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Take Action! Truckee River (CA) Access Blocked By New Landowner

09/16/2021 - by Theresa Simsiman

Truckee River access is threatened by a landowner on the Nevada County Hirschdale Road. This take-out is used by paddlers who put-in at Boca and float the family friendly section of the Truckee River, taking out before the harder rapids appear. In 2019, a landowner purchased the property around Hirschdale Road and the spur road historically used to get to the river. In the years since, the landowner has been busy on Hirschdale Road posting no parking signs, erecting gates and dumping large rock debris which block parking along the County Road and access to the spur road. American Whitewater needs your help to restore this Truckee River access! Join us at a Listening Session in Truckee hosted by Nevada County Supervisor, Hardy Bullock, from District 5. The Listening Session will take place on September 23, 2021 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at Tahoe Forest Church, 10315 Hirschdale Road, Truckee, CA 96161. If you cannot attend please send your comments to Supervisor Bullock using our easy-action form

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Deerfield Fest Membership Drive and Silent Auction!

09/11/2021 - by Evan Stafford

Deerfield Fest traditionally provides our community with an opportunity to reflect on this much-loved stretch of whitewater, as well as the important stewardship work that American Whitewater has, and continues to do in the northeast. If you normally renew your membership at Deerfield Fest, please renew again today! Folks who Join or Renew will be entered to win a Kokatat Om Drytop ($549 value!). Write “Deerfield” in the membership form comments to be entered! For folks who renewed in June through the present, you’ll be automatically entered to win based on if you live in a Northeastern state. In an effort to raise more funds for our Stewardship work in the northeast, we also have a super stout 2021 Deerfield Online Auction that just went live. Go check it out and bid on some fantastic gear from our amazing Partners (huge thanks to all our Industry Partners!!!). Auction ends on Wednesday, September 15th at 8 p.m. EST.

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Phil Kast: Volunteer of the Month, Presented by Kokatat

09/07/2021 - by Kevin Colburn

We are pleased to recognize Phil Kast as American Whitewater's Volunteer of the Month, presented by Kokatat! Phil recently stepped up to improve the American Whitewater iOS App, to help us deliver the rich trip-planning information in our National Whitewater Inventory to your Apple mobile device. He's already made quite a few significant improvements to the App, and more are in the works. As Volunteer of the Month, Kokatat will be hooking up Phil with some world class gear, and we hope you'll extend Phil a hearty thank you when you see him on the river. Thanks Phil! 

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09/03/2021 - by Theresa Lorejo-Simsiman

American Whitewater has confirmed with Pacific Gas & Electric that recreational releases will take place on Pit 5 for September 11th and 12th (10am to 4pm at 1200 cfs). PG&E will open restrooms at both the Madesi put-in and the James B. Black take-out. However, in an effort to protect resources and align with the forest closure order for all California USFS National Forests, PG&E will not open Madesi for overnight camping. Obviously, with the current wildfire season no open fires, stoves or grills will be allowed.

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Court Restores Pre-2020 Clean Water Act Protections

08/31/2021 - by Kevin Colburn

Yesterday, in a big win for rivers, a US District Court in Arizona tossed out a 2020 federal rule that had dramatically reduced the number of waterways covered under the Clean Water Act. The court decision wiped the 2020 rule off the books because the rule was based on significant errors and posed a serious risk of harm to the public and the environment. Effective immediately, the more protective 1988 rule governing the Clean Water Act is back in place. The administration is currently working on a new rule, and paddlers are encouraged to learn more and send in comments by September 3rd supporting broad protections for rivers, and all those who live and recreate downstream. 

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Deerfield Fest Evening at Berkshire East Canceled

08/30/2021 - by Bob Nasdor

Paddling Friends & AW Supporters. We have made the difficult decision to cancel the Deerfield Fest evening at Berkshire East scheduled for September 11 and put all of our attention to on-water activities. The good news is that there will be a lot to enjoy at the Deerfield River that weekend. Safety is core to American Whitewater’s mission, both on and around the river and in the communities where we paddle and this decision was made with the AW's mission as guidance. 

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Recreational Release Update for the Feather and Pit River Watersheds (CA)

08/30/2021 - by Theresa Lorejo-Simsiman

American Whitewater breaks the bad news and good news for scheduled California releases on the Feather and Pit River Watershed. 

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Gauley Season 2021 - An Open Letter to Boaters from NPS

08/27/2021 - by Mark Singleton

American Whitewater received the following open letter to boaters from the rangers and staff of the Gauley River National Recreation Area. This letter will keep you up to date on important management actions of the National Park Service on the Gauley River for the 2021 season.

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AW Launches Wildfire Info Map: See Which Rivers Are Affected by Fires

08/26/2021 - by Scott Harding
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Paddle Wise – A Responsibility Code For River Runners

08/19/2021 - by Evan Stafford

Paddle Wise is a responsibility code for river runners developed by American Whitewater through a buildout and design partnership with NRS. The mission was to create a simple and shareable responsibility message for the increasing number of individuals participating in whitewater recreation. When you’re on the river you represent our community and your safe enjoyment of the river is in your hands. These helpful hints will not only make sure you represent the whitewater community well and enjoy the river safely, they’ll help protect, restore and maintain access to our rivers for everyone. Check out for more info and the full toolkit which you can use to help spread the stoke for paddling responsibly. 

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It’s Finally Time to Protect Colorado’s West Slope Rivers!

08/16/2021 - by Kestrel Kunz

Today, the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forest Unit announced the much-anticipated release of the Draft Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement. The Draft Plan materials were released on Friday, August 13, initiating a 90-day review period. The GMUG National Forest is home to gems like Oh-Be-Joyful Creek, the Taylor River, Norwood Canyon on the San Miguel, and numerous others. Many of these rivers are free-flowing and offer outstanding values, including paddling, breathtaking scenery, fish habitat, and profound history and culture. This point in the plan revision process is the most important time for the river community to engage and speak up to protect our beloved West Slope rivers in Colorado!

