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...
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 email@example.com
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.
If you're in the PNW and can't make it to Gauley Fest, come celebrate Wilderness and the dry side of the Cascades with Wilderness Weekend, September 18th - 20th in Bend, Oregon. Events include the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, 27th Desert Conference and the WilderFest Block Party. Come on out to one or all of these events!
While the decades long struggle to secure releases on the West River in Vermont continues, the Army Corps of Engineers has modified its operating procedures for the Ball Mountain Dam in Jamaica, VT, resulting in new opportunities for boaters in the northeast to enjoy this whitewater treasure. The Corps has decided to modify how it releases water from the dam in order to provide boaters with new weekend boating opportunities following significant rainfall, and is hoping to be able to provide a second release day for the annual West Fest in September.
This year's Sullivan Creek releases will begin September 3, and will continue each day for at least a couple months. These releases, the gage, and a related dam removal were the outcome of a collaborative negotiation between the regional Public Utility District that owns the dams, American Whitewater, and a suite of local, state, and national groups.
Kremmling, Colorado - In a recent decision, the Bureau of Land Management has approved Grand County's application to construct a whitewater park on the Colorado River below Gore Canyon. The Proposed Gore Canyon Whitewater Park, located on public lands, seeks to protect streamflows in the Colorado River for recreational paddling. AW has supported this effort for several years, and we are pleased that this recent decision allows Grand County to move forward with construction of the park.
Lake Mead, the nation's largest reservoir, has been making a lot of national headlines lately. Its water level has dropped to its lowest level ever, and, it continues to drop every day, as the drought that's gripping much of the American West marches on. And though the lake itself is hundreds of miles from us here in Colorado, we have a lot at stake in the Colorado River and the reservoir's record-low levels have implications for our local communities.
The recreation releases scheduled for August 23/ 24 have been rescheduled for August 30/ 31. The releases needed to be postponed because of a breakdown at one of PG&E’s powerhouses.
Gauley season is just around the corner and in preparation for fall releases American Whitewater received the following open letter to boaters from the rangers and staff of the Gauley River National Recreation Area informing boaters of planning efforts for this season.
This year’s Festival will be on Saturday Aug 16, 2014. You can register at the event. We need plenty of help, and will require everyone 18 and over who wants to run the Falls to give the event at least one hour of safety! Registration fees are only $15 and volunteers who give us at least two hours of their time will receive a cool T-shirt.
Registration for the 36th Annual Moke Races on September 13th and 14th is live! Come see for yourself the beauty of the Mokelumne River watershed and understand why American Whitewater is supporting a bill that will designate 37 miles of the river as a State Wild & Scenic River. And of course, enjoy a weekend of friendly competition, camaraderie and paddling!
On Monday, August 4th American Whitewater submitted testimony to the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks in support of three bills that, if passed, will protect important whitewater rivers in Colorado, Montana and Washington. These include the Browns Canyon National Monument and Wilderness Act (S. 1794), East Rosebud Creek Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (S. 2392), and the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area Act (S. 2602). Our testimony follows the sub-committee hearing held on July 23, 2014.
Southwestern US - The U.S. Department of the Interior and major water utilities in Phoenix, Las Vegas, Southern California, and Denver have announced a landmark water conservation agreement called the Colorado River System Conservation program. The program will reduce demands on Colorado River water, keeping conserved water in the river to help boost declining reservoir levels and benefiting the health of the entire river system.
On Friday, July 25 American Whitewater submitted comments to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council on its Draft Amended Fish and Wildlife Program. We urged the Council to strengthen important river protections throughout the Pacific Northwest that protect over 44,000 miles of rivers and streams from new hydropower projects.
In follow up to an article regarding the Upper American River Project published in the Mar/Apr 2014 American Whitewater Journal (Page 10), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has finally issued the license for the Upper American River Project (UARP) #2101. This is great news for paddlers in Central California who have been working and waiting for this moment for over a decade.
American Whitewater and Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) partner to present the new DamNation film produced by Patagonia at NOC’s main campus in on the Nantahala (NC) on Saturday, August 16, at 8:30 p.m.
On Wednesday, July 23 at 2:30 ET, Colorado Senator Mark Udall will lead a hearing of the U.S. Senate National Parks Subcommittee on a suite of land and river conservation bills. The hearing will focus on several bills that are near and dear to the paddling community, including bills to protect Browns Canyon (CO), East Rosebud Creek (MT), and the Mountains to Sound Greenway (WA). Read more to see how you can help.
