American Whitewater Holiday Offer Now Available!
12/04/2023 - by Bethany Overfield
Looking for that special gift for someone or just feeling the need to treat yourself? Our American Whitewater Holiday Offer just went live! You can get a Standard Membership ($35), your choice of a navy or tan AW beanie, and a 2024 calendar (plus shipping) all for $75. Head to our membership form and snag a Holiday Offer today. This is a splendid way to support our Stewardship work at American Whitewater!
2024 American Whitewater Calendar Now Available!
12/02/2023 - by Bethany Overfield
Each year, we collect the best photos from our gracious (and incredibly talented) community and pick out our favorites for our annual calendar. Proceeds from calendar sales support our river stewardship work. It's an awesome fundraiser and a product that we know you'll love! Keep AW close all year long.
Purchase a calendar from our webstore for $25. These make the perfect gift for all the whitewater enthusiasts in your life!
Calendars for those of you who receive them as a membership perk, should land in mailboxes the week of December 11th.
Help us Celebrate our Southern Rockies Program Success!
11/29/2023 - by Kestrel Kunz
As the year comes to an end, we have a lot of successes to celebrate for our rivers in the Southern Rockies region. We could not have accomplished this much without the support from people like you! Thanks for helping us achieve all the below milestones this year. If you are able, please consider donating to American Whitewater for Colorado Gives Day. Any donations made from now through December 5th will help us leverage additional funds from the Colorado Gives Day Program and support our work on securing improved river access in the state. Here are some regional highlights from American Whitewater's three pillars: Protect, restore, & enjoy!
AW Releases Pigeon Dries Flow Survey (NC)
11/29/2023 - by Kevin Colburn
American Whitewater has created an online flow study aimed at capturing paddlers' current flow preferences on the typically-dewatered Pigeon River Dries. Maintenance activities in recent years have afforded more paddling opportunities than is typical for the river reach, which is located between the dam and powerhouse for the Walters Hydroelectric Project. The license for the Walters dam expires in 2034 so the 5-6 year long dam relicensing process will begin in a few years. That process will include official on-water studies, and could result in scheduled releases for the Dries. American Whitewater is gathering information now to capture the current knowldege of the run to help inform these future studies and the dam relicensing process. If you've paddled the Dries, we'd love your thoughts! Here is the link to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5D8JTJ6
Great Falls of the Catawba Good and Getting Better! (SC)
11/27/2023 - by Kevin Colburn
We are happy to share a few updates on the Great Falls of the Catawba that we think you'll enjoy as we reflect on the river’s first year of restored flows. First and foremost the first season was very successful with lots of happy visitors, consistent flow operations, and relatively few safety issues. With this said, we are still learning a lot about the river and how people want to visit it. A recent survey and meeting shed light on what we are learning and how things are shaping up for next year.
2024 Southeast Advanced Release Calendar Announced!
11/20/2023 - by Kevin Colburn
American Whitewater and our affiliate clubs have spent the past 25 years working to restore flows to incredible Southeastern rivers impacted by dams. A lot of our work has focused on releases and access on Class II and III rivers like the lower Nantahala, Tuckasegee, Hiwassee, and Catawba, but we also secured releases in some classic steeper reaches previously dewatered by hydroelectric diversions. Each year we meet with power companies and agencies to schedule future releases, review ongoing ecology studies, and discuss any issues with the release programs. We strive to create a schedule with minimal conflicts to maximize recreational value. In this article you'll find the 2024 dates for the Class IV/V Cheoah, Nantahala Cascades & Upper, West Fork Tuck, and Tallulah rivers.
Utility Releases Fast-Track Plans for Removing Dams on California’s Eel River
11/17/2023 - by Scott Harding
The removal of two dams blocking Northern California’s Eel River is one step closer to happening. The owner of the dams, PG&E, just released its initial draft plan for dismantling the Scott and Cape Horn dams as early as 2028–a remarkably fast timeline. But PG&E also included a more complex alternate plan meant to satisfy irrigators, which could potentially delay the dam removal. Photo: Scott Dam by Kyle Schwartz.