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Proposed Hydropower Dams on Little CO River Stopped (AZ)

08/03/2021 - by Kestrel Kunz

This week, I returned from a 19-day Grand Canyon trip to learn that two proposed hydropower projects on the Little Colorado River had been formally abandoned. On July 26, Pumped Hydro Storage LLC officially surrendered their two preliminary permits for the Salt Trail Canyon and Little Colorado River Pumped Storage Projects. These two projects received preliminary permits from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in 2019 and if completed, would have inundated 4.5 miles of the Little Colorado and created 4 dams up to 240 feet high. American Whitewater and our members were among hundreds of commenters that opposed these hydropower projects, including multiple native tribes whose sacred lands would have been irrevocably destroyed. 

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Comment Opportunity on Deschutes River Business Plan

07/31/2021 - by Thomas O'Keefe

The Bureau of Land Management Prineville District's Deschutes Field Office is seeking public comment on a proposal to change the fee structure for the Lower Deschutes Wild and Scenic River. The proposed changes are intended to make fees more equitable for all users, including non-boating users, throughout the year and to account for rising operating costs and the need for year-round maintenance.

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Whitewater Boating Opportunity on the Upper Sultan (WA)

07/30/2021 - by Thomas O'Keefe

Snohomish PUD will be providing a whitewater boating opportunity on the Upper Sultan River on Sunday August 8th. Paddlers who plan to attend are asked to register on the Snohomish PUD website. We have been working for the past 3 years to provide this mid-summer opportunity. While we hoped to release a bit more water than the anticipated flow of 500-700 cfs, we agreed to this flow out of an abundance of caution to prevent impacts to fishery resources of the Skykomish River basin. With monitoring during this release, we hope to collect additional information that can inform future summer whitewater boating opportunities on the Sultan River.

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Whitewater Boating in the Chelan Gorge Returns (WA)

07/30/2021 - by Thomas O'Keefe

A whitewater boating opportunity will once again be available on the Chelan Gorge this September 18th and 19th and registration is open on the PUD website. Chelan PUD, the owner and operator of the hydroelectric project has expressed ongoing concerns with slope instability in Reach 2, the 0.75 mile reach immediately upstream of Entrance Exam and the start of the class V whitewater. Chelan PUD suspended the the whitewater boating event in 2018 and again in 2020 due to observed significant increased slope instability and consequent potential sloughing of earth and rock material within Reach 2 of the Chelan River. After meeting with American Whitewater, Chelan PUD determined that they could provide a weekend of whitewater boating this year. We are pleased to be able to work collaboratively with Chelan PUD to provide this opportunity again and ask that everyone who participates makes good conservative decisions.

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Water Quality Rollback Stopped, Issues Unresolved (CO)

06/18/2021 - by Kestrel Kunz

At 5pm tonight, Colorado’s Water Quality Control Commission voted not to rollback the antidegradation rule that has for decades helped to keep our rivers clean. However, they did uphold their ability to make arbitrary decisions on polluting Colorado’s waterways - like they did on the South Platte in 2020 - for the next ten years. The outcome followed a two-day hearing earlier this week, during which the antidegradation rule was discussed at length. While we still have a long road ahead, Coloradans were able to stop what would have been an atrocious rollback of protections for Colorado’s beloved streams. Thank you to those that stood up and took action to protect Colorado's water quality! 

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FERC Approves Transfer of Klamath Hydropower License (OR/CA)

06/17/2021 - by Thomas O'Keefe

Earlier today the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the license transfer for the Lower Klamath Hydroelectric Project from PacifiCorp to the Klamath River Renewal Corporation and the states of Oregon and California, as co-licensees. In addition to approving license transfer for purposes of dam removal, the Commission also issued Scoping Document 1 and outlined a public process for environmental review of the plan to remove the Klamath River dams. American Whitewater has been working collaboratively with the Klamath River Renewal Corporation and the States of Oregon and California to better understand how whitewater boating opportunities will change following dam removal. A public comment period is now open through August 19, 2021.

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How to Enjoy the Upcoming Savage River Release (MD)

05/24/2021 - by Kevin Colburn

The Savage River releases are on the calendar for 2021 with some changes in how to enjoy them. Commercial shuttles are now a thing of the past on the Savage, and with that comes new responsibilities for paddlers. It is vitally important that paddlers visit the Savage River responsibly so these releases can continue. Enjoy!

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Explore Northern Rockies Rivers with Purpose This Year

05/14/2021 - by Kevin Colburn

Documenting your experiences on rivers in the Northern Rockies this summer could help secure lasting protections for those rivers. Several key landscapes are under review for protections by Congress and the US Forest Service, but we lack the kind of compelling descriptions and photos that can inspire and inform decision makers to offer rivers and their enjoyment key protections. So we need your help. As you explore rivers in the focal areas noted in this article, we encourage you to paddle with a purpose: take photos highlighting river values, take video, and take notes on recreational and ecological values - then share your content with American Whitewater. 

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Take Action to Protect Water Quality in Colorado

04/28/2021 - by Kestrel Kunz

Colorado’s waters are at stake. From our high mountain streams to the backyard of urban communities, water quality is threatened state-wide. The Colorado Water Quality Control Commission has proposed a change to the antidegradation rule that would allow for more pollution into higher quality waters without review or justification. The proposed rule would go against the very premise of the Clean Water Act, which the Commission is tasked with implementing and overseeing in Colorado. Help us protect the antidegradation policy by signing on to this petition to the Water Quality Control Commission. 

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