Many of you have probably heard about the water level in Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir, has dropped to its lowest level ever. And, it continues to drop every day, as the drought that’s gripping much of the American West marches on. That isn’t great news for water users who are dependent on it. But what does it mean for the Colorado River, river recreation, and the use of water across our country?
The Mid Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group has begun work on a Lower White Salmon River Fish Habitat Conservation Strategy and as part of this effort they are hosting an online meeting through this Sunday July 20th (you can join any time). We encourage the whitewater paddling community to contribute to the discussion.
This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of the Deerfield Fest, an annual celebration of boating on the Deerfield River in western Massachusetts. The festival is an opportunity to come together with your paddling friends and listen to live music, check out the festival vendors, and maybe win a boat and other gear at the silent auction.
Help protect rivers in Western North Carolina! On Thursday, July 10, 2014, the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests will be hosting a meeting in Asheville to solicit public input on their current Forest Planning effort. A lunch-time Wild and Scenic River session will be offered for people to recommend new protections and improved management. You can expect a poster or two to check out, a friendly Forest Service staffer to chat with, and some comment cards to fill out. There may be no easier way to save rivers on your lunch break!
The North Fork Smith River needs your help. An international corporation has their sights set on developing a nickel strip mine on a tributary of Baldface Creek, which is a tributary of the North Fork Smith River. Both are whitewater gems with pristine water quality that also provide strong salmon and steelhead habitat and supply drinking water for residents downstream.
The Town of Friendsville, MD asks that everyone running the Upper Yough on Friday and Saturday over 4th of July weekend park in the field next to the liquor store just off Maple Avenue. This is the site of the parking lot that will be developed later this summer. Your cooperation will help reduce congestion in town. Please enter the lot from the main road. Don't forget to stay clear of residential areas along Water Street and Morris Avenue unless invited bu local residents or patronizing a business. And please contribute to American Whitewater's fee box at the Sang Run put-in to help maintain the site. Thank you!
This year is IRIE Rafting Company's 20th Anniversary and July 9th is also Frank, the founders, 50th Birthday. Frank has alwasy felt IRIE needed to give back to the community and the environment. Over the past 20 years IRIE has done just that through their benefit days and by offering very discounted rafting trips for under privileged guests.
This time around, on Wedneday July 9th, IRIE will give all proceeds from their half day Truckee River trips and proceeds from their 20th Anniversary Extravaganza to American Whitewater and the Truckee River Watershed Council.
Throughout July you can help keep our rivers flowing just by sharing your summer adventure photos on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! For every photo Tweeted, or posted to Instagram or Facebook with the tag #MeetTheMoment, CLIF Bar will donate $1 to American Whitewater. We know you're already sharing your summer fun photos with your friends. Add #MeetTheMoment for a simple and easy way to support American Whitewater's work to restore and protect the rivers you enjoy!
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council is currently accepting public comment and holding public hearings about important river protections that impact freely flowing rivers throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho and parts of Montana. Hydropower developers have sought to weaken these protections, and we encourage you to speak up for freely flowing rivers throughout the Pacific Northwest today! Comments are due by July 25th.
Green River, Utah - The final proposed action for rehabilitating the Green River/Tusher Canyon Diversion Structure has been released for public review. Thanks to overwhelming support from the public during the public comment period, downstream boat passage is included in the plan.
Thank you for sending in your comments - we did it!
Earlier this month we joined a diverse group of stakeholders for a paddle down the Upper Colorado river – through the roadless section between Catamount and Pinball – to appreciate the mighty river, and the almost-final success of a preservation plan for its long-term flows. Flows were high, which gave us a chance to appreciate just what a lot of water does for riparian vegetation, and also how important it is to have more stream gauges that help us understand the impact of both high and low flows.
Photo Credit: Justice Greg Hobbs
American Whitewater’s affiliate group, The Friends of the Yampa, has been organizing multi day Yampa River Awareness Project raft trips down the Yampa Canyon since 2006. The idea of bringing together paddlers, river advocates, politicians, photographers, videographers and the press was born out of a major threat to the Yampa’s flows some 8 years ago.
