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.
Paddlers that run the New River Dries (WV) between now and July 31, 2014 are encouraged to fill out a flow study survey after each day on the water. Submitting surveys will add important data to the Extended Whitewater Evaluation Study and will greatly help American Whitewater and others negotiate improved flows for the New River Dries.
Thanks to an organization wide effort to provide transparency and operate efficiently, Charity Navigator awarded American Whitewater with its fourth consecutive 4-star rating. Receiving four out of a possible four stars indicates that American Whitewater adheres to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way. Only 6% of the nonprofits Charity Navigator rates have received four consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that American Whitewater outperforms most other charities in America. This “exceptional” designation from Charity Navigator differentiates American Whitewater from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust and support.
The November/December issue of the AW Journal features "Reminiscing About the Early Years of American Whitewater".
Current members - Read the issue now!
Not a current member? Renew or Join today!
American Whitewater is pleased to announce the November 2013 Volunteer of the Month: Todd Schindler! Todd directs over 130 volunteers in kayaks and other watercraft to provide safety support for typically 2800 athletes during the first leg of the Ironman triathlon, a 2.4 mile swim on the Ohio River in Louisville. Proceeds from this event are donated to American Whitewater. In recognition of all his contribuations, Todd will be receiving a custom Kokatat WoolCore shirt!
After more than three years of waiting the access to the Powerhouse run on the Snoqualmie River is now open for public use. While this is a short run of less than a mile, it is a popular and important section of river less than 30 miles from Seattle.
American Whitewater is pleased release a full report on the results of our summer 2013 Gunnison River Flow Survey, in addition to recommendations for regional water managers. This data will enable the management community to better evaluate opportunities to protect recreational flows in the Gunnison Basin now and into the future. Please read the post for full results and how we are using them.
As the US Government shutdown drags into a second week many of our members have reached out to us for assistance on river access issues. Impacts include closure of access points to several rivers, a halt to work on river access improvements we are working on with federal partners, and no federal agency participation in important dialogues over river management. We are working to raise the profile of impacts to our community and you can help us by weighing in.
In August, a hunter's illegal campfire exploded into the massive Rim Fire in California, burning forestlands throughout the Stanislaus National Forest, Yosemite National Park and private lands. Earlier this month, the House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing on HR 3188, also known as the Yosemite Rim Fire Emergency Salvage Act, which would expedite "salvage" logging in the national forest and Yosemite National Park. American Whitewater joined our with partners through Outdoor Alliance to weigh in on the issue.
Last week, a random run of Gunnison River Flow Survey respondents revealed that Amanda Crosby of Gunnison Colorado was the lucky winner of a free pair of KEEN's. Since we always like to know our members and volunteers better, we asked her a few questions. Here's what she had to say...
American Whitewater is proud to announce two Volunteers of the Month for October: Brian Aubin and Elizabeth Fet! Gauley Fest's awesome Volunteer Coordinator, Natalie Price, had the following to say about Brian and Elizabeth. Thanks for all the help putting on our critcal Gauley Fest fundraiser, Brian and Elizabeth! In recognition of all your efforts you'll both be receiving custom Kokatat WoolCore Shirt!
Earlier this week the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Forterra announced the purchase of 50,272 acres along the Teanaway River and its three forks to be designated as the Teanaway Community Forest. Of importance to the whitewater paddling community, this acquisition will protect riverside lands, maintain water in the river, and keep the river open and accessible to the public.
Paddlers from throughout New England converged on Jamaica State Park in southern Vermont last weekend for the annual release on the West River. The annual one day release, held the last weekend in September, is the only remaining scheduled release by the Army Corps of Engineers from the Ball Mountain Dam. Spirits were running high as approximately 800 boaters and an additional 300 commercial rafters enjoyed the warm fall day. In past years when there were two day releases, the number paddlers coming up to the West Fest was double the number who come out for single day release. AW is continuing its efforts to restore releases to the West River.
American Whitewater, with the help of Merrimack Valley Paddlers and local boaters, has completed its effort to acquire, protect and donate property along the Contoocook River. AW has long been involved with the Contoocook and was active in the sucessful effort in 2004 that resulted in the removal of a dam that extended the whitewater section of the river near the takeout. The recent acquisition of land at the put-in will assure that paddlers will continue to have access to the Class III/IV section of the river which is a popular run in southern New Hampsire for paddlers throughout New England.
