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Vermont Opposes Whitewater Boating on the Green River

posted February 10, 2016
by Robert Nasdor
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Vermont has issued draft conditions for the relicensing of the hydropower project on the Green River that would drastically limit naturally occurring boatable flows and eliminates all opportunities for scheduled whitewater boating releases for the next 40-50 years. There is a public hearing at 7 pm on February 16th in Morrisville. This will be an opportunity for you to be heard, for the boaters to be heard. We (the North East boating community) need you to take action via written comments. AW and the Vermont Paddlers Club have filed comments in support of whitewater boating on the Green River. Boaters are encouraged to submit comments to Vermont before the February 19th deadline.

AW Recommends California Rivers for Wild and Scenic

posted February 9, 2016
by Megan Hooker
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Last week, American Whitewater recommended that the U.S. Forest Service assess whether numerous whitewater rivers in California are eligible for Wild and Scenic status. The agency is currently revising Forest Plans for the Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra National Forests, and this process provides an opportunity to evaluate rivers for whether they are eligible for Wild and Scenic designation. If a river is found eligible through this process, the Forest Service protects the values that could make it worthy for Wild and Scenic designation, including its free-flowing characteristics. 

Volunteer of the Month: Edgar Peck!

posted February 3, 2016
by Kevin Colburn
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We are pleased to recognize Edgar Peck as the Volunteer of the Month for February.  Edgar facilitated a successful effort to buy a new put-in on the classic Watauga River near Boone, North Carolina. Together with the take-out AW owns, the public is now guaranteed permanent access to the outstanding Watauga River. 

Mourning the Passing of Wolf Bauer

posted January 31, 2016
by Thomas O'Keefe
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We are sad to report the passing of Wolf Bauer one of American Whitewater’s original founders. Born in 1912 in the Bavarian Alps, Wolf came to Seattle at the age of 13. In 1948 Wolf established the Washington Foldboat Club (today Washington Kayak Club) and in 1954 he was among the founders of American Whitewater. Wolf had a huge impact on whitewater instruction and river conservation, a legacy that extends over a century.

Bridge Access Bill Before Washington Legislature

posted January 31, 2016
by Thomas O'Keefe
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As part of our work to protect and promote access to public waterways, American Whitewater is pursuing a bill (Senate Bill 6363 and House Bill 2660) in the Washington State legislature to require an evaluation of providing public access for state highway projects that include construction of a bridge across a navigable waterway. In last year’s legislative session our bill passed 49-0 in the State Senate but did not make it to the floor of the House. We are actively pursuing the legislation again this year.

Paddlers Speak Up for Maryland's Upper Yough

posted January 29, 2016
by Charlie Walbridge
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Paddlers made a strong showing at the January 28th Deep Creek Watershed Planning Meeting in McHenry, MD. Releases from Deep Creek Lake that support paddling on the Upper Youghioghenny River have been under attack by homeowners on backwater lots who are left high and dry during droughts. Friendsville town councilman Jess Whittemore and Upper Yough outfitter Roger Zbell have been ably representing whitewater paddlers for years. Jess told me that the presence of so many boaters, especially those who own property in Garrett County, made a strong impression on the County Commissioners. They were also impressed by the many thoughtful emails recieved from paddlers throughout the East. This will put us in a good position for the 2019 relicensing. Thanks to Friendsviller paddler and attorney Bob Allen for representing American Whitewater. Jeff Macklin photo.

Chetco and Molalla Rivers Designated State Scenic Waterways (OR)

posted January 28, 2016
by Thomas O'Keefe
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This week Governor Kate Brown designated Oregon’s first new State Scenic Waterways since 1988. Portions of the Chetco and Molalla Rivers highly valued by the whitewater boating community were chosen as rivers that meet the Scenic Waterways Act criteria for outstanding scenic, fish, wildlife, geological, botanical, cultural, and outdoor recreation opportunities.
 

Join American Whitewater On The Wild And Scenic Rogue River (OR) In 2016

posted January 28, 2016
by Mark Singleton
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In June 2016, American Whitewater members will have an opportunity to join American Whitewater staff and board members for an exclusive trip on Oregon’s Rogue River. We invite you to come learn more about what we're up to while having a great time enjoying one of our nation’s first Wild and Scenic Rivers.

AW Takes Legal Action Against Hydropower Project on Puyallup River (WA)

posted January 18, 2016
by Thomas O'Keefe
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American Whitewater initiated legal action this past week on a hydropower project that is not in compliance with environmental laws protecting river values. While hydropower provides an important source of energy for the Pacific Northwest region, owners of these facilities have a responsibility to operate them in compliance with the laws and regulations that all hydropower operators must adhere to.