Submit your best photos for American Whitewater's annual calendar by August 1st, 2014. You can submit your photos via our simple online form. If your photo is selected you'll get a free copy of the calendar plus the feeling of knowing you helped us put together this important fundraiser!
Twice each year, American Whitewater reaches out to ask that you help support our work to protect and restore rivers across the country, and ensure that the public can enjoy them safely. Our 2014 Summer Appeal highlights our key projects for the rest of the year, and as you'll see, we've got our work cut out for us–from the Department of Energy's call to dam every river, to projects to protect and restore cherished rivers throughout the country. As a whitewater lover and fierce defender of rivers, your support is more important than ever to help us see these projects through. You can help by becoming a member or making a tax-deductible donation today!
Earlier this month, Colorado Governor Hicklenooper vetoed a great water conservation and river protection bill. After a year of work by a diverse coalition of farmers, water providers and conservationists across the state to reach a compromise to address the state’s water woes, Hickenlooper reversed course and killed the bill.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado - Energy development in the Yampa and Green River basins needs to strike a balance with river health. The Steamboat Springs newspaper - The Steamboat Pilot - printed AW's take on this important issue.
The 23rd Annual Feather River Festival (CA) will be held during scheduled releases on the Feather River September 26-28, 2014. The Feather River Festival is the second largest American Whitewater fund-raising event in the country! The benefit event will be held at "Indian Jim School" campground located two miles upstream from the small town of Tobin and one mile upstream from Tobin Vista. Free camping and ample parking will be available.
Jamie McEwan, the whitewater canoe racer whose skill inspired a generation of paddlers, lost his battle with cancer on Sunday, June 14th. He was 61. In 1972 Jamie, then 19, won a bronze medal in C-1 Slalom at the Olympic games in Munich, Germany. That medal, the first won by an American, inspired many younger paddlers (including several future medalists) to train hard and become champions. Twenty years later, he teamed up with partner Lecky Haller to finish 4th in C-2 Slalom at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. His astonishing career continued when, in 2001, he made the U.S. Whitewater Team paddling C-2 with his son Devin. He also participated in serious river expeditions to Mexico, British Columbia, Bhutan, and Tibet. Recently he helped create the Whitewater Slalom Foundation, which supports for a network of Regional Junior Whitewater Teams to encourage youth participation in the sport. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
American Whitewater seeks to maintain a strong, balanced, strategic-thinking Board of Directors that accurately reflects the stewardship mission of the organization. We are currently accepting nominations for two upcoming openings in our Board of Directors. The nomination process is open until July 1. Interested candidates must submit an online nomination form and questionnaire.
Glenwood Springs, Colorado - In District Court this week, American Whitewater was granted a Motion to Intevene in the case for recreational water rights in the Colorado River. American Whitewater and Western Resource Advocates have jointly interevened in support of Glenwood Springs water rights application in an effort to help the City of Glenwood secure legal protection of streamflows for recreation.
The Wenatchee River Festival is on for this weekend in Cashmere, WA. This year's festival will include Free shuttles, Riverboard/Raft Surf Competition, Raft and Kayak Down River Races, Freestyle Event, Raft Flip-n-Recovery Event, Throw-rope competition throughout the day, Silent Auction, and Displays featuring festival sponsors, vendors and community groups. All events will take place in Riverside Park in Cashmere. Lunch will be provided by Cascade Canoe and Kayak and the event dinner and party will be at Milepost 111 in Cashmere.
Deerfield Fest is one of AW's largest fundraising events and the Northeast's biggest whitewater festival. Surrounded by a three day release schedule on the Deerfield River, it's going to be awesome. This year, for the first time, we will have overnight tenting on the festival grounds in Charlemont. Reserve your spot early because they are going fast! We hope to see you there!
A 90 -mile stretch of the Connecticut River, flowing from Wilder Dam in Hartford, Vermont to Turners Falls in Massachusetts, will be the focus of three controlled flow studies this summer and fall. Five hydroelectric projects operated by TransCanada and FirstLight are up for relicensing by FERC. Flow studies are scheduled for June 28-29 at Sumner Falls and July 19-21 at Turners Falls. The Bellows Falls Study is scheduled for sometime in the early fall.