The impacts of the government shutdown are being felt far and wide, and river runners are no exception. Congress failed to come to an agreement on funding the government, and as a result access to rivers on federal lands is being denied across the country. From private boaters to commercial rafting companies, the government shutdown is making a mess of river access. We encourage you to contact your Congressional representatives and tell them how the shutdown is affecting you.
Releases into Piru Creek below Santa Felicia Dam in California have been cancelled this year due to low rainfall last winter. Unfortunately, this year Piru Reservoir did not fill, and is currently 70 feet below normal levels. As a result, United Water Conservation District will not be providing access to the creek this fall.
American Whitewater is proud to announce another successful Gauley Fest, this one the 30th anniversary! A huge thanks goes out to Subaru for being Gauley Fest’s title sponsor. We’d also like to thank the many companies that support American Whitewater and Gauley Fest through their partnerships. Thanks also to the Nicholas County Veteran’s Memorial Park, the Summersville Police Department and the beautiful town of Summersville, WV for being our host. If it weren’t for the incredible efforts of our many, many volunteers (lead by Natalie Price of Hood River, OR) we simply couldn't put on Gauley Fest. We’re sincerely humbled by your support, thank you! Finally, remember that Gauley Fest will always happen on the third weekend of September, so go mark September 19-20, 2014 as the dates for the next Gauley Fest. We hope to see you there!
Today, American Whitewater submitted recommendations for amendments to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council's Fish and Wildlife Program. The Program has significant influence over rivers in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana, and American Whitewater encouraged the Council to strengthen areas that are protected from future hydropower development.
If you're coming out to Gauley Fest, make sure you check out the Ladies on the Lower G fundraiser put on by Anna Levesque and Girls at Play. It's a fun paddle down, you guessed it, the Lower Gauley and all the funds raised are graciously donated to American Whitewater. It should be an awesome trip and we hope you'll check it out. But, there is a catch, you have to sign up in advance! Check out the link above for full details and sign up now! See you at Gauley Fest!
The American Canoe Association and the Steering Committee of the Whitewater Symposium will be co-hosting the Whitewater Symposium this year in Bend, Oregon. The event will take place September 27 through 29th at the Mt. Bachelor Village Resort and Tumalo Creek Outfitters, and will bring together a diverse cross section of industry and program advocates. The event affords a unique meeting of minds who are dedicated to the whitewater medium and pro-active in fortifying its future.
This September 20-21, come join American Whitewater at the world's largest paddling festival (and our biggest fundraiser): Gauley Fest Presented by Subaru! American Whitewater is proud to join all our paddling friends in Summersville, WV for a weekend of great paddling, camping, music, vending and comraderie. What's more, this year is the 30th year of Gauley Fest, which means we have three decades of excellent whitewater paddling to celebrate after paddlers prevented a dam project and secured releases on this iconic river. See you there!
American Whitewater is pleased to announce the August 2013 Volunteer of the Month: Katrina O'Brien! Katrina is a core volunteer helping with American Whitewater's Deerfield Fest in Massacussetts each year. Deerfield Fest is AW's largest event and fundraiser in the Northeast and it takes a ton of work to put on. Katrina helps AW with all parts of the event from several months in advance all the way through clean up afterwards. In recognition of all her hard work, Katrina will be receiving a custom Kokatat WoolCore shirt! Thanks for all your help over the year's, Katrina!
Just a friendly reminder to all our wonderful vendors that plan to attend Gauley Fest: booth prices increase 15% September 1st! Make sure you reserve your booth space now! If you have any questions, check out our Gauley Fest vendor FAQ. See you there!
The 22nd annual Feather River Festival (CA) will be held during scheduled releases September 27-29, 2013. This event is a fundraiser for American Whitewater, and will be hosted once again by local paddling club Chico Paddleheads. Join us for a weekend of celebrating the Feather River through races, films and fun!
The rangers and staff of the Gauley River National Recreation Area share an open letter to boaters regarding what to expect this season on the Gauley River (WV).
