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.
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.
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 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.
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.
American Whitewater joins a coalition in unveiling a new "Destination Darrington" map as Highway 530 opens to all traffic this weekend restoring access to recreational opportunities along the Sauk and Suiattle Rivers.The colorful brochure map spotlights recreational opportunities around Darrington and local businesses.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
American Whitewater is pleased to announce the availability of two new online stream gages in the Sullivan Creek watershed in northeastern Washington. These gages are brought to you by a partnership between American Whitewater and the Pend Oreille Public Utility District, and will offer paddlers, anglers, and other visitors to the area vital flow information.
After more than three years of waiting the access to the Powerhouse run on the Snoqualmie River is now open for public use. While this is a short run of less than a mile, it is a popular and important section of river less than 30 miles from Seattle.
Earlier this week the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Forterra announced the purchase of 50,272 acres along the Teanaway River and its three forks to be designated as the Teanaway Community Forest. Of importance to the whitewater paddling community, this acquisition will protect riverside lands, maintain water in the river, and keep the river open and accessible to the public.
Today, American Whitewater submitted recommendations for amendments to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council's Fish and Wildlife Program. The Program has significant influence over rivers in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana, and American Whitewater encouraged the Council to strengthen areas that are protected from future hydropower development.
The American Canoe Association and the Steering Committee of the Whitewater Symposium will be co-hosting the Whitewater Symposium this year in Bend, Oregon. The event will take place September 27 through 29th at the Mt. Bachelor Village Resort and Tumalo Creek Outfitters, and will bring together a diverse cross section of industry and program advocates. The event affords a unique meeting of minds who are dedicated to the whitewater medium and pro-active in fortifying its future.
While paddling the Elwha River is a fascinating way to experience restoration and recovery of a free-flowing river in action, it's not the only way to get a first-hand look at one of the nation's most ambitious and fascinating restoration projects.
With more than 2,500 miles of roads, the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest has an extensive road system that supports a variety of public needs, from recreation to resource extraction. Current budget resources are insufficient to support maintenance needs for this road network. American Whitewater is encouraging paddlers to participate in the public process to develop a vision for the future of the roads on this Forest.
Do you enjoy boating on the Nooksack River? If you do, please tell us about your experience. American Whitewater is working with several partners through the National Park Service Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance Program to develop an updated recreation plan for the upper Nooksack River basin. Your input will help us guide development of this plan.
In an effort to better understand the recreational impacts of the proposed Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project that would dam the Susitna River upstream of Devil's Canyon, a recreational survey is underway for those who have experienced this stretch of river. We encourage our members who know this river to take the survey.
The BLM has implemented a river closure for the Wild and Scenic Rogue River between Grave Creek and Mule Creek due to extreme fire conditions and public health and safety. In addition the Bear Camp shuttle road and Rogue River trail are closed.
Legislative momentum continues to build for the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act (S. 112, H. R. 361). Following passage of the bill by unanimous consent in the Senate, the House formally took up the legislation with a hearing before the House Natural Resources Committee.
The Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board issued an order directing the Department of Ecology to do an aesthetic flow study if Okanogan PUD decides to build its economically troubled Enloe Dam project on the Similkameen River in Washington State. Of significance to the paddling community, the Order recognizes the critical importance of considering impacts to aesthetics and recreation in decisions that impact water quality.
Today, numerous partners joined American Whitewater in filing comments in opposition to Snohomish PUD No. 1's proposed hydroelectric project on the South Fork Skykomish river at Sunset Falls in Washington. Our comments highlight the significant impacts the project would have to fish and wildlife habitat, water quality and quantity, recreation and scenic values, and call out the questionable economics of the project.
A new economic study of the controversial Sunset Falls Dam on Washington’s South Fork of the Skykomish River, reveals the power generated at the proposed site would cost 2.3 times more than the Snohomish County Public Utility District (SnoPUD) estimates.
We are pleased to participate in the Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG day on Wednesday, May 15th! Mark your calendars and consider a special contribution (or renewal if your membership has lapsed). All contributions made through American Whitewater's page on the foundation website that day will receive a portion of matching funds made available to non-profits who participate in this opportunity.