Throughout the month of June, boaters are invited to join the Oregon State Marine Board agency staff and non-motorized advisory committee members for evening dialog sessions about your boating interests and what you need in your area to better support your activities out on the water. The Listening Sessions will focus primarily on discussions about boating access, on-the-water safety, education and information opportunities, and funding options to support these services. Meetings will be held in Portland, Medford/White City, La Grande, Tillamook, Eugene/Springfield and Bend.
Buena Vista, CO - On Friday May 30, Colorado State Parks announced that it closed the Arkansas River between Buena Vista (bottom of the whitewater park) and Wilderness Aware boat ramp until further notice. After meeting with AW and Colorado Whitewater, river managers aknowledged that the closure does not apply to kayaks and canoes.
Photo Courtesy Chaffee County Times
Virgin River Gorge, Arizona -
AW has released the next set of flow-surveys for the Virgin River Gorge, and we need your input! If you have paddled the upper or lower sections of this spectacular gorge, please take a minute to evaluate flows. This information will help protect river health and recreation.
Green River, UT - With flows of over 350cfs, Utah's San Rafael River is drawing lots of visitation this week from paddlers. If you have paddled the San Rafael - please take a minute to help us identify how flows affect paddling opportunities by participating in a quick on-line survey.
There’s simply no better, more popular resource than the American Whitewater website for paddling and river stewardship information. This value is reflected in the incredible amount of usage our site sees with over 800,000 page views a month serving thousands and thousands of river enthusiasts every day. What’s more, all this content is completely free! Now, we need your help to fund an overhaul of this incredible resource so we can serve our users for the next decade. We’re calling on all website users and river enthusiasts to make a tax-deductible donation to support a deeply needed update of our website. Donate Today: Fill out our online donation form and put “website” in the comments field
The Senate unanimously passed a drought relief bill for California last night. There's a good chance that important river protections, restoration efforts and the Wild and Scenic Merced will get caught in the middle when the bill goes to conference in the House. Help us keep these river protections strong! No matter your home state, contact your Senators and Representatives to speak up for rivers in California and Wild and Scenic Rivers everywhere!
Yesterday Senator John Walsh (D-MT) introduced legislation to designate a spectacular 20 mile section of Montana's East Rosebud Creek as a Wild and Scenic River. Designation will protect the stream from future hydropower dams, water quality degradation, and other impacts, while allowing continued enjoyment and uses of the stream. American Whitewater fully supports this move and looks forward to permanent protection for East Rosebud and other worthy streams in Montana.
Gauley Fest is the world's biggest paddling festival and American Whitewater's biggest fundraiser - but we need your help! Please sign up to volunteer and become a part of the Gauley Fest Volunteer Team! It's a fun and easy way for you to be a critical part of an amazing festival.
Colorado River Delta, Mexico - It's jokingly said, that few things move as slow as water, especially the work of protecting and restoring water in our rivers. Sometimes, restoring rivers takes a few years - sometimes decades. Today, after years of hard work the Colorado River is reaching the Sea of Cortez. This event is good for everyone, and American Whitewater would like to celebrate the decades of work that have been invested into this restoration effort.
As we do from time to time, we at the AW Journal are soliciting stories from you to help make our magazine the best it can be. So whether you’re a regular contributor or someone who’s never written about paddling before, now is the time to write and send us your stories.
A fun little story on West Fork Tuckasegee releases and the removal of Dillsboro Dam that enabled those recreation flows is a great example of the work we do at American Whitewater to protect, restore and enjoy rivers.
As a result of the imminent bridge replacement in Monroe Bridge, it will not be possible to cross the bridge to access the Dryway put-in on the Rowe side, either by vehicle or on foot, during this summer boating season. We are asking boaters, for this season, to use the old put-in that we used during the original construction of the dam.
Another dry year in California has left us with extreme drought conditions and an almost nonexistent paddling season this winter and spring. Fortunately, paddling opportunities that have been negotiated by American Whitewater were based on information drawn from years of previous hydrographs and water years like the last drought of 1976-1977. After working with the licensee to insure water for downstream consumptive requirements and protection of ecological resources, California will have 27 days of recreational releases on the Pit, Feather and Mokelumne rivers between May and October.
Last week the U.S. Department of Energy released a report on the potential for new hydropower projects across the country. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced that the U.S. has the potential to add more than 65.5 GW of new hydropower to the nation's energy portfolio by damming over 3 million river and stream reaches by 2030, including iconic rivers like the Penobscot River in Maine, the Tuckaseegee River in North Carolina, and the Smith River in California. If fully developed, these hydropower projects would destroy over 1,700 whitewater runs across the country.