Do you enjoy boating on the Nooksack River? If you do, please tell us about your experience. American Whitewater is working with several partners through the National Park Service Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance Program to develop an updated recreation plan for the upper Nooksack River basin. Your input will help us guide development of this plan.
In an effort to better understand the recreational impacts of the proposed Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project that would dam the Susitna River upstream of Devil's Canyon, a recreational survey is underway for those who have experienced this stretch of river. We encourage our members who know this river to take the survey.
Northwest hydropower developers and utilities currently have more than a dozen projects where they are seeking to build new dams on rivers and streams. At least three, the Sunset Falls and Black Canyon projects in Washington, and the Bear River Narrows project in Idaho would be located on rivers designated as Protected Areas by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. You can keep these rivers free-flowing by writing in support of maintaining the protections of the Protected Areas program.
If you have ever run Uncompahgre, Cimarron or North Fork of Gunnison please help us protect flows there by answering this very brief survey...
The first of a series of flow study dates have been rescheduled for 28 and 29, 2013 due to excessive flows predicted this week. The study aims to assess the recreational flow needs for whitewater paddling on the New River Dries in West Virginia. This flow study was requested by American Whitewater and other stakeholders, as part of the relicensing of the Hawks Nest Hydroelectric Project. Paddlers with suitable skills are encouraged to sign up to participate.
As part of the new license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, PG&E released flows for paddlers for the first time this past weekend. Elite padder Macy Burnham had this to say about the run, "Cali has many amazing class III and Class IV rivers that are accessible to your average kayaker; unfortunately, it does not have many solid class IV rivers. The Pit 5 stretch from Madesi to Big Bend Bridge definitely fills that void. It is a great little stretch of whitewater."
Earlier this week a massive piece of industrial equipment was shipped through the Wild and Scenic Lochsa River Corridor, against the wishes of the US Forest Service, the Nez Perce Tribe, and river advocates. As the shipment moved towards the Wild and Scenic River corridor though, the US Forest Service failed to take any actions to stop its progress. The result was high profile protests, and now a lawsuit against the Forest Service for failing to act.
Submit your best photos for American Whitewater's annual calendar. The deadline is August 31st, 2013. You can submit your photos via our online submission form. If your photo is selected you'll get a free copy of the calendar plus the feeling of knowing you helped us put together this important fundraiser!
Gauley Fest is the world's biggest paddling festival and American Whitewater's biggest fundraiser - but we need your help! Please sign up to volunteer and become a part of the Gauley Fest Volunteer Team! It's a fun and easy way for you to be a critical part of an amazing festival.
Bailey, Colorado - American Whitewater is pleased to recognize Ian Foley as this months Volunteer of the Month. Ian has been the lead organizer for Bailey Fest, and this year he accomplished a major milestone in improving public safety and access along the the North Fork of the South Platte River. Thanks to Ian's efforts, all the major rapids and the main canyon of Bailey are safe from the threat of private landowners shutting down river access or preventing safe portage and scouting of Four Falls. Thanks for all your work, Ian!
A team of experts assembled with U.S. Coast Guard grant funding seeks national content validation of a set of entry level, skill-based Human (manually propelled) boat operation standards. The collaborative development of sail, power and human propelled standards will eventually be recognized (not mandated) by the US Coast Guard for incorporation in recreational boating training programs nationwide. Recreational paddling and rowing enthusiasts and especially those with experience in On-Water teaching or training are urged to participate in an on-line survey.
The BLM has implemented a river closure for the Wild and Scenic Rogue River between Grave Creek and Mule Creek due to extreme fire conditions and public health and safety. In addition the Bear Camp shuttle road and Rogue River trail are closed.
Legislative momentum continues to build for the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act (S. 112, H. R. 361). Following passage of the bill by unanimous consent in the Senate, the House formally took up the legislation with a hearing before the House Natural Resources Committee.
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.
On Friday, July 19th the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an order requiring the Turlock and Modesto Irrigation Districts to obtain a license for the operation of the La Grange Dam on California's Tuolumne River. The Districts have been operating the dam without a license since 1924. The Districts originally challenged the order, claiming that the river was not navigable, however a local kayaker helped to affirm that this was not the case.
Recent high flows have moved wood and even boulders around in the West Fork of the Tuckasegee, requiring extra caution during this weekend's recreational release. A previously cancelled release has been rescheduled for August 11, making a two-day weekend of releases.
