Klamath River Devastated by Wildfire-Related Fish Kill
08/09/2022 - by Scott Harding
The Klamath River in far northern California is currently experiencing an unprecedented crisis borne of wildfire and extreme weather that has thickened the river with mud for 155 miles, causing a massive fish kill. It is one of several wildfire-related emergencies simultaneously affecting the river, its two largest tributaries-the Salmon and the Trinity-and multiple river communities right now. Twenty whitewater runs totaling 293 miles are impacted. Photo: Karuk Tribe Fisheries.
American Whitewater Supports Return of Klamath River Land to the Karuk Tribe
08/02/2022 - by Scott Harding
American Whitewater is actively supporting the return of 1,000 acres of land along the Klamath and Salmon rivers in California to the Karuk Tribe. The land, which was forcibly taken from the Tribe, has deep spiritual significance to the Karuk people, and its return is a long overdue act of reconciliation. Legislation to return this land has been introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and we are supporting its prompt passage.
AW Wildfire Info Map Keeps Boater Updated on Rivers Affected by Fires
08/02/2022 - by Scott Harding
It's peak fire season in much of the country and active wildfires are currently burning along several whitewater rivers in the West. Be sure to check the American Whitewater Wildfire Information Map for the latest details on whether there's an active wildfire that could affect your boating trip or safety. It's the only map that combines detailed information on whitewater runs with constantly updated fire locations, air quality info, and more.
A Big Win for Rivers in the Sierra & Sequoia National Forests (CA)!
07/25/2022 - by Theresa Lorejo-Simsiman
The Sierra and Sequoia National Forests have released final forest land management plans containing protections for 498 miles of rivers found eligible for inclusion into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Since 2013, American Whitewater has been engaged in this forest planning process with the goal of getting California's whitewater resources included in the eligibility inventory and recognized for their outstandingly remarkable values. As a tenet of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, managing agencies like the Forest Service (USFS) provide interim protections for eligible river's free flowing character and outstandingly remarkable values until they can be designated by Congress.
Gore Fest 2022 is ON!
07/21/2022 - by Angus Harley
Gore Fest is on! The classic downriver race through Gore Canyon and Upper Colorado SUP Race is scheduled for Saturday, August 27th with a freestyle rodeo on the morning of Sunday, August 28th. This year’s festival will be held at Pumphouse campground and camping will be first come first serve, be sure to pay all fees to BLM. There is no reserved camping associated with Gore Fest. All racers MUST register online - REGISTER HERE. Registration closes 6pm on August 26th. Each race entry includes a discounted one-year membership with American Whitewater, a race bib, t-shirt, insurance, and BLM fees. There will be a cash purse for winners of each class, $10 of each registration will go towards that purse. Each registration is $85.
Deerfield Fest August 6th: All Together Now
07/19/2022 - by Robert Nasdor
After a 2-year hiatus, the northeast whitewater boating community will come together on August 6th at Deerfield Fest, a celebration of nearly 40 years of whitewater boating on the Deerfield River in Massachusetts. This year's festival will be held at Berkshire East Mountain on August 6th. Deerfield Fest commemorates the historic 1994 Settlement Agreement that requires scheduled boating releases on the Fife Brook and Dryway sections of the Deerfield. The event supports American Whitewater's river stewardship work in the norttheast.
