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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.

Hydropower Industry Continues to Push Legislation Threatening Your Whitewater

posted July 17, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 2

The hydropower industry is pushing legislation that threatens your whitewater. We encourage paddlers to share their personal experience enjoying rivers where hydropower projects provide recreational flows. We oppose any bill that would undermine the public's ability to balance hydropower interests with non-power values like recreation, fish and wildlife.

Molalla 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 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
article photo 2

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.

Submit Photos for the 2016 AW Calendar This Month!

posted July 1, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
article photo 3

American Whitewater is accepting photos for our 2016 Calendar now through August 1, 2015.  Submitting photos through our online form is simple, and we can't wait to see your best shots.  Thanks to all of our contributors!

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.

Nooksack Recreation Plan Completed (WA)

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

Following a two and a half year process, the  Upper Nooksack River Recreation Plan, has been finalized. This new, comprehensive plan will help guide the management of recreation and natural resources along the upper Nooksack River system in Washington state. The plan recognizes and supports the economic and health benefits of recreation, along with protection and restoration of the natural and cultural values of the upper river basin.

Show Your Support for Protection of Mountains to Sound Greenway (WA)

posted May 1, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 2

Extending from the Seattle waterfront to Ellensburg Washington, the Mountains to Sound Greenway is a 1.5 million acre outdoor recreation paradise. It includes great whitewater runs like the Middle-Middle, Club Stretch, Ernie's Gorge, Fall in the Wall in the Snoqualmie River drainage; Cooper and Cle Elum in the Yakima River drainage; Cedar River Slalom Course; and many more great paddling destinations. Today, we are asking the whitewater paddling community to join in to support the designation of this landscape as a National Heritage Area.

Participate in Our Survey of Oregon Whitewater

posted May 1, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 2

If you boat whitewater rivers in Oregon, American Whitewater wants to hear from you! We're doing a survey to better understand the importance of some of the state's best whitewater runs. The information you provide will be used to support our work to protect, restore and improve access to your favorite rivers in the state.

Kayaker Pinned on White Salmon Strainer: April 12, 2015

posted April 21, 2015
by Charlie Walbridge
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On April 12, 2015 a Canadian paddler visiting the US was killed on the Farmlands section of Washington's White Salmon River. Denis Brown, 63, flipped in "triple Drop" rapid, did not roll, and washed iunto a strainer on the river right bank. Mr. Brown came our of his kayak and pinned against the strainer, and his boat washed down and lodged against him. There is an excellent report of this and the vigorous rescue attempt available now in the AW Accident Database.

Sultan River Whitewater Opportunities to Begin (WA)

posted April 1, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 2

On Saturday April 25th, Snohomish PUD will be providing a whitewater recreational opportunity on the Upper Sultan River. This class IV gorge is a great piece of whitewater in a spectacular setting. If you wish to check it out, be sure to sign up with Snohomish PUD.

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

posted March 24, 2015
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 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
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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.

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

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.

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
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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 2015

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

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

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Events
Wenatchee River Festival Cashmere,WA runs 06/09/12 - 06/09/13
[+] favorites
Northwest Creeking Competition Yacolt,WA runs 04/21/12 - 04/21/13
[+] favorites
Sultan River Whitewater Release Sultan,WA runs 04/25/15 - 04/25/15
[+] favorites
Green River Cleanup Black Diamond, WA,WA runs 05/05/12 - 05/04/13
[+] favorites
North Fork Rogue Releases Prospect,OR runs 07/18/09 - 09/01/14
[+] favorites
Sultan River Release Sultan,WA runs 04/03/12 - 09/14/12
[+] favorites
Chelan Gorge release Chelan,WA runs 07/11/09 - 09/18/16, next 09/19/15
[+] favorites
SkyFest 2013 Index,WA runs 07/04/13 - 07/07/13
[+] favorites
  (iCal)  

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.
  • 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)
    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.