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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
This week Western Rivers Conservancy announced plans to purchase the Minam Store, a critical parcel at the confluence of the Minam and Wallowa Rivers that provides access to the Wild and Scenic Grande Ronde River.
For the past three years North Cascades National Park has been working to revise the management plan for the Ross Lake National Recreation Area, which includes the lands and rivers along Highway 20 in the North Cascades. As part of this planning effort American Whitewater formally requested a review of rivers that may be eligible for Wild and Scenic designation.
The Army Corps of Engineers has just released a Draft Environmental Assessment to rebuild the
Minto Fish Collection Facility on the North Santiam River. Most boaters know this facility as the
place with the hazardous low head dam between Niagara County Park and Packsaddle County Park on
the river. The project to rebuild the facility, which would keep the existing dam in place, would
result in a two year closure of the river from Niagara to Packsaddle. The current proposal is to
build a portage trail that would accommodate kayaks. It is unclear if this would accommodate
rafts. Those who use this river are encouraged to provide public comment.
Act today to secure historic funding for river and trail access! This week congress will consider fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund through offshore drilling revenues. This fund is the best resource available for purchasing new river access and conservation easements, and has been underfunded in the past. Please Act Today.
After consulting with American Whitewater, Chelan PUD has made the decision to cancel the planned whitewater boating opportunities on the Chelan Gorge this weekend (July 10 and 11). Providing this opportunity requires a balancing act between lake level, spill and whitewater boating and unfortunately, at this time the PUD is not able to accommodate all three. Boaters should know that AW is actively engaged with Chelan PUD to document the reasons for canceling this weekend's release and we will work together to determine the best means of providing the opportunities we agreed to. The release on July 24 and 25 is scheduled to take place as planned.
The Obama Administration and the federal land management agencies are asking for your help as part of the new "America's Great Outdoors" Initiative. As such, the Administration is hosting a series of listening sessions around the country. American Whitewater, and our partner organizations in the Outdoor Alliance are encouraging outdoor recreationists to attend these sessions and share your experiences.
American Whitewater has scheduled a work party with Washington Trails Association for Saturday June 19 from 8:30-3:00 to work on the Sultan River trail into the gorge on the Upper Sultan. Volunteers are needed.
The gate at the take-out for the Lewis County PUD will be open this weekend (May 22/23). The gate
will be opened from approximately 10 am to 6 pm by PUD staff. The river is at a nice level and
this will be the last official gate opening for the spring.
Puget Sound Energy has announced their construction schedule for the Snoqualmie Falls Powerhouse upgrades that will close access to the Powerhouse run from June 2010 to March 2013.
Join American Whitewater and our colleagues in the river conservation community on Thursday,
April 15th, for an evening celebrating free-flowing rivers. Come learn more about rivers in our
state identified for protection through Wild and Scenic designation, the status of current
campaigns, and ways that you can help ensure that these wild rivers remain wild forever. The
event will take place at the Mountaineers Program Center in Seattle, WA.
Eastern Washington University’s Epic Adventures, Post Falls Parks and Recreation, NWA, and the local Clubs/Shops of Spokane are enthused to announce the Fourth Annual Spokane River Kickoff. This event received so much positive feed back in previous years, that a group of kayakers from the community just had to get together to make things happen again this year. We are looking forward to this year's event, as the event and participation continue to grow.
On Monday, March 29, 2010, American Whitewater joined a diverse group of stakeholders in signing and submitting two inter-related settlement agreements that call for the continued operation of Boundary Dam on the Pend Oreille River, enhanced operation of Sullivan Dam on the natural Sullivan Lake, and the removal of Mill Pond Dam on Sullivan Creek. The agreements are the culmination of over three years of consistent efforts to resolve issues related to the surrender of the Sullivan Project, located in northeastern Washington.
Gold Ray Dam on Oregon's Rogue River has not generated power in almost 40 years, is a serious impediment to endangered salmon migration, blocks paddlers exploring the Rogue, and has become a financial burden for its owners. Comments in support of a proposal to remove the dam are now needed.
Earlier today legislation passed the House of Representatives to add 10 miles of the Pratt River and nearly 30 miles of the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River to the National Wild and Scenic River System. Pending action in the Senate this legislation will provide long-term protection for a spectacular whitewater resource.
