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AW in the NorthWest

American Whitewater has an active program in the Pacific Northwest. Our regional conservation program features a focus on dam relicensing and continued protection of key watersheds on public land. While we are lucky that many of our rivers flow through public land we are not without access issues. The Skykomish remains one of our top ten access issues.

Take Action to Protect Kalmiopsis Rivers (OR/CA)!

posted May 17, 2016
by Megan Hooker
article photo 2
Mining companies want to develop nickel strip mines on public lands in southwest Oregon’s Kalmiopsis region, threatening several cherished whitewater rivers in SW Oregon and downstream in NW California (Baldface Creek, NF Smith, Rough and Ready Creek, Illinois). The Department of Interior is considering whether to protect these lands from new mining claims and is currently accepting public comment. Many of you have already shown your support for protecting these amazing rivers from these threats, and we need your voices again!

Governor Signs Bridge Access Bill in Washington!

posted March 28, 2016
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 2

On Friday, March 25, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed our bridge access bill (Substitute Senate Bill 6363) into law. The bill requires that the Department of Transportation evaluate public access for state highway projects that include building or re-constructing a bridge across a navigable waterway.  

White Salmon Boaters: Use Caution Downstream of Powerhouse!

posted March 23, 2016
by Megan Hooker
article photo 2
A rotary screw trap is being installed on the lower White Salmon River on Thursday, March 24, 2016 to monitor juvenile salmon and steelhead. Boaters should use extreme caution near the trap, which is located on river left about 0.6 miles downstream of the powerhouse. Warning signs have been installed upstream of the trap location. The trap is part of a study to monitor juvenile salmon and steelhead in the White Salmon River after the historic removal of Condit Dam.

Upper White Salmon Wild and Scenic River Listening Session (WA)

posted March 22, 2016
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 2

The Forest Service has been managing the Upper White Salmon River (upstream of Farmlands) as a Wild and Scenic River since it was designated by Congress in 2005. The Forest Service has schedulded a public listening session for April 28th to solicit feedback on the development of a river managment plan.

Malad River Gets Additional Water This Year (ID)

posted March 15, 2016
by Kevin Colburn
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Thanks to a turbine replacement project requiring a hydropower diversion to be shut down for much of 2016, paddlers will get a longer and better season on the Malad River this year. Have fun and be safe out there! 

Spokane River Advocates Petition State to Increase Summertime Water Flow (WA)

posted March 1, 2016
by Thomas O'Keefe
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American Whitewater joined in petitioning the Washington Department of Ecology to amend its inadequate flow rule for the Spokane River. In setting the rule, the state agency ignored all public comments in support of protecting the Spokane River, and adopted a flow rule of 850cfs, a flow that is too low and jeopardizes the health of the Spokane River and public uses that include whitewater recreation. We are seeking a minimum summertime flow of 1,800 – 2800cfs to support fisheries and recreation, and protect higher flows for recreation when available.

Chetco and Molalla Rivers Designated State Scenic Waterways (OR)

posted January 28, 2016
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 2
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.

Planning Effort Underway for Nooksack River Watershed (WA)

posted January 6, 2016
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 2

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.

Nisqually River Water Trail Opportunity For Input

posted October 22, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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The Nisqually River Council (NRC) is preparing a plan for the development and management of a water trail on the main stem Nisqually River from below LaGrande Dam to the Nisqually delta. To help with the planning process, we would like to hear from paddlers who know this river.

Take Action! Protect Kalmiopsis Rivers (OR/CA)

posted July 14, 2015
by Megan Hooker
article photo 2
The BLM is considering whether to halt new mining activities for 5 years on roughly 100,000 acres in the Kalmiopsis region of Southwestern Oregon. This action, known as a "mineral withdrawal," would protect wild rivers like Baldface Creek, the Wild and Scenic North Fork Smith, Rough and Creek and the Wild and Scenic Illinois from the threats of nickel strip mines. These rivers are not only whitewater gems, but also provide clean drinking water to downstream communities, are strongholds for salmon, and support the local economy. Paddler's voices from across the country are needed to support this effort.

Molalla State Scenic Waterway Public Meeting And Comment Opportunity (OR)

posted July 9, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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Last fall the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department solicited input on the designation of a segment of the Molalla River that includes the Three Bears run as a State Scenic Waterway. American Whitewater is actively supporting this designation. We encourage the paddling community to attend the meeting and file comments.

Chetco State Scenic Waterway Public Meeting and Comment Opportunity (OR)

posted July 9, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 2

Last fall the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (ORPD) solicited input on the designation of a segment of the Chetco River that includes the Chetco Gorge as a State Scenic Waterway. American Whitewater is actively supporting this designation. We encourage the paddling community to attend the meeting and file comments.

Punchbowl Falls Funding Secured (OR)

posted July 1, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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A vision more than a century in the making is about to become reality with last week’s decision by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission to approve the grant for the acquisition of Punchbowl Falls and the property at the confluence of the West and East Forks of the Hood River.

Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild & Scenic Rivers Act of 2015 Introduced (WA)

posted June 4, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 2

The Wild Olympics Coalition, which includes American Whitewater, today cheered the introduction of the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act by Senator Patty Murray and Representative Derek Kilmer to permanently protect more than 126,500 acres of Olympic National Forest as wilderness and 19 rivers and their major tributaries, a total of 464 river miles, as Wild and Scenic Rivers.

Outdoor Recreation Means Business for Washington State

posted January 8, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 2

A new study, Economic Analysis of Outdoor Recreation in Washington State, by Earth Economics demonstrates the importance of outdoor recreation for the Washington State economy. Residents and visitors collectively spend $21.6 billion annually on trips and equipment purchases supporting nearly 200,000 jobs. Over one third of this economic activity occurs along water. American Whitewater is actively engaged in efforts to promote public access to water and conserve the river resources of the state that represent an important engine for this economic activity

Upcoming Events

Calendar Control Date:
Calendar by Date by Title

September 2016

North Fork Rogue Releases
10:00 am -4:00 pm pst
250-250 cfs

North Fork Rogue Releases
10:00 am -4:00 pm pst
Project inflow up to 450 cfs.450-250 cfs

Chelan Gorge release
10:00 am -5:00 pm pst

Chelan Gorge release
10:00 am -5:00 pm pst


Wenatchee River Festival Cashmere,WA runs 06/09/12 - 07/09/16, next 07/09/16
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Northwest Creeking Competition Yacolt,WA runs 04/21/12 - 04/10/16
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North Fork Rogue Releases Prospect,OR runs 07/18/09 - 09/05/16, next 08/20/16
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Green River Cleanup Black Diamond, WA,WA runs 05/05/12 - 04/30/16
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SkyFest Index,WA runs 07/04/13 - 05/08/16
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Sultan River Whitewater Release Sultan,WA runs 04/25/15 - 04/23/16
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Chelan Gorge release Chelan,WA runs 07/11/09 - 09/18/16, next 09/17/16
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Associated Projects

  • Canyon Creek (WA)
    This spectacular creek has been threatened by a proposal for hydropower development.
  • Celestial Falls (OR)
    Conservation and enjoyment of the waterfall is important for AW
  • Chelan (WA)
    AW has worked to restore flows and provide public access to the Chelan Gorge
  • Cispus River Access (WA)
    AW has been working to enforce requirements for public access to the Cispus River.
  • Clackamas Stewardship (OR)
    AW has been a stakeholder in licensing of the hydroelectric projects on this river and protection of key tributaries through the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
  • Clean Water Act
    American Whitewater's advocacy to protect water quality.
  • Conservation System
    The National Landscape Conservation System represents the crown jewels of BLM lands and rivers.
  • Elwha Restoration (WA)
    The Elwha River will be restored by removing two dams that have blocked salmon and degraded recreational opportunities on one of the Pacific Northwest's most spectacular rivers.
  • Green River (WA)
    AW works with partners to protect flows and the scenic landscape of the Green River Gorge.
  • Greenway Whitewater (WA)
    The Mountains to Sound Greenway stretches over 100 miles along Interstate 90 from Seattle to Central Washington. AW is engaged in promoting stewardship and protection of the rivers in this corridor.
  • Hood River Access
    American Whitewater is committed to securing public access for the Hood River and its major tributaries.
  • Kalmiopsis Rivers (OR/CA)
    American Whitewater is working to protect the wild rivers of Southwestern Oregon and Northern California from the threats of nickel strip mines.
  • Klamath Restoration (OR & CA)
    AW supports restoration of the Klamath River for the benefit of salmon while providing appropriate opportunities for whitewater recreation.
  • Middle Fork Snoqualmie (WA)
    AW has been working on resource stewardship along the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie in Washington and protecting this drainage for the incredible recreational opportunities it provides.
  • Milner Whitewater (ID)
    AW supports the efforts of local paddlers who have advocated for whitewater recreation on the Milner Mile.
  • Nooksack Stewardship (WA)
    Public access, hydropower development, and resource stewardship are all ongoing issues on this river system.
  • North Fork Rogue (OR)
    We worked to restore flows, provide public access, and made flow information available to provide boating opportunities on this river.
  • North Fork Snoqualmie- WA
    American Whitewater is committed to the conservation of the North Fork Snoqualmie.
  • Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest (WA)
    The Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests are home to some great whitewater runs and AW has in interest in protecting the resource values of these rivers.
  • Oregon Navigability
    AW works to keep the rivers of Oregon open and accessible to the boating public.
  • Owyhee Conservation
    American Whitewater advocates for the protection of the Owyhee Canyonlands.
  • Protecting the Ashlu (BC)
    A hydropower project is now being constructed on this wonderful creek in Southwest British Columbia.
  • Puyallup Watershed (WA)
    Major rivers of the Puyallup watershed include the Carbon, Puyallup, and White which drain the western and northern slopes of Mt. Rainier which we are working to preserve and protect.
  • Restoring the Rogue (OR)
    One of the great Rivers of the West, preserving the the Wild Rogue and restoring upstream reaches impacted by dams are priorities for American Whitewater.
  • Similkameen River (BC/WA)
    American Whitewater supports conservation and restoration of the Similkameen River.
  • Skagit Wild and Scenic (WA)
    Public access, riparian protection, and effective resource stewardship are all important to management of the Skagit Wild and Scenic River.
  • Skykomish Stewardship (WA)
    AW is actively engaged in the conservation of the Skykomish River and its tributaries and advocacy for public access.
  • Snake River Restoration (ID, OR, WA)
    AW is working with a coalition of partners to restore the Snake and Salmon Rivers in Idaho for fish and paddlers.
  • Sullivan Creek (WA)
    Two dams in the Sullivan Creek watershed no longer generate power. One will be removed as the result of a 2010 Settlement Agreement.
  • Sultan River (WA)
    AW is working to improve flows and public access for the benefit of fish, wildlife, and paddlers as part of hydropower relicensing on this river.
  • Sunset Falls Hydropower Development
    Sunset Falls on the Skykomish River has been proposed for hydropower development.
  • Susitna (AK)
    A hydropower project on the Susitna would drown Devil's Canyon.
  • Volcano Country (OR/WA)
    The rivers of Volcano Country within and surrounding the Gifford Pinchot National Forest represent some of the nation's most spectacular whitewater resources.
  • White Salmon Restoration (WA)
    American Whitewater has been engaged in a long-term effort to protect and restore one of the Pacific Northwest's most spectacular year-around whitewater rivers.
  • Wild Olympics (WA)
    A campaign to protect the free-flowing rivers of the Olympic Peninsula.