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More Help Needed for Ward's Ferry Take-Out W&S Tuolumne River (CA)

Posted: 03/25/2019
by Theresa Simsiman

American Whitewater needs your help to secure future takeout improvements at Ward’s Ferry Bridge, the takeout for the Wild and Scenic Tuolumne River. Recently, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Don Pedro Hydroelectric Project that does not recommend a whitewater boating take-out facility at Ward’s Ferry as a license requirement.  In fact FERC staff believes the Don Pedro Project has NO impact to the take-out. Instead, they believe the take-out problems at Ward’s Ferry are related to USFS management of boating permits, flows from the upstream non-project Holm powerhouse and Tuolumne County road management. In other words, FERC staff has an opinion that everyone else is to blame for the poor take-out conditions but not Modesto and Turlock Irrigation Districts’ Don Pedro powerhouse, dam or reservoir.

Picture by Paul Martzen - Ward's Ferry Take-out

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AW Scholarship Announced for Creative Advocacy Program

Posted: 03/21/2019
by Kevin Colburn

AW and the Freeflow Institute have teamed up to offer a competitive scholarship to one or two deserving river lovers in 2019. Freeflow Institute is a Montana-based organization offering seminars, workshops, and adventures for creative people in Earth’s wildest classrooms. By offering intelligently structured, professionally catered trips into wild spaces, the Freeflow Institute affords established and emerging writers, artists, and athletes, the time, community, and inspiration to take their practice outside and build creative cohorts of advocates for thoughtful, strategic environmental preservation. The end result - inspired and effective river advocates! If you or someone you know could benefit from an immersive, experiential creative workshop on a wild Western river this summer, you should seize this opportunity to apply.

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MARK YOUR CALENDARS - 2019 CA RECREATIONAL RELEASES

Posted: 03/20/2019
by Theresa Simsiman

Here are the 2019 scheduled recreational releases for hydropower projects American Whitewater negotiated across California.

Photo by Barry Kruse - Pit 1

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Normal Take-out Closed in 2019 for Improvements - South Silver Creek (CA)

Posted: 03/20/2019
by Theresa Simsiman

During 2019 access to the normal take-out for South Silver Creek will be closed while the U.S. Forest Service and Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) begin paving the road and constructing a new day use area with public restroom. Boaters planning to paddle South Silver Creek this year will need to paddle the reservoir to a point beyond Strawberry Camp to take-out.

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Comments Needed on Changes to Pumphouse and Gore Canyon (CO) Management!

Posted: 03/20/2019
by Evan Stafford

The Kremmling Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released preliminary plans to update their Special Recreation Area Management Plan for the Upper Colorado River from Parshall to State Bridge. We need the paddling community to speak up for our interests regarding proposed changes to the management of this reach, which includes Gore Canyon and the Pumphouse to State Bridge sections. We make is super easy to comment with our easy action templated forms and we’ll hand deliver your message to the BLM. These sections of river see high private and commercial use, in addition to hosting the American Whitewater Gore Canyon Festival every August. 
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AW Journal - The March/April Issue Online Now!

Posted: 03/18/2019
by Bethany Overfield

The March/April issue of the AW Journal is available in our online "Library". This issue includes 'Public Lands Package Benefits Rivers Across the Country!’ along with much more.  Read the issue online now or download your copy.

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Russell Fork Meeting Scheduled to Consider Releases

Posted: 03/15/2019
by Kevin Colburn

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced a second public meeting to inform the public and seek input regarding proposed changes to the fall release schedule. The meeting will be held at the Breaks Interstate Park Conference Center at 627 Commission Circle, Breaks, Va., on April 2, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. Paddlers are encouraged to attend.

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First New River Dries Release Rescheduled

Posted: 03/15/2019
by Kevin Colburn

The New River Dries was scheduled to have its first planned releases ever this weekend, however inflows will be exceeding the capacity of the hydropower diversion and the Dries will be running around 5,000 cfs without a release. There are worse problems to have! This means that this weekend's 2200-2500 cfs releases will be rescheduled for next weekend, which looks promising for the releases to occur with good water levels and weather, and if needed one more weekend, after which they will be cancelled if they have not occured. 

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State Legislation Seeks to Protect and Preserve Access to Waterways in Oregon

Posted: 03/12/2019
by Priscilla Macy

Oregon is a state renowned for its plentiful water supplies and outstanding recreation opportunities on its public waterways. The abundance of outstanding river resources is a reason why people continue to live, work, recreate and travel to the state.  Protecting rivers and access to them is important to conservation and recreation as it ties to strong local economies and community health. Oregon House Bill 2835 has been modified based on collaborative and ongoing efforts involving the many diverse stakeholders in the state with a vested interest in use of Oregon’s waterways, and as such amendments have been carefully and collaboratively crafted to achieve some important outcomes that protect access to public waterways in the state. Please keep and eye out for details on the hearing date for this important bill, and for an upcoming Action Alert, which will be posted as soon as those details become available. 

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NEW WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS SIGNED INTO LAW WITH PUBLIC LANDS PACKAGE!

Posted: 03/12/2019
by Evan Stafford

With the President’s signature today, 621 miles of new Wild and Scenic Rivers have been established through the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act. With strong bipartisan support, this legislation passed the House by a vote of 363-62 on February 26th. It passed the Senate by a vote of 92-8 on February 12th. Please reach out to your lawmakers in both the House and Senate to thank them for following through on this commitment, and we make it super easy through our easy action templated forms. A personalized touch will make sure your representatives read your thank you and the forms only take a moment to update with an individualized comment about why protecting wild rivers and the recreation opportunities they provide is important to you. 

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Adirondack Whitewater Release Schedule Announced

Posted: 02/27/2019
by Robert Nasdor

Northeast boaters will again have the opportunity to boat in the Adirondacks this year on the Moose, Raquette, and Beaver rivers. Be sure to mark your calendars for these releases and join us for the Moosefest and Beaver River Rendezvous this year

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Help Protect Crested Butte Area Rivers and Creeks under Wild and Scenic Act

Posted: 02/26/2019
by Kestrel Kunz

The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests (GMUG) are conducting a Wild and Scenic River Eligibility Evaluation as part of the current Forest Plan Revision process. While the Forest Service is mandated to conduct an Eligibility Study as part of the Plan Revision process, this opportunity only happens every 15-20 years and we need to ensure that the Study is comprehensive and robust. We need YOU to share your love and knowledge of these rivers with the Forest Service! We've put together an easy-to-use tool for you to submit comments here. Please consider personalizing your comments and take the time to review the Forest Service's Story Map of the Eligibility Evaluation. 

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Tow Tether Danger Highlighted by Recent Accident