Senator Bennet (CO) Introduces Legislation to Protect the Dolores River Canyon
07/19/2022 - by Hattie Johnson
For over a decade, American Whitewater has worked with a diverse and collaborative group to find consensus on how to provide durable protections to the outstandingly remarkable values of the Dolores River while honoring local concerns around the protection of existing water and land uses. Years ago, the group identified a federally designated National Conservation Area as the best means to preserve the Dolores River Canyons, its recreation, wildlife, and scenery. Yesterday, Colorado’s senior senator, Michael Bennet, introduced that legislation. This is an exciting and important step toward permanent protection and is the result of coordination with the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal government; a diverse subcommittee including counties, water managers, conservation groups, and more. Please join us today in thanking Senator Bennet for his commitment to this important river canyon! Ponderosa Gorge Image credit: Rig to Flip
Take Action: Provide Comment to Restore the Snake River
07/06/2022 - by Thomas O'Keefe
American Whitewater supports breaching the four lower Snake River Dams and believes the environmental and social justice costs of these dams outweigh the services and benefits they provide. In addition to benefits for salmon and steelhead, breaching these dams would open up a new segment of free-flowing river in a region where current demand for river-based recreation exceeds capacity. We also believe the removal of these dams is a more effective solution to address struggling salmon runs than limits that have been placed on recreational boaters. Governor Inslee and Senator Murray are currently soliciting public comment through July 11th on the Lower Snake River Dams: Benefit Replacement Draft Report.
Unprecedented Win for Water Quality in Colorado!
06/24/2022 - by Kestrel Kunz
On June 14, Colorado’s Water Quality Control Commission voted 7-1 to protect 520 miles on 25 streams across Southwest Colorado, adopting the first proposal of its kind. American Whitewater and our partners have been hard at work over the past three years to prove that these high quality rivers and creeks deserve protection. Our proposal included beloved paddling segments like the headwaters of the Taylor River, Escalante Creek, Lime Creek, and many others that were acknowledged for their exceptional ecological and recreational attributes. Under the Clean Water Act, Outstanding Waters provide the highest level of water quality protections in Colorado. The designation acknowledges the high water quality that currently exists and ensures it is protected at that level for the future.
American Whitewater Prevails in Case to Protect the Tuolumne River
06/21/2022 - by Theresa Lorejo-Simsiman
In a case before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, American Whitewater and our allies prevailed to uphold the Clean Water Act in protection of the Tuolumne River. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act which requires that any utility applying for a hydropower license that may discharge pollutants into waters of the United States must receive state certification ensuring the project complies with all state standards for beneficial use, water quality, and anti-degradation of the waterway. The case brought forth by the Modesto and Turlock Irrigation Districts (the Districts) challenged a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) order upholding California’s clean water certification for the Don Pedro and La Grange Hydropower Projects located on the Tuolumne River.
AW Participates in EPA Roundtable on the Importance of Clean Water
06/09/2022 - by Kevin Colburn
On Tuesday, June 7, Kevin Colburn, American Whitewater’s National Stewardship Director, participated in a roundtable hosted jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Cahaba Brewing Co. on the importance of clean water protections in the Southeast. He joined stakeholders from a broad spectrum of land and water users who live or work in eleven Southeastern states, including a director of a water and sewer utility; general contracting and construction management executive; mitigation banker; faith leader; environmental justice advocates; farmers, including a Gullah-Geechee farmer; elected officials; representatives from conservation and environmental organizations; and clean water scientists.
Over 50 Paddlers Enjoy Inaugural Weber River Releases (UT)
06/09/2022 - by Evan Stafford
This past Saturday, June 4, was the first of four negotiated Saturday releases that will occur annually between May-July for the Scrambled Eggs section of the Weber River (UT), a 1.8-mile roadside run south of the cty of Ogden. The release day was well attended and critically restored river flows to a region severely impacted by dams and diversions. American Whitewater has spent the past seven years working towards these releases and we hope paddlers enjoy them this year and into the future! Remaining release days for this year are June 18, July 2, and July 9, subject to change if unexpected conditions occur.
Sign Petition to Protect Water Quality in Colorado’s Rivers!
05/18/2022 - by Kestrel Kunz
Sign here to protect water quality in Colorado’s exceptional rivers and creeks! American Whitewater and our partners are working to protect water quality in 26 creeks and rivers in Colorado. The designation of Outstanding Waters provides the highest level of water quality protections in Colorado. In order to qualify for Outstanding Waters designation, rivers must have existing high water quality, have exceptional ecological or recreational significance, and constitute a need for additional protection. These rivers include the Upper Taylor River, Escalante Creek, Lime Creek, Wolf Creek, and Roubideau Creek. We are also looking for members of the paddling community to provide written or oral testimony to the Water Quality Control Commission at the June 13 and 14 hearing. Please email Kestrel directly at email@example.com to sign up to give testimony.