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is hosting a public meeting to discuss a new management plan for the Green River Gamelands on the evening of August 1, 2013. The new plan will inform how the Green River is protected and managed for at least the next decade. The meeting announcement specifically welcomes kayakers and other recreationists to attend the meeting and offer their opinions.
AW has filed comments with FERC in response to proposed study plans for the Connecticut River filed by FirstLight and TransCanada. Based on testimony and comments filed by AW, New England FLOW, AMC and other groups, FERC directed FirstLight and TransCanada to study the potential for whitewater boating at Turners Falls, Bellows Falls, and Sumner Falls along the Connecticut River. AW recently filed comments asking FERC to address certain deficiencies in the proposed studies so that the licensees can more completely assess the potential for whitewater boating and through paddling along the Connecticut River.
It's time for Friendsville Days and the Upper Yough Race on Saturday July 27, 2013! An extra long release leaves lots of time for river runners to enjoy the river. It's going to be a busy day in town, but the Boater Parking Area will be open to relive congestion. Please approach the town from the West and enter the parking lot by the liquor store. Do not try to get there by way of Water Street! Click the link for full information on what to expect.
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.
David Hill has represented paddlers interests and helped drive the City of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio effort to decommission two dams located in the Upper Gorge of the Cuyahoga River. In recognition of David's efforts to decommission these two dams he will be receiving a Kokatat WoolCore shirt!
Duke Energy is cancelling the planned recreation release for the bypass section of the Tuckasegee River (NC) scheduled for July 6, 2013 becasue of high flow conditions.
The Interior Department has just approved a 20-year extension for a mineral withdrawal along 14 miles of Oregon’s National Wild and Scenic Illinois River. The measure will protect one of the most spectacular stretches of river in the state from mining.
Moab, UT - LAST CALL for SURVEY TAKERS!
American Whitewater is asking for your help in defining recreational streamflows on the Colorado and Green Rivers in Canyonlands National Park. Please take five minutes to participate in this study, being conducted in cooperation with the National Park Conservation Association. Your input is very important to our efforts to protect the Colorado River System.
The town of Friendsville will welcome paddlers to Maryland’s Upper Yough this Fourth of July Weekend. If water levels cooperate this will be a busy day on the river. For Friendsville, MD (population 491) the influx of hundreds of whitewater paddlers is not without its problems. Plan to minimize your impact on the town by driving safely, being discrete while changing clothes, and by being careful when carrying boats along busy Maple Avenue. Remember that the town requests that paddlers not park along Water Street or Morris Avenue (the two riverside streets) unless you are patronizing local businesses. It’s not strictly illegal, but it’s the kind of neighborly consideration that country people expect.! Those invited by local residents on these streets to take out on their property should park completely off the street. American Whitewater maintains the put-in at Sang Run; our suggested donation, $2 per visit or $20 for the season, remains unchanged. For an update on the planned boater parking lot, click the link below.
American Whitewater continues to weigh in on PG&E's efforts to permanently cancel the summer flushing/whitewater flows on the Pit River at the Pit 1 Hydroelectric Project in Northern California. Currently, the proposal is undergoing review by the State Water Resources Control Board ("SWRCB") under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). American Whitewater's comments, which were submitted on Monday, June 24th, can be viewed here. The paddling community will have opportunity to comment again after the SWRCB releases its Draft Environmental Impact Report.
Earlier today, American Whitewater submitted comments on the Draft Comprehensive River Management Plan for the Wild and Scenic Rivers designated under the Craig Thomas Snake River Headwaters Act. We encourage river enthusiasts to contact Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks and ask them to reconsider paddling in their planning process.
If you have ever paddled Gunnison Basin Runs like Oh-Be-Joyful, the Taylor, the Uncompahgre, the Black Canyon or Gunnison Gorge, please help us protect flows on these western Colorado gems by completing the Gunnison River Flow Survey. When you do, we'll enter you in a drawing to win a free pair of KEENS!
Earlier today the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) cancelled the permit that had granted a limited liability corporation exclusive rights to study and pursue de-watering Boundary Creek, located in Northern Idaho. The proposed hydropower project would have severely impacted over 6 miles of the pristine and biologically vital stream in the wild Selkirk Mountains.