On Thursday, April 4th, the Department of Interior recommended removing four dams on the Klamath River, listing the action as the Preferred Alternative for a long-term solution to address native fishery and water resource issues in the Klamath Basin. The recommendation was set forth in the Department's Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which provides a comprehensive review of whether partially or fulling removing four dams owned and operated by PacifCorp will help to restore salmon runs to the Klamath River.
Yesterday, Federal approval was granted for the removal of Millpond Dam on Northeast Washington’s Sullivan Creek. Millpond Dam has blocked Sullivan Creek since 1909, and removal should be completed within the next 5 years. In addition, streamflows will be improved for paddlers and fish from nearby Sullivan Lake Dam. American Whitewater has played an active role in the collaborative effort leading to this dam removal and other improvements since it began in 2008.
In a bipartisan effort last month, the Senate introduced the Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act of 2013 (S.338). The Land and Water Conservation Fund has supported many projects that provide access and protect important rivers, including the White Salmon (WA), New and Gauley (WV), Illinois (OR) and Snake (ID). If passed, the bill will reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund and support similar projects into the future.
Federal regulators have recently approved study plans for the proposed Black Canyon Hydroelectric Project that would impact Ernie's Gorge on the North Fork Snoqualmie River. As an initial step in the study process, all paddlers who run this reach in 2013 should report their runs and fill out the survey.
Earlier today, Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) re-introduced a set of wilderness bill including the Oregon Treasures Act, legislation that would protect the Chetco River, Molalla River, Rogue River, and Horse Heaven and Cathedral Rock sections along the John Day River.
American Whitewater is reaching out to our membership to encourage participation in a study of boating conditions and recreation safety conducted by consultants working with the Yakama Nation Fisheries program. The study reaches include Nason Creek, Twisp River, and Chewuch River. The overall purpose of the study is to identify known and anticipated river users and evaluate riverine hazards as habitat restoration projects are planned and implemented.
U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA8) have reintroduced their Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act (H.R. 361/S. 112) along with cosponsors Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA1). This legislation will help ensure the future of some of Washington’s most popular backcountry recreation areas by designating more than 22,000 acres of wilderness adjacent to the existing Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area and protecting nearly 30 miles of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River and 10 miles of the Pratt River as Wild and Scenic Rivers.
On January 15th, American Whitewater submitted comments in support of clean-up activities at two inactive mines near Battle Axe and Opal Creeks in the Willamette National Forest in Oregon. The mines operated until the late 1980's, and are located 2 miles east of Jaw Bone Flats in the Opal Creek Scenic Recreation Area. Waste rock and soil from the mines has the potential to contaminate nearby rivers and streams through leaching and mass wasting events. American Whitewater provided comment to support clean up activities so long as they are protective of all uses, including whitewater boating.
The Bureau of Land Management manages more than 2.5 million acres in western Oregon. Currently the BLM is updating their management plan for these lands and the associated rivers. As part of this process they are evaluating rivers for their eligibility as wild and scenic rivers. We are encouraging the paddling community to participate in this process by participating in a public survey that is currently underway. The survey affords paddlers an opportunity to identify and express the recreation and other values the rivers under analysis have.
On December 6th, American Whitewater filed comments with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Black Canyon Hydro's proposed hydroelectric project on Washington's North Fork Snoqualmie River. FERC is currently in the process of considering study requests required for the project.
More than two decades after we first investigated the recreational potential of a restored White Salmon River, and a year after a blast of dynamite punched a hole in the base of Condit Dam, the river is now navigable from the headwaters all the way down to the Columbia River! The White Salmon Narrows is a technically challenging new stretch of whitewater that is officially open to paddlers with the skill set to enjoy it safely. Paddlers running this section of river should be solid Class IV boaters who are comfortable running unfamiliar sections of river.
Today, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar ensured the long-term protection of Thunder Creek, a tributary of the Skagit River, by administratively designating the river corridor as wilderness. Once threatened by hydropower, this spectacular whitewater resource is now protected as a free-flowing river.