2022 Recreational Releases for South Fork Silver Creek and Slab Creek (CA)
05/13/2022 - by Theresa Lorejo-Simsiman
Annually, American Whitewater and Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) coordinate required recreational flows on South Fork Silver Creek below Icehouse Reservoir and South Fork American River below Slab Creek Reservoir. The final water year forecast that will determine scheduled recreational flows will be released on May 9th. Recreational flows will vary depending on the final forecast which will either be a DRY or a BELOW NORMAL water year.
Great Falls Catawba Releases Delayed Until Next Spring (SC)
05/10/2022 - by Kevin Colburn
The start of flow releases on the Great Falls of the Catawba have unfortunately been delayed from this August to next spring. The pace and scale of work being done on the hydropower project and related lands to support releases is extraordinary, and while disappointed we are confident that the delay is merited. American Whitewater will continue to work with Duke Power and the community of Great Falls to be ready for releases next March. Starting in March releases will occur every week or two through October, at nearly 3000 cfs in each channel.
Weber Releases Get Green Light For This Summer! (UT)
05/09/2022 - by Kevin Colburn
On Friday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave the green light for recreational releases to begin on Utah’s Weber River this summer! The move came when the agency approved the Whitewater Boating Plan, which was a critical step prior to the flow restoration called for in the new license for the Weber Hydroelectric Project. American Whitewater recently requested that FERC expedite approval of the plan so the public could enjoy the Weber River this year and we are delighted that they did so! With the plan now accepted, American Whitewater will quickly work with the power company to analyze flow forecasts and schedule the four negotiated Saturday releases between late May and mid-July. American Whitewater has spent the past seven years negotiating these releases. We hope paddlers enjoy them this year and in the future!
Clackamas River Open for River Runners (OR)
05/01/2022 - by Thomas O'Keefe
We are pleased to report that the Clackamas River corridor is now open and available to the
public. Oregon Highway 224 above Estacada was re-opened Sunday May 1st after a closure that was
implemented in September 2020 following the Riverside Fire and lasted 20 months. While we are
pleased that the river corridor has been re-opened, we believe the amount of tree removal was
excessive, the length of the closure was longer than necessary, and the Forest Service did not
appropriately engage the public. American Whitewater is actively coordinating with other user
groups and will continue to explore potential administrative and legislative actions to provide
greater accountability and transparency for how closures are implemented and communicated to the
Middle Fork Feather & Four Other California Rivers Reopened
04/02/2022 - by Scott Harding
Great news out of California!
The Middle Fork Feather River's Devils Canyon run is open again after we succeeded in convincing the Plumas National Forest to end its two-year boating ban on that spectacular multi-day run, just in time for its prime spring season! Our members and supporters helped signficantly by sending in nearly 1,000 comments to the Forest Service.
We have also been working with the Eldorado National Forest to reopen access to rivers that had been closed since last summer's Caldor Fire, and we're happy to report that they just reopened access to 54 miles of whitewater on four different rivers.
All told, American Whitewater helped restore access to 88 miles of whitewater this week, covering nine runs on five different rivers!
MF Feather River photo by Carli Beisel.
Mokelumne River (CA) 2022 Recreational Releases
04/01/2022 - by Theresa Lorejo-Simsiman
American Whitewater worked with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and the Ecological Resource Committee for the Mokelumne River Hydropower Project to confirm recreational releases for 2022.
Electron Dam Operator Signs Agreement to Protect Puyallup River (WA)
03/25/2022 - by Thomas O'Keefe
A coalition of conservation groups has reached an agreement with the operators of the Electron hydroelectric project on the Puyallup River to preserve safeguards for threatened Chinook salmon, steelhead, and bull trout. The groups had sued over the facility’s illegal killing of these imperiled fish. The agreement will keep the project from operating until and unless operators can address the project’s unacceptable impacts to federally protected native fish threatened with extinction.