Nominations to the AW Board of Directors close on July 1. If you have any interest is serving as a volunteer Director with a passion for our river stewardship mission and a mix of appropriate skills to help guide AW and meet the challenges we face please review this post.
Earlier today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray announced that legislation to expand the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and federally designate both the Pratt and stretches of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers as Wild and Scenic has passed the Senate. In addition, legislation designating Illabot Creek in Skagit County as a Wild and Scenic River has also passed the Senate. Both bills await action in the House.
The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) recently circulated updated information on dam releases that will affect regional whitewater runs, paddling opportunities and environmental flows on the Taylor River and on the Gunnison RIver in the Black Canyon and Gunnison Gorge. This post contains information on these updates.
American Whitewater and Merrimack Valley Paddlers have reached an agreement to purchase a 10-acre parcel fronting on Contoocook River in Henniker, NH. The land serves as an important launch point for whitewater paddlers enjoying the popular section of the river that runs from Hillsborough to Henniker. This section of the Contoocook River contains rapids ranging in difficulty from Class II to Class IV.
The Forest Service is updating their management plan for the Clearwater and Nez Perce national forests, and now is a great time for paddlers to advocate for river protection and enjoyment. Check out AW's comments, and send some of your own before July 1, 2013.
American Whitewater's Accident Database contains more than 1000 fatal accidents and near misses reported over the last 35 years. We sometimes give qualified water safety researchers access to this material. Our latest research partner is Ed Kern, a Masters Degree candidate in civil engineering at Brigham Young University in Utah. Click through for more information and a link to his web site.
The company that has been seeking permits to build three new hydropower projects in Montana announced today that they are abandoning their proposals - for now. This is a great relief for the many Montanans that care about the incredible paddling, fishing, and scenery of East Rosebud Creek, West Rosebud Creek, and the Madison River.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has scheduled a set of public meetings and a site visit on June 12th and 13th that are open to the public for those who wish to comment on the proposed hydropower development at Sunset Falls. Written comments on the proposal are being accepted through July 19th.
The Wenatchee River Festival will take place once again this weekend with the main festivities on Saturday June 8th. The festival will be at Riverside Park in Cashmere so come on down to enjoy the events or just take advantage of the shuttle to enjoy the river. We'll have the patio reserved for food and drink as well as evening entertainment.
American Whitewater is proud to announce our June 2013 Volunteers of the Month: Chris Donochod, Justyn Thompson, Mark Mickey, Matt Kern, and Sid Border! These five fine folks are the team behind French Broad River Fest a music event that celebrates the French Broad River in NC and raises an average of $5,000 for American Whitewater and other local NC non-profits each year. In recognition of all their hard work, the whole crew will be receiving a custom Kokatat WoolCore shirt! Thanks guys!
Only twice each year, American Whitewater appeals for financial support for our river stewardship work. To this end, we've put together the 2013 American Whitewater Summer Appeal (pdf). It details just how our supporter's money is spent and features a national listing of some of the major projects we're currently involved with. We sincerely hope you'll take the time to peruse this document and consider donating or joining/renewing with American Whitewater.
Green River, Utah - The Natural Resource Conservation Service is soliciting public comments on the proposed reconstruction of the Tusher Canyon Diversion Structure, an historic dam just downstream of Swasey's Rapid on the Green River. AW has asked that the NRCS prepare a full Environmental Impact Study for the project, which could include new boat passage at the dam site. A 2nd comment period is now open, and comments are due by June 28th.
Earlier this month, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks released their draft plan for managing several new Wild and Scenic Rivers. They dismissed any consideration of allowing paddling on the rivers except where it is currently allowed. If you would like to be able to take a canoe, kayak, or pack raft trip down these Wild and Scenic rivers, please consider attending one of two public meetings June 4 and 5, 2013, or submit written comments.
On Tuesday, June 11th, California's State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) will hold two public meetings about whether to permanently cancel summer flushing/whitewater flows through Northern California's Pit River Canyon. The Pit 1 reach is a valued whitewater resource, and it's important that boaters weigh in on the process, either by turning out to a meeting or submitting written comments!