Removal of Condit Dam is nearing completion and we are getting ready to celebrate the moment on Saturday September 29th. Contractors still have equipment in and along the river that will be removed over the next couple weeks and a log jam resulting from the dam breach still needs to be addressed. It's important for paddlers to wait until this work is done and everyone considering this reach needs to understand the hazards associated with the class IV/V entrance drop into the Narrows.
We Love Clean Rivers, in partnership with Clackamas River Basin Council, hosts the 10th Annual Down the River Clean Up on the Clackamas! Sign up today and meet Sunday September 9th, 9am at Barton County Park.
Come on out for the 10th Annual Down the River Clean Up on the Clackamas Sunday, September 9th! Whether you bring your own boat, grab a seat in a raft or help out on land, there's an opportunity for everyone to help clean up the Clackamas. Registration is required - read more for details!
This summer, American Whitewater has joined a campaign to raise funds to protect Mt. Hood's Punch Bowl Falls in Oregon. We're asking the paddling community to step up in support of this project!
The Wild Olympics Campaign, of which American Whitewater is a member, today cheered the introduction of the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act by Congressman Norm Dicks and Senator Patty Murray to permanently protect more than 126,500 acres of Olympic National Forest wilderness and 19 rivers and their major tributaries (a total of 464 river miles) as Wild and Scenic Rivers.
Last year federal regulators issued a preliminary permit allowing a developer to investigate the hydropower potential of Ernies Gorge. The developer has since decided to move forward and initiate the process of applying for a license. As the first step in this process, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has called a public meeting (Tue June 19th) to solicit local input and identify study needs. We encourage paddlers to attend the meetings to make sure FERC staff and the applicant understand the value of this reach for whitewater recreation.
Jackson County Parks and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife are leading a planning effort to develop a recreation management plan for a thirteen mile stretch of the Rogue River that includes the former sites of the Gold Ray and Gold Hill Dams. The goal of the planning project is to identify appropriate public access points along the Rogue River following dam removal and develop a strategy to proactively manage changing and increasing recreational use patterns, while maintaining the integrity of the natural resources in the area and minimizing potential conflicts.
Today, American Rivers released the annual report on America's Most Endangered Rivers. American Whitewater has partnered with American Rivers in past years in identifying threatened rivers, and this year we are working together to highlight threats to the Skykomish River in Washington and the Green River in Utah.
PacifiCorp has opened the new take-out facility at Northwestern Park. Construction was completed late last month and for the first time since Condit Dam was breached in October 2011, a public access is once again available downstream of Husum Falls.
Late last month the State of Washington issued a key permit for the removal of Millpond Dam on Sullivan Creek. The permit, issued under the Clean Water Act, reflects a 2010 settlement agreement reached between the dam owner, the Forest Service, the State of Washington, American Whitewater, and several other parties. The permit gives the dam owner up to 2 years to finalize removal plans prior to implementing the removal.
AW is pleased to announce the release of our technical stream modification guide offering specific considerations to help projects meet recreational objectives as well as primary engineering or habitat objectives. This guide is intended to help paddlers advocate for safer stream modification projects that fully support the restoration, protection, and public enjoyment of rivers and streams.
Last week American Whitewater and a group of regional environmental organizations intervened in opposition of a proposed dam and diversion on northern Idaho's Boundary Creek. The proposed hydropower project would de-water a spectacular and remote whitewater stream, and would impact a stunning array of rare, threatened, and endangered species.
Last year the Obama Administration released draft guidance on which streams should be protected by the Clean Water Act. Today, we joined the American Canoe Association and our other partners in the Outdoor Alliance in reiterating our support for the proposed guidance, and requesting the issuance of final guidance.
Today, the Columbia Bioregional Education Project, joined by several conservation groups including American Whitewater, issued a new economic analysis of Okanogan Public Utility District’s proposal to re-start hydropower generation at Enloe Dam on the Similkameen River. The analysis, prepared by Rocky Mountain Econometrics concludes that it is not possible for the PUD to sell power from Enloe Dam at or above the cost of producing it, and that the PUD will lose $26 for every megawatt hour produced at the dam.
