American Whitewater at the North Fork Championships 2019!
Come join us at the North Fork Championship this weekend. Pacific Northwest Stewardship Director Thomas O'Keefe, Communications Director Evan Stafford, and Board Member Megi Morishita will be out for the event. The North Fork Championship is a great event that celebrates our sport and a reminder that the North Fork Payette was once proposed for hydropower development. A group of paddlers and river advocates fought to save this river. Through their efforts, Idaho Rivers United was born and in 1991 Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus signed the first version of the Payette River Plan, protecting the Payette River system from new dams and hydropower development. The action starts Tuesday evening (6/11) , 6pm at Payette Brewing in Boise with the NFC Wild Rivers Symposium which will feature speakers on river conservation issues, some entertainment, and food and drink.
Oregon Waterway Access Bill Set to Become Law
This week, Oregon House Bill 2835 re-passed the Oregon House on a 52-7 vote. Having earlier cleared the Senate, the bill now awaits a signature from the Governor to be signed into law. For decades, opportunities to protect and improve the ability of the public to access and legally use waterways for recreation have seen minimal progress, while efforts to severely limit access have been a consistent threat. Oregon House Bill 2835 is a pivotal piece of legislation in Oregon, and the first proactive waterway access bill in recent history to have made it through the state legislature.
Oh Be Joyful Race Back in Action June 22 (CO)
Come join American Whitewater at the 2019 Oh Be Joyful Creek Race in Crested Butte on June 22! "The World famous Oh Be Joyful Steep Creek Race is back on this year! Saturday, June 22nd is the day to come out and show your stuff on one of the steepest kayak races out there! Registration is now open, so sign up to race or just come out and watch one of the greatest shows on Earth!" - Paul Raymond, OBJ Race Director, says it all. Racers will get the chance to take two laps on the creek with their best time used for ranking purposes. Each racer will receive a swag bag with a Theracane! In the event of extreme high water, the race start will be postponed to allow levels to drop. The afterparty this year will be at the Talk of the Town in Crested Butte with beer provided by SKA and Eddyline and food provided by the Brick Oven Pizzeria in CB.
Support Improved Potomac River Access at Harpers Ferry (WV/VA/DC)
A local planning agency has championed a study of the Weverton access site just downstream of Harpers Ferry. This site is an important Potomac river put-in/takeout site for Shenandoah and Potomac River paddlers who have few access options in the area. At issue is an informal crossing of the two-track CSX railroad used by almost 27,000 paddlers, Appalachian Trail hikers, and visitors to the C&O Canal National Historical Park last year. The study outlines two options to formalize this access site and improve the safety of crossing the railroad tracks. Either option would be a big improvement, as would a standard road crossing, and paddlers are encouraged to submit a supportive comment by the June 15 deadline.
Dolores River (CO) 2019 Release Update
This spring in Colorado has been so cool and wet that the U.S. Drought Monitor has officially declared the state drought free. For paddlers this has meant a slow start to the boating season in a lot of places and excitement for the long season expected. For reservoir operators the delayed inflows mean more uncertainty. Starting yesterday, May 30th, flows began ramping down and will reach a level of 400 cfs by midnight the morning of Sunday June 2nd. With warm weather in the forecast however, the release will then ramp back up beginning the morning of Wednesday June 5th and will be up to 1,200 cfs by midnight the morning of Friday, June 7th. Flows will then remain at least 1,200 cfs until Sunday, June 23rd. Please see the Dolores Water Conservation District website's release page for details on these release changes. They will be posting weekly updates on Monday and Thursday, so continue to check back into their site for the most detailed operation plans.
American Whitewater Spring Website Update
Thanks to generous grants from the US Coast Guard and significant volunteer efforts American Whitewater has created a new modernized version of our website that works across mobile devices, has significantly updated programming systems, and works with our volunteer-created apps for both iOS and Android. We want to acknowledge that the new version of the site has had numerous bugs, and to share that we have worked to address them as quickly as possible. This work continues with a lean and dedicated team of volunteer and paid programmers.