Earlier this month American Whitewater filed comments on the "assessment phase" of the forest planning process for the two National Forests in Western North Carolina. We offered information on rivers that are regulated by hydropower dams, as well as advocating for protection of the region's remaining wild and free-flowing rivers.
Lyons, Colorado - For the second year in a row, Oskar Blues Brewery is hosting the Burning Can Festival at this year Lyons Outdoor Games. Burning Can, which takes place under the backdrop of Rocky Mountain National Park and the St. Vrain River, is a celebration of good beer, served in a can. This year, All money raised from Lyons Outdoor Games recycled cans will be donated to American Whitewater. See you there!
In late 2012, PG&E directly challenged the authority of California’s water quality agency–the State Water Resources Control Board–to protect the beneficial uses of rivers impacted by hydropower projects. On Tuesday, May 7, American Whitewater and our partners testified at a hearing before the SWRCB, standing up for the agency’s authority to protect the public interest and respond to changing conditions in the future.
The long awaited first releases on the Missisquoi River in Sheldon Springs, Vermont, were cancelled due to a lack of rain in the northeast. The releases were scheduled for the first 6 weekend days in May, but we were forced to cancel the first three weekends while we wait for the rivers to rise. So put on your booties and do your best rain dance so we can enjoy this big water Class IV run in the bypass reach of the Sheldon Springs Dam.
Duke Energy is currently spilling 600 cfs into the West Fork and will be unable to decrease the flow to provide the scheduled bypass recreation release of 250 cfs for May 11. Duke Energy plans to reschedule this 250 cfs West Fork Bypass Recreation Release on Sunday, June 9.
After a decade of effort, a new million-dollar valve on the Quemahoning Dam pours into the Stonycreek Canyon. A coalition of partners known as the Stonycreek Quehamoning Initiative worked on the whitewater release project and the development of Whitewater Park. Stonycreek Rendezvous celebrates that success.
Come see American Whitewater at Deerfield Fest in Charlemont, MA on July 13th! Deerfield Fest is one of AW's largest fundraising events and the Northeast's biggest whitewater festival. Plus, for vendors, booths are only $50! You can purchase one right now via our vendor registration form. Prices increase to $100 on July 5th.
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.
American Whitewater is proud to announce Laura Dillon as our May Volunteer of the Month! Laura is a key part of Tallulah (GA) releases and coordinates volunteers to assist with those iconic releases. As a thanks for her many efforts, Laura will be receiving a Kokatat WoolCore shirt! Thanks Laura!
American Whitewater (AW) is pleased to announce the launch of our 2013 Gunnison River Basin Flow Survey. By participating in the survey, you can help us define recreational flow needs thoughout the Basin, and protect flows in the future. Your participation is incredibly valuable; the more responses we get, the more robust our findings will be which will strengthen our represention of paddler interest.
Teams of canoes and decked boats will compete in river rescue events on the Tuckasegee River in Dillsboro, NC.
This May and June join Paddle to the Sea – the Tuolumne River Trust’s popular paddle-a-thon where hundreds of river lovers and boating enthusiasts raft, canoe and kayak from the Sierra to San Francisco Bay. There is adventurous whitewater and mellow flat-water; fun one-day trips, or going the distance. Boaters of all skills and ages are encouraged to join.
Saturday May 18th - US Senator Mark Udall will host a listening session in Golden, Colorado, to hear community comments about his Browns Canyon of the Arkansas River National Monument and Wilderness Area proposal. This meeting is the second of two public meetings that Udall is holding regarding the proposal. Public Comments are encouraged.
Green River, Utah - The NRCS has determined that the Green River Diversion structure, an historic lowhead dam just upstream of the Town of Green River needs additional Environmental Study and Review. The structure is the ONLY barrier to downstream navigability on the Green River from Flaming Gorge to Lake Powell, and American Whitewater is working to secure safe boat passage under various management alternatives.
Last week a federal judge ruled in favor of the US Forest Service in the case regarding the management of the Wild and Scenic upper Chattooga River. The decision upholds the current USFS policy of allowing paddling December through April, above 350cfs, on 15 miles of the 21-mile-long upper Chattooga. While the legal decision is a disappointment, this new management plan is clearly a victory for the paddling community, and is the direct result of over 15 years of advocacy that included an active legal strategy.