Currently underway, the Elwha River restoration project is the biggest dam removal effort in history. This week we are proud to release the third film in our series on dam removal celebrating the Year of the River.
Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley along with Representatives Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, and Kurt Schrader have introduced legislation (S.2001/H.R.3436) to permanently protect portions of the Rogue River and its surrounding forests. The legislation would protect the quality of the world-class recreational experience this river provides.
It's now time to start thinking about multi-day trips for this spring and there are several great opportunities on Western Rivers. Many of these rivers require you to fill out a lottery application and deadlines are coming up. Check out our database of permits and start planning that trip.
Earlier today American Whitewater was joined by Alpine Lakes Protection Society, American Rivers, North Cascades Conservation Council, Sierra Club – Washington State Chapter, The Mountaineers, and Washington Wild in formally opposing the proposed hydropower project on the South Fork of the Skykomish River at Sunset Falls.
Since their formal announcement in mid-November, Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Norm Dicks have been soliciting input on their draft conservation proposal for the Olympic Peninsula to establish new Wilderness, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and provide an opportunity for targeted Olympic National Park preserve additions through a willing-buyer, willing-seller process.
On Thursday, December 1st, Willamette Riverkeeper, Patagonia and REI will be hosting the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Portland, and you're invited! AW will be there! We hope you can join us for the event!
Hey PNW River Lovers! If you'll be in Portland on Tuesday, November 29th, come check out the 2011 Wild Rivers Night. The evening will feature films about the PNW's Salmon, Elwha, and White Salmon Rivers, and a slideshow about Siberia's Kaa-Kem River. River aficionado Tim Palmer will also give a presentation entitled "Field Guide to American Rivers." It'll be a great evening and AW will be there! We hope you will join us!
PacifiCorp has announced that they have closed the river access at Northwestern Lake Park (the take-out for the Lower White Salmon run) due to the dynamic river conditions associated with Condit Dam removal and ongoing downcutting of sediment in the vicinity of the take-out. The access will be reopened as soon as conditions stabilize.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has initiated a 60 day comment period for the proposed Sunset Falls Hydro Project. This is the first step in the process where Snohomish PUD is seeking a preliminary permit to begin a formal study of the site. American Whitewater has several concerns with this project given the community value of this river and its signature waterfall.
After nearly a century, Washington's White Salmon River in south central Washington is flowing freely again! Earlier today, a hole was blasted in the base of Condit Dam, and its reservoir - Northwestern Lake - began to pour through it. The reservoir is expected to be fully drained by sundown.As a party to the 1999 settlement agreement for removal, American Whitewater has played a leadership role in representing the interests of the whitewater recreation community in the effort to remove Condit Dam.
Today the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a Preliminary Permit for the Black Canyon Hydroelectric Project that would dewater Ernies Gorge on the North Fork Snoqualmie River. The next steps in this process are that the developer will have three years to investigate the site and file a formal application for hydropower development.
As the winter rains return to the Pacific Northwest, those passing through Washington's Olympic Peninsula in search of paddling opportunities will have an opportunity to see the largest dam removal effort in the nation underway. Olympic National Park recently opened the Elwha Dam Overlook Trail where visitors can view dam removal progress in person.
Late last month Snohomish PUD submitted a preliminary permit application to investigate the feasibility of a hydropower project at Sunset Falls on the Skykomish River. This is not the first hydropower project that has been proposed at Sunset Falls, however the river is part of the Washington State Scenic River system (RCW 79A.55.070), is within a Northwest Power and Conservation Council Protected Area from hydropower development, and has been recommended for designation as a Wild and Scenic River for its Scenic, Recreation, Fish, and Wildlife values.
Come on out and help to clean up one of Oregon's most important rivers in the Great Willamette Clean Up, Saturday and Sunday, October 8th and 9th.
The Forest Service is developing a new Forest Plan for the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and has released a Proposed Action. The Forest Service is accepting public comment on this plan that will guide management for the next decade or more.