Georgia Committee Considers Public Rights on Rivers
11/17/2023 - by Kevin Colburn
This fall the newly formed Georgia House Study Committee on Fishing Access to Freshwater Resources sought public input on fishing rights on Georgia's waterways. As the Committee’s efforts come to a close this month, they may or may not recommend that the House of Representatives draft legislation regarding the public’s rights on rivers and streams in Georgia. Any such legislation, if adopted, could limit or confirm paddlers' legal rights to paddle rivers and streams in Georgia. American Whitewater, American Canoe Association, Georgia Canoeing Association, and Georgia River Network recently wrote a letter to the Committee advocating for the long-held public right to paddle. American Whitewater and our partners will be closely following this issue in the weeks and months ahead, including reviewing any report issued by the Committee in the coming month.
Senator Tester Reintroduces the Montana Headwaters Legacy Act!
11/17/2023 - by Kevin Colburn
U.S. Senator Jon Tester reintroduced his Montana Headwaters Legacy Act (MHLA) on Thursday, setting the stage to double the number of protected river miles in Montana. If signed into law, the legislation would protect 20 rivers and 384 river miles in the Upper Missouri and Yellowstone river systems by adding them to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. A Wild and Scenic River designation is the highest form of federal river protection in the United States and would permanently protect the free-flowing nature, water quality, and outstandingly remarkable values of some of Montana’s most cherished rivers. Among the iconic waterways that would gain protection under the MHLA are the Boulder, Gallatin, Madison, Smith, Stillwater, and Yellowstone. We are asking for paddlers to encourage the other three members of Montana’s congressional delegation to get behind the Montana Headwaters Legacy Act in the coming weeks.
Help Protect Utah Mountain Creeks - DEADLINE TODAY!
11/16/2023 - by Kestrel Kunz
We need your help to protect the future of Utah’s creeks and the deadline is TODAY at midnight. The Manti La Sal National Forests have released a draft management plan for a 1.4 million acre landscape without any real protections for rivers and without a single mention of river recreation. The Manti mountains are home to unique Utah creeks, including Cottonwood, Ferron, Huntington and Left Fork Huntington creeks. Take Action Today to Protect These Creeks Using Our Easy Action Form!
American Whitewater Secures Grant Funding for Wilson Creek USGS Gage (NC)
11/09/2023 - by Kevin Colburn
American Whitewater is pleased to announce that we were awarded a Google Data Center Grant of $5,000 to help fund the USGS water level gage on Wild and Scenic Wilson Creek. American Whitewater worked in partnership with Duke Energy and the USGS on the construction and initial funding for the gage, which came on-line three years ago and has proven invaluable to the recreating public. The water level gage, which requires annual funding, supports thousands of diverse recreationists as they plan trips to Wilson Creek, which offers visitors crystalline water, sandy beaches, and sunny bedrock banks. The online US Geologic Survey gage requires an annual payment of approximately $7,400, and funding is now secured for 2024!
Index-Galena Road Providing North Fork Skykomish Access Repaired! (WA)
11/06/2023 - by Thomas O'Keefe
Nearly 20 years ago, the Index-Galena Road which provides access to the North Fork Skykomish River sustained heavy damage in a high water event that washed away portions of the road between milepost 6 and 7. The onset of fall rains coincided with the opening of the new road this past weekend and whitewater boaters have been among the first recreational users to get out and enjoy the restored access. We are pleased that the sustained efforts of our members and many partners helped keep this project on track.