May 4th (CheatFest Weekend) is the first scheduled Saturday release on Maryland’s Upper Yough! If water levels cooperate this will be a busy day on the river. For Friendsville, MD (population 491) the influx of hundreds of whitewater paddlers can cause problems. Minimize your impact on the town by driving safely, being discrete while changing clothes, and by being careful when carrying boats along busy Maple Avenue. Remember that there is no parking along Water Street or Morris Avenue (the two riverside streets) unless you are patronizing local businesses. Those invited by local residents to take out on their property should park completely off the street. American Whitewater takes care of the put-in at Sang Run; our suggested donation, $2 per visit or $20 for the season, remains unchanged. For an update on the planned boater parking lot, click the link below.
To date, Yosemite National Park has conducted an extensive amount of public outreach on the Draft Merced Wild and Scenic River Plan. Today the Park announced that they are extending the deadline for the public to submit comments to Tuesday, April 30th. American Whitewater submitted comments today, and you can read them here!
The annual Cheat River Festival is Friends of the Cheat's annual celebration of spring. This year's festival is dedicated to Bob Burrell, a well-known paddler, conservationist, and guidebook writer based in Morgantown, WV. There will be a kayak race, great food, terrific vendors, and outstanding music. Friends of the Cheat is a long-time partner of American Whitewater; they manage many useful projects watershed incuding four river access sites. Two of these were developed working closely with AW. The place is Albright, West Virginia; the date is Saturday, May 4th, 2013 from 12 noon to 11 pm. For more information click the link below:
American Whitewater just recieved an report on the death of Selby Arno on California's Clear Creek last December. It is very complete and well written; you can read the entire report by clicking on the link below:
Scheduled releases occur the first two weekends in April and the first three weekends in November. Check out this article for the most up to date information on how to enjoy the river.
Releases are set to begin this weekend on the West Fork of the Tuckasegee (NC), however the river still has significant numbers of log strainers. Scouting runs have revealed 8-10 portages, and many more wood pieces that pose significant risk. Given the unusual amount of wood in the river at this time, paddlers are strongly cautioned about choosing to paddle the West Fork at this time.
American Whitewater is seeking nominations of interested and qualified candidates to serve as volunteer Directors. We are seeking qualified candidates to begin three-year terms starting January 1, 2014.
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.
This May 3-5th, 2013, American Whitewater will be at the French Broad River Fest in Hot Springs, NC, where the French Broad River meets the Appalachian Trail. Proceeds for the event get donated to American Whitewater and other non-profits. In 2012 French Broad River Fest donated over $5,000 to American Whitewater alone! Tickets are $80 online (www.FrenchBroadRiverFestival.com).
American Whitewater is proud to annouce Phillip "Bubba" Sisk as our April Volunteer of the Month! Bubba is an integral part of the National Paddling Film Festival (which raises $5,000+ for American Whitewater each year!). As a thanks for his many efforts, Bubba will be receiving a Kokatat WoolCore shirt! Thanks Bubba!
Thanks to everyone who submitted comments for the Tuolumne River Plan last month! Now is your chance to weigh in on how the Wild and Scenic Merced River in Yosemite National Park will be managed in the future–comments are due April 18th. With your help, we can advocate more effectively for opening this stunning and amazing river to the public!
Colorado - Mark Udall, who chairs the U.S. Senate National Parks Subcommittee, unveiled draft legislation today to create the Browns Canyon National Monument, covering 22,000 acres between Salida and Buena Vista in Chaffee County. AW has been active in supporting and helping shape the proposal which includes 10,500 acres of new wilderness and seeks to protect the most popular rafting destination in the country.
On Thursday, March 28th, the Nevada Assembly Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on AB 396, which is a bill that will ensure access for recreation on Nevada's lakes and streams. Strong access laws are especially important if you enjoy spending time on rivers, and paddler's voices are important in this process for Nevada. You can participate a number of ways…
On Saturday April 6th, 2013, California Canoe & Kayak and Jackson Kayak will host a day of whitewater fun in Coloma, CA to benefit American Whitewater. The day will be filled with whitewater clinics for everyone and a BBQ, raffle, music, and whitewater slideshows afterwords. We hope to see you there!