The biggest dam removal in history begins September 17, 2011 on Washington’s Elwha River. In partnership with American Rivers and the Hydropower Reform Coalition, American Whitewater is releasing Episode 1 of our Year of the River film series.
Come on out and help clean up Oregon's Clackamas River on Sunday, September 11th! A floatilla of volunteers will cruise 15 miles of river and help to keep one of Oregon's favorite rivers clean and free of deflated dolphins, flip-flop chains, lawn chairs and other unnatural features. A couple of folks from American Whitewater will be there, and we hope you can join us!
Unhappy with a plan to protect 1 million acres of land along the Grand Canyon from new uranium mining, congressmen recently introduced a rider to an appropriations bill that would prevent these protections. Tell Congress that opening the Grand Canyon to new uranium mining would be a huge mistake!
The 2011 Chelan Gorge Recreational Releases present whitewater boating opportunities that will be
available for two weekends in July (
9th and 10th;
23rd and 24th) and two weekends in September (10th and 11th; 24th and 25th). American Whitewater
has invested more than a decade of effort into bringing this opportunity to the paddling
community of the Pacific Northwest, and we are excited to kick off the third year of weekend
Earlier today PacifiCorp made a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory (FERC) accepting the terms and conditions propsed to govern the surrender of PacifiCorp's license for the Condit Hydroelectric Project including removal of the dam. The reservoir will be drained in October 2011.
At the American Whitewater Board meeting in North Bend (WA), the Directors appointed Courtney Wilton, of Portland (OR), to a special two-year term. Please join with me in welcoming Courtney to the American Whitewater Board of Directors.
Black Canyon Hydro, LLC filed an application for a preliminary permit proposing to study the feasibility of the Black Canyon Hydroelectric Project to be located on the North Fork of the Snoqualmie River, WA. This section of river is well known to paddlers as Ernie's Gorge--a regionally significant class V whitewater run. A comment period is now open allowing the public to provide input on this permit application.
Earlier today Congressman Rick Larsen (WA-2) and Senator Patty Murray (WA) reintroduced legislation to designate Illabot Creek as a Wild and Scenic River. The legislation will protect the free-flowing character of Illabot Creek, an important habitat for threatened wild Chinook salmon, steelhead, bull trout and other wildlife, while maintaining recreational opportunities to explore this remote river gorge.
Earlier today the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released a decision that supports and orders the removal of Condit Dam, located on Washington's White Salmon River in October of this year. The decision was in response to an appeal filed by American Whitewater and our partners, and clears the path forward for one of the most exciting river restoration initiatives in the United States!
The paddling community is rallying to support a proposed 20-year federal moratorium on new uranium mining claims around Grand Canyon National Park, citing unacceptable risk to the recreational, environmental, and aesthetic values. Read more to learn how to submit a comment of your own.
We now have an updated map of all the Nation's Wild and Scenic Rivers available as a Google Earth layer that complements the data from our National Whitewater River Inventory that is also available in Google Earth.
Since it's premiere last year, "Trout on the Wind" has continued to attract accolades and awards. The 10 minute short video documents the removal of a dam located within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest on Trout Creek.
PacifiCorp has released the schedule for summer whitewater boating opportunities on the North Fork Rogue. This is the last year of a 3 year trial to evaluate instream flow needs for recreation and demand for these releases. We will be working with PacifiCorp to evaluate interest and demand for the continuation of these releases so get out there and enjoy them!
A new online reservation system is now in place for permits to boat the John Day River. Capacity limits have now been established for the Service Creek to Clarno segment and Clarno to Cottonwood segment. The permits are being released on a first-come first-serve basis and are being released in two batches (Mar 1 and May 1).
Access to the Green River Headworks put-in managed by Tacoma is unavailable due to a large volume of wood that was incorrectly placed and now blocks the boater access. Tacoma is working to address the situation with the Army Corps of Engineers and reopen the access shortly. In the meantime access is available at the headwall rapid downstream of the Tacoma watershed gate.
