fundraiser and party went smoothly! In recognition for their service to AW and everyone at Gauley Fest, they will each receive a Kokatat Woolcore shirt!

Another Way To Give, American Whitewater Is An Amazon Smile Partner

posted October 1, 2014
by Mark Singleton
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Make your online shopping mean something for the rivers you love. American Whitewater is participating in the Amazon Smile program. With each purchase through Amazon Smile a small percentage is passed through to American Whitewater supporting river stewardship.

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.

Helping River Voices be Heard on the CO State Water Plan

posted September 25, 2014
by Nathan Fey
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At the last meeting of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, outdoor business leaders, advocates like Annie Henderson of the Upper Colorado River Private Boaters Association, realtors and concerned citizens gathered to urge the Board to make sure that river-based recreation receives equal consideration in the upcoming Colorado Water Plan.

ACTION ALERT: Defend Clean Water

posted September 8, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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American Whitewater is supporting a proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers that strives to clarify which streams and wetlands are protected by the Clean Water Act. This rulemaking is currently under threat in the House by H.R. 5078, which could go to a vote as early as Tuesday, September 9th. If passed, the bill would stop the current rulemaking dead in its tracks. Please stand up for clean water, contact your representatives and make your voice heard!

First Descender Bill Bickham Returns to the Upper Yough after 55 Years

posted September 7, 2014
by Charlie Walbridge
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Bill Bickham, a seven-time national whitewater canoe champion who made the first descent of the Youghiogheny River in May of 1959, returned to Friendsville this past Saturday for a valedictory trip with Precision Rafting Expeditions. Once considered an extreme expedition, the "Upper Yough" between Sang Run and Friendsville now plays host to hundreds of skilled kayakers every summer weekend and supports an vibrant commercial rafting trip business. Bickham, now 77, was one of the strongest paddlers of his era.He and his friends ran the Upper Yough in aluminum canoes at very low water levels. At a party afterwards Bickham met several people who played an important role in making the Upper Yough accessible to the paddling public. For more information, click the link:

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.