The first Saturday release on Maryland's busy Upper Youghiogheny River is on May 3. The takeout town of Friendsville, Maryland doubles its population on release weekends, so paddlers need to do all they can to minimize their impact. Please park respectfully on Maple Avenue and don't block traffic. Avoid the riverfront (Morris Avenue or Water Street) unless you have an invitation from a property owner or business. Public drinking and nudity are offensive to local residents so please use the change areas provided. American Whitewater will maintain the put-in facility in Sang Run for the 11th consecutive year. We encourage paddlers to make donations towards upkeep expenses: we suggest $2 per visit or $20 for the season.
On April 14, 2014 the Forest Supervisor for Stanislaus National Forest issued Rim Fire Closure Order 2014-01 that reopens boating access to the following sections of the Wild & Scenic Tuolumne River as outlined below:
Cherry Creek to Meral's Pool - Access to the Upper Tuolumne/Cherry Creek launch at Holm Powerhouse off Cherry Lake Road by permitted shuttle service only.
Meral's Pool to Ward's Ferry Bridge - Access to Meral's Pool Boat Launch via Lumsden Road (1N10) between Ferretti Road and Lumsden Bridge.
Dates for the New River Dries Paddling Flow Study have been confirmed for May 6 and 7, 2014. Volunteer paddlers with suitable (Class IV) skills are encouraged to participate in the study, and to RSVP.
American Whitewater congratulates Friends of the Cheat as it celebrates its 20th anniversary at the annual Cheat River Festival on May 3rd. The organization, founded by a group of whitewater paddlers and local residents, has been a driving force in the river’s rapidly improving water quality. The river, which was badly polluted when the group was founded, recently passed a significant milestone: the lower 26 miles of the Cheat River main were removed from the state’s list of acid-impaired waters in 2012! In addition, FOC maintains four paddling access areas on the Cheat and Big Sandy Rivers. American Whitewater worked closely with FOC in developing these sites. For more information on this year's CheatFest use this link: http://www.cheat.org/our-work/cheat-river-festival/.
Thanks to the tireless work of The Nature Conservancy and The Conservation Fund over 3,800 acres of the Cheat River Canyon were recently protected. The acquisition covers a 7 mile stretch of the Cheat River between Albright and the high bridge at Jenkinsburg, the famous “Cheat Canyon” whitewater run. Great news for the Cheat!
Earlier today the Department of Interior released a new strategy for planning development projects and conservation at a landscape scale. The strategy relies heavily on GIS mapping of natural resource values to tease out hot spots for conservation and other spots where development can occur with relatively smaller impacts. It is a smart, promising, and long overdue approach.
Colorado River - As part of our ongoing Colorado River Basin Project, AW is asking paddlers to evaluate river flows across the seven-state Colorado River basin. We have launched a short survey so that you can provide input on flows along the mainstem of the Colorado River, through Ruby-Horsethief, Westwater, and Cataract Canyons. Please take a minute to participate in the survey. Your input will help us defend the Colorado River, and protect paddling opportunities for the future
A project that has been talked about for many years is finally getting underway. Western Federal Lands Highway Division awarded a construction contract to pave 9.7 miles of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road. Construction will begin later this spring and continue through August 2016. We have made recent strides in improving river access but additional work remains. Working as part of a coalition we have secured a grant through the National Forest Foundation but it requires matching funds.
Camp Verde, AZ - As part of our Colorado River Basin Project, AW has launched two new surveys of the effects of streamflows on recreation quality. If you have paddled the Verde River or the Bill Williams River, and are knowledgable about water levels - we need your input!
2014 marks the second year of restored paddling opportunities on the West Fork of the Tuckasegee. The first of 7 releases this year will be on April 19 and 20, and we would like to share some important facts and lessons we’ve learned about the river to help paddlers know what to expect. First and foremost, be aware that this run requires Class IV/V skills and a commitment consistent with wilderness rivers given the remote nature of the gorge and private property.
Paddlers in California are invited to the 6th annual Paddle to the Sea–a six-week long paddle-a-thon from Yosemite, through the Central Valley, to San Francisco Bay. You're welcome to come for the whole trip or just a day paddle along the way. This year’s event will kick off on Friday, May 2nd and continue through the middle of June.