As with many states across the West, Washington is facing a challenging budget situation. Despite representing only 1% of the total budget, natural resource agencies are bracing for potentially significant cuts. This could impact both recreational access to rivers and state programs that protect water quality. American Whitewater has spent time at the state legislature speaking up on the value of important programs for rivers.
Earlier today Congressman Kurt Schrader and Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley re-introduced legislation to protect the Molalla as a Wild and Scenic River. The river is an outstanding recreational resource for the whitewater paddling community.
The Obama Administration issued a report on America's Great Outdoors earlier today that lists river recreation as among the top ten priorities of a new federal action plan for reconnecting people with nature through human-powered outdoor recreation. The report summarizes the results of listening sessions held around the country last summer and fall as the Obama administration sought public input on its action plan for America's Great Outdoors initiative. The report reflects the robust participation of the whitewater paddling community for heeding the call and standing up at the listening sessions to be the voice of rivers
Today Senator Murray and Congressman Reichert re-introduced joint legislation (“Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act") that will help ensure the future of some of Washington’s most popular backcountry recreation areas.
American Whitewater is pleased to introduce our newest staff member. Last week Megan Hooker, of Portland, Oregon accepted the new half-time Stewardship Assistant position with American Whitewater. Megan will provide vital support on river conservation and restoration projects around the West, with a strong focus on projects in California.
Since 2009 Chelan PUD has been working to amend the State of Washington Recreational Use Statute (RCW 4.24.210) to specifically address whitewater recreation on the Chelan Gorge. American Whitewater has supported this effort but we have identified specific issues with proposed legislation that the whitewater community should be aware of.
Follow Roy McPure as he walks you through his vision for damming whitewater rivers to generate a little electricity and make money. Support for small or "run-of-river" dams is seeing an increase as people explore new ways of making money with old ways of making electricity in an era of climate change related tax incentives.
Today the Hydropower Reform Coalition, of which American Whitewater is a member, formally released Restore, Responsibly Reviving America’s Rivers, a special publication that provides an overview of dam removal nationally, and documents past, current, and upcoming or planned removals in the Pacific Northwest.
The prospect of removing Condit Dam on the White Salmon River moved closer to reality today in a significant ruling from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioning formally ordering the removal of the dam. With today's ruling by federal regulators and approval earlier this fall by Washington State, the dam is now scheduled for removal in October of 2011.
The final countdown for the Elwha River restoration project has begun, and the largest dam removal in U.S. history is set to begin in September 2011. Removing the dams will free the Elwha River for the benefit of salmon, river-based recreation, and the cultural resources of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe.
American Whitewater is pleased to announce a new employment opportunity with our
organization. The AW Stewardship Assistant is a part-time position based in
California. Resumes will be accepted through January 7, 2011.
After a 7 year hiatus the project to upgrade the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road is back on track and Federal Highways has just announced that they will be hosting an open house in North Bend next week (Tue Dec 7, 5-7pm at USFS North Bend Ranger Station). American Whitewater has supported this project to address the ongoing maintenance issues that result in regular road closures. Boaters are encouraged to attend and speak to the value of access to this river for whitewater recreation.
Idaho Rivers United is seeking affirmation from river enthusiasts that they represent your interest in protecting the Lochsa and Clearwater rivers from a massive effort to move "mega-loads" of oil infrastructure along the rivers. IRU has a short online form with which you can endorse their efforts.
American Whitewater has put together a short flow study on the Wild and Scenic St. Joe River. If you have experience paddling or fishing on the St. Joe, please take a few minutes to fill out this survey. Also, please share this survey widely among the regional paddling and angling community.
We have witnessed some positive developments regarding the plan to remove Condit Dam and restore the White Salmon River (WA) over the last few weeks, and there are several details that we thought would be of interest to the whitewater boating community. Removal of the dam is now scheduled for October 2011.
Earlier today the Washington Department of Ecology issued the water quality permit under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. Issuance of the permit is a major milestone and is the final step before issuance of a dam removal order by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is expected later this year.