Ship Creek Canyon has been known for several years as a great Alaskan whitewater run just outside downtown Anchorage that flows through the military's Fort Richardson light-tactical training area. Recently the base has stepped up enforcement of a paddling ban and charged local paddler with trespassing on military land for paddling Ship Creek this past summer.
Earlier this year Cody Erhart, a recent landscape architecture program graduate, produced images for American Whitewater depicting what Sullivan Creek (WA) might look like following the removal of Millpond Dam. We are pleased to share these images which are a blend of science and art aimed at facilitiating discussion about the future of Sullivan Creek.
American Whitewater continues to play a leadership role in efforts to protect the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie and Pratt Rivers through Wild and Scenic River designation, Wilderness designation of the federal lands along the river, and designation of state-managed forest lands as a Natural Resource Conservation Area. Paddlers can take action today to keep these efforts on track.
Earlier today the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to designate the Molalla River as a Wild and Scenic River (H.R. 2781). This legislation will protect 15.1 miles of the Molalla River and 6.2 miles of the Table Rock Fork of the Molalla River in Oregon.
American Whitewater has reached agreement with Snohomish PUD and other parties to the relicensing of the Jackson Hydropower Project on the Sultan River. The future proposed license will support whitewater boating on the Sultan River and in particular the reach between Culmback Dam and the Powerhouse known as the Upper Sultan.
Last week legislation (H.R. 1593) to protect Illabot Creek as a Wild and Scenic River passed the House of Representatives.
American Whitewater is pleased to announce Bill Cross as our 2009 River Steward of the Year. American Whitewater annually awards this honor to a single volunteer who has shown exceptional dedication to our river stewardship mission, and who has recently reached a major milestone in their efforts. In addition to our appreciation the AW River Steward of the Year Award comes with a Jackson kayak.
There is incredible potential for the White Salmon River to once again be home to abundant wild salmon and steelhead populations and a new whitewater run. But before this vision can be realized, the 95-year old, 125-foot Condit dam, which blocks fish passage and innundates a section of river awaiting a future first descent, must be removed. The Washington State Department of Ecology is currently accepting comment on one of the last permits the dam owner needs to make removal a reality.
American Whitewater is asking our members, particularly those living in Oregon to take action to protect the Wild Rogue. The Rogue River Wilderness and Rogue River Wild and Scenic River represents one of Oregon's most treasured natural landscapes. Legislstion in Congress (H.R. 2890 and S. 1271) will provide more comprehensive protection for the river corridor for future generations.
After several years of anticipation, Hemlock Dam removal on Trout Creek in the Columbia Gorge is underway. The crews are out doing the final work on restoring the historic channel and if all goes well over the next couple days water will once again flow over beautiful river-polished bedrock that was buried under a reservoir for decades.
American Whitewater was featured prominently in a New York Times article about the benefits of dam removal to whitwater paddlers. The story is a great example of what’s good for a river is also good for recreation, habitat, fish and local communities.
Earlier this year, the Idaho Legislature passed new legislation to provide funding for programs aimed at preventing the introduction of invasive aquatic species in Idaho. The new law requires boaters, both motorized vessels and non, to contribute to the Idaho Invasive Species Fund. For most paddlers, this means that you must purchase a $5 sticker for each boat you intend to paddle in Idaho each year, and stop at a boat inspection station each time you enter the state where an inspection station exists.
The Chelan Gorge Recreational Releases present whitewater boating opportunities that will be available for two weekends this July. 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 first weekend of releases. All paddlers considering this run need to carefully evaluate their skill level and understand that continued access to this river and the opportunity depends on our ability to safely enjoy it.
Last week FERC approved a whitewater recreation plan for the North Fork Rogue. We are pleased to be working with PacifiCorp who has committed to immediately implementing the plan and providing the whitewater recreational opportunities this summer.
On June 18th the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a new 50 year license for several dams on the Spokane River, near Spokane Washington and Post Falls Idaho. The license is based on several years of intense negotiations between the power company, tribes, agencies, and non-governmental organizations. Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club, Northwest Whitewater Association, and American Whitewater were involved on behalf of paddlers. The results of the new license are significant, and paddlers will certainly notice some positive changes in the not too distant future.