2016 National Paddling Film Festival (KY)

posted January 16, 2016
by Mark Singleton
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Come see American Whitewater and the year's best photos and videos at the National Paddling Film Festival (NPFF)! This year's NPFF will be held on February 19-20 in Frankfort, KY at the Buffalo Trace Distillery.

Planning Effort Underway for Nooksack River Watershed (WA)

posted January 6, 2016
by Thomas O'Keefe
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The Washington Department of Natural Resources is embarking on a new planning project that will guide recreation on DNR-managed lands in the Nooksack River and Whatcom Lake watersheds for the next 10-15 years. The effort will kick off with two public open houses that will be scheduled for January.

It's Permit Season!

posted December 30, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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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.

Hydropower Development at Ernies: Developer Continues to Pursue (WA)

posted December 11, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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On December 1st Black Canyon Hydro LLC filed its License Application for the Black Canyon Hydropower Project. If constructed, this project would involve dewatering Ernie’s Gorge and putting it in a pipe to generate hydropower. We expect that a public comment period will soon open providing an opportunity for feedback on their application.

New Gauges On The Kern River

posted December 1, 2015
by Dave Steindorf
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After 3 years of discussion and negotiation with Southern California Edison and the US Forest Service the Kern River has several new online flow gauges on the Upper Kern River.  These gauges will replace the cumbersome and antiquated flow phone that was part of the Kern River #3 license.

Southeast Advanced Release Schedule Set For 2016!

posted December 1, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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Tis the season when American Whitewater works with power companies and other groups to schedule the coming year's dam releases in the Southeast. In addition to hundreds of releases on Class I-III rivers like the Nantahala, Tuckasegee, and Catawba, we put together an outstanding integrated schedule of Class IV and V opportunities. Check it out!  

TAKE ACTION: Bad Hydropower Legislation Vote Scheduled!

posted November 30, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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The House is expected to vote the week of November 30th on energy legislation (H.R. 8) that is really, really bad news for rivers. The bill comes as a response to the hydropower industry's efforts to weaken the authority of tribes and state and federal agencies to protect water quality, fish and wildlife, public lands and recreation. If passed, hydropower provisions of H.R. 8 would tip the balance in strong favor of the hydropower industry, and do so at the expense of the local communities that rely on rivers for their livelihoods. Paddler’s voices are important in the process and we encourage you to reach out to your member of Congress today!

Harpers Ferry Access Plan Completed (WV/MD/VA)

posted November 23, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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American Whitewater has worked with local paddlers and agency planners over the past year to create a river access plan for the Harpers Ferry, WV area. Two popular and scenic class III whitewater runs on the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers converge in Harper's Ferry, yet there are only 3 public parking spaces at the take-out and the public put-ins are far upstream on both rivers. The plan is the result of an outstanding effort by our members and partners, and we are now working together to improve river access opportunities based on the plan.

AW Responds To Connecticut River Boating Study (MA)

posted November 18, 2015
by Robert Nasdor
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American Whitewater, along with other paddling groups and outfitters, filed comments with FERC responding to the Whitewater Boating Evaluation at Turners Falls on the Connecticut River. The study showed that there is strong demand for boating on this section of the Connecticut River if sufficient flows, scheduled releases, better access, and real-time information are provided. The groups filed the comments in order to provide additional information for the environmental review and to respond to the unsupported statements by FirstLight, the utility performing the study, claiming that there is little demand for boating at Turners Falls.

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

posted October 29, 2015
by Mark Singleton
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Make your online shopping mean something for the rivers you love. American Whitewater is participating in the Amazon Smile program. With each purchase through Amazon Smile a small percentage is passed through to American Whitewater supporting river stewardship.

Federal Regulators Recommend Denial of License for New Bear River Dam (ID)

posted October 2, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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Citing a host of environmental concerns raised by American Whitewater and our partners, the federal government has recommended denial of an application seeking to build a 109-foot-tall hydroelectric dam on the Bear River in southeast Idaho. Federal regulators agreed with our view that the Oneida Narrows represents a regionally unique and important river recreational resource that would be destroyed by the proposed dam, for which mitigation is not possible.

Help Save Vital River Access Funding

posted August 11, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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Since 1965, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has been a critical source of funding for important river access projects and other recreational pursuits across the country. This fund however is set to expire on September 30, 2015 unless Congress reauthorizes it. We’re calling on all paddlers to reach out to their Congressional representatives and ask them to reauthorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund.