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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.

Bill to Promote Access at Bridges Awaits Action in House (WA)

posted March 24, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 2

As part of our work to protect and promote access to public waterways, American Whitewater is pursuing a bill 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. Our bill has passed the Senate unanimously and is now before the House Transportation Committee. The most helpful action members can take now is to reach out to members on the Transportation Committee.

Bill Restricting Access to Washington's Rivers Introduced

posted January 24, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 2

The legislative session is underway in Washington State and earlier this week we were shocked to learn of a bill that would severely limit access to the state's rivers and shorelines. Specifically the bill would prohibit water access on small parcels of public land that do not provide formal parking.

Opportunity to Determine Future of Punch Bowl Falls on the Hood River (OR)

posted January 22, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 2

Punch Bowl Falls is one of Oregon’s iconic scenic and recreational sites on the Hood River in the Columbia Gorge. At the confluence of the east and west forks of the Hood River, the site has been privately owned and its future remains to be determined. Our goal is to see the site become a public park and we encourage the boating community to join that discussion.

Enloe Dam Remains an Economic Loser (WA)

posted November 18, 2014
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 3

American Whitewater joined river conservation groups in releasing an updated review of the economics of restoring hydropower at Enloe Dam on the Similkameen River in Washington State. This project would cost $40 million to build, would cost more to operate than it brings in for revenue, and accumulate $170 million losses over the life of the project. It is time to remove a project that has not operated since 1958 and is simply an economic loser.

Hydropower Project Proposed for Talkeetna (AK)

posted October 7, 2014
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 2

Northwest Power Services recently filed a preliminary permit application to construct a hydropower project on the Talkeetna River. The Talkeetna is known to many as Alaska's best backcountry whitewater trip. The developer proposes to construct a 2300 feet long and 370 feet high dam located in a scenic canyon just downstream of the confluence of Disappointment Creek. A public comment period is now open for this project.

Oregon State Marine Board Continues Dialogue With Non-Motorized Boaters

posted September 3, 2014
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 4

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.

Share Your Vision for the White Salmon (WA)

posted July 17, 2014
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 2

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.

North Fork Smith River Threatened by Mining (CA/OR)

posted July 7, 2014
by Megan Hooker
article photo 2

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.

Shining a Spotlight on Darrington’s Iconic Recreation Destinations

posted May 30, 2014
by Thomas O'Keefe
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American Whitewater joins a coalition in unveiling a new "Destination Darrington" map as Highway 530 opens to all traffic this weekend restoring access to recreational opportunities along the Sauk and Suiattle Rivers.The colorful brochure map spotlights recreational opportunities around Darrington and local businesses.

Wild Olympics Bill to Protect Ancient Forests and Rivers Introduced (WA)

posted January 17, 2014
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 2

A broad and diverse coalition of Olympic Peninsula community members, including American Whitewater, cheered the introduction today of the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 2014 by Representative Derek Kilmer and Senator Patty Murray.  The measure, similar to that introduced in the last Congress, by Senator Murray and former Congressman Norm Dicks would permanently protect more than 126,000 acres of ancient and mature forests on Olympic National Forest as wilderness and 19 Olympic Peninsula rivers and their major tributaries as Wild and Scenic.

Visiting the Elwha (WA)

posted August 26, 2013
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 2

While paddling the Elwha River is a fascinating way to experience restoration and recovery of a free-flowing river in action, it's not the only way to get a first-hand look at one of the nation's most ambitious and fascinating restoration projects.

Upcoming Events

Calendar Control Date:
Calendar by Date by Title

September 2014

North Fork Rogue Releases
10:00 am -4:00 pm est
NF Inflow up to 450 cfs


Wenatchee River Festival Cashmere,WA runs 06/09/12 - 06/09/13
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Northwest Creeking Competition Yacolt,WA runs 04/21/12 - 04/21/13
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Green River Cleanup Black Diamond, WA,WA runs 05/05/12 - 05/04/13
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North Fork Rogue Releases Prospect,OR runs 07/18/09 - 09/01/14
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Chelan Gorge release Chelan,WA runs 07/11/09 - 09/22/13
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Sultan River Release Sultan,WA runs 04/03/12 - 09/14/12
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SkyFest 2013 Index,WA runs 07/04/13 - 07/07/13
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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.
  • 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.
  • 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)
    AW is working to restore flows, provide public access, and make 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.
  • 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.