PG&E PROPOSAL IMPACTS 500 MILES OF CA RIVERS
10/11/2023 - by Theresa Lorejo-Simsiman
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) operates 22 hydropower projects on 500 river miles across California that American Whitewater has spent nearly 30 years of work to protect and restore. This includes whitewater reaches on the North Fork Feather, the Pit, the McCloud, Butte Creek, Fordyce, the South Yuba, the Bear, the Eel, the Mokelumne, the San Joaquin and the North Fork Kings. Now, in an application before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), PG&E is proposing to transfer all non-nuclear assets including these 22 hydropower projects to a new and separate subsidiary, Pacific Generation LLC (PacGen). American Whitewater, believes that the CPUC should not simply rubber stamp the largest, unprecedented, and “first of its kind” handover of hydropower assets. This asset transfer will impact dam safety and the operation and maintenance of multiple projects that restore ecological and recreational releases to our rivers. We need paddlers to help persuade the CPUC to take heed. Read on to learn more and find out how you can help!
Pit River (CA) Whitewater Boating Opportunities in September & October
09/04/2023 - by Scott Harding
Every late summer and early fall, it’s time for boating on California’s Pit River when the hydropower boating flow releases that American Whitewater has secured come into play. Here’s how it looks this season: there’s more whitewater than usual!
Protection for the Headwaters of the Illinois and North Fork Smith Rivers (OR)
07/27/2023 - by Thomas O'Keefe
We are pleased to report that Representative Val Hoyle, the new representative for Oregon's 4th Congressional District has reintroduced the Southwestern Oregon Watershed and Salmon Protection Act (SOWSPA) as her first piece of conservation legislation. This legislation will permanently protect the headwaters of Southwest Oregon’s outstanding collection of wild rivers—including the National Wild and Scenic Illinois and the National Wild and Scenic North Fork Smith, plus Pistol River and Hunter Creek—from the threat of mining in the headwaters.
Help Protect the Greater Grand Canyon Area!
07/10/2023 - by Kestrel Kunz
American Whitewater has joined a tribally led effort to protect 1.1 million acres surrounding the Grand Canyon as a National Monument. The Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon National Monument would protect important landscapes and sensitive tributaries on the north and south rims. Use your voice now to help protect the Grand Canyon by signing this petition! Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to volunteer as a local advocate for this effort in the greater Grand Canyon region. We need dedicated advocates to attend public meetings, author letters in local papers, and contact elected officials.
Clackamas River Visioning Public Input Opportunity (OR)
06/22/2023 - by Thomas O'Keefe
In 2020, Mt. Hood National Forest and surrounding communities experienced catastrophic wildfire events that damaged recreational sites and transportation assets along the Clackamas River corridor and have impacted visitation to the forest. American Whitewater was invited to join a visioning workshop with Forest Service staff this past week and there will be additional opportunities for public input in the coming week. We encourage the paddling community to participate in developing a future vision for the river corridor.
Washington Legislature Paddlesports Education Program Shelved (updated)
02/17/2023 - by Thomas O'Keefe
For the past several years the Washington State legislature has had an interest in improving paddlesports safety and reducing fatalities. It’s a good thing to have the legislature interested in boating safety and we are pleased that it has helped raise the profile of Washington State’s Boating Safety Program. While the interest in boating safety is appreciated, the specific legislative proposals introduced over the past few years have had issues and not advanced out of committee and that was again the case this session. Various ideas have included a Boater Education Card, vessel registration, and mandatory requirements to wear a Personal Floatation Device. With a new session underway, the legislature came back with SB 5597 and HB 1781, legislation that would establish a new boater education card and $10 fee for paddlesports that effectively represents a license to paddle
Local Coalition Celebrates Commission Ruling to Protect Colorado's Waters
09/09/2022 - by Kestrel Kunz
Klamath River Dam Removal Takes an Important Step Forward (OR/CA)
08/27/2022 - by Thomas O'Keefe
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has just released a final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) which recommends the removal of four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River. This is the final step of analysis, and a federal decision to authorize removal of the dams is expected later this year, with dam removal taking place in 2024. This would be the largest dam removal project in the world.