Hanging Lake Exit Closed to Vehicles This Season (CO)
The Hanging Lake hiking trail, located in Glenwood Canyon (CO), has had issues with crowding, illegal parking, and degradation to the lake by the over 130,000 people that hike there every year. A stakeholder group including the City of Glenwood Springs, the Forest Service and Colorado Department of Transportation among others have been working on a plan to mitigate for these impacts to protect the iconic lake and prevent conflicts at the rest area. The only way to access the rest area between May 1st and October 31st is via shuttle buses provided by H2O Ventures located next to the Glenwood Springs Recreation Center.
UPDATE - FEE BOX AT SANG RUN PUT-IN BROKEN INTO!!
The hasp was broken in the last 24 hours. Please DO NOT PUT MONEY IN THE BOX UNTIL IT IS REPAIRED! To donate on line, please go to the American Whitewater Donate page and put "Upper Yough Access" in the comment box. Memorial Day Weekend is coming up, and Deep Creek Hydro on Maryland's famous Upper Youghiogheny River will release on Sunday, May 26th, and Monday, May 27th from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM. This marvelous stretch of expert-level whitewater draws hundreds of paddlers from all over the country. American Whitewater has worked closely with the Town of Friendsville and the State of Maryland to make river access hassle-free. Please remember that we are guests of the town of Friendsville. Use the paddler parking lot off Maple Street; do not park or take out on Water Street or Morris Street without permission from local residents. Be discrete; use the change house to get ready for the river. Remember that public drinking and rowdy behavior is not appreciated by nearby residents. Upstream, the Sang Run Access is owned by the State of Maryland and has been maintained by American Whitewater volunteers for almost 20 years. The water has been running high for the past few weeks. Be careful and be safe!
Senator Murray & Representative Kilmer Reintroduce Wild Olympics Bill (WA)
Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA-06) reintroduced the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (S. 1382 and H.R. 2642) 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. Designed through extensive community input to protect ancient forests, clean water and salmon streams as well as enhance outdoor recreation, the legislation would set aside the first new wilderness on Olympic National Forest in nearly three decades and the first-ever protected wild and scenic rivers on the Olympic Peninsula.
New Mexico Governor Lujan Grisham Vetoes Gila Diversion Funding
In her campaign, newly elected Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham laid out a plan to end work on the Gila River Diversion Project. This past Friday she took great strides towards that promise by vetoing $1.698M in New Mexico Unit funding requested by the Interstate Stream Commission for Gila diversion planning and design.
Clackamas River flow information survey
As a part of Portland General Electric’s (PGE) license for its hydroelectric project along the Clackamas River, PGE follows a Recreation Resource Management Plan that directs the Company towards recreation projects along the Clackamas. PGE is currently seeking feedback from the whitewater community on the flow resources along the Upper Clackamas River through a short 8 question online survey.
Join American Whitewater On The Wild And Scenic Rogue River (OR) In 2019
For the past few years, the staff of America Whitewater has joined with a number of our members to participate in a four-day float trip on the Rogue River in southern Oregon. This trip has been a great opportunity to connect with members in ways that build a lasting understanding of the role of recreation in fostering a stewardship ethic. As one of the original eight Wild and Scenic Rivers in the country, the Rogue is an outstanding classroom for American Whitewater’s river stewardship program.
Charity Navigator Awards American Whitewater Ninth Consecutive 4-Star Rating
Thanks to an organization wide effort to provide transparency and operate efficiently, Charity Navigator awarded American Whitewater with its ninth consecutive 4-star rating. Receiving four out of a possible four stars indicates that American Whitewater adheres to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way. Only 2% of the nonprofits Charity Navigator rates have received nine consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that American Whitewater outperforms most other charities in America. This “exceptional” designation from Charity Navigator differentiates American Whitewater from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust and support.
American Whitewater Announces Endowment
American Whitewater is pleased to announce the creation of an endowment to promote safety education and outreach. The endowment will support “promoting whitewater safety, responsible on-river behavior, safety education and outreach, and maintenance of the American Whitewater Safety Code and Whitewater Accident Database.’ Anyone wishing to add to the fund can simply make a donation to American Whitewater here and include safety education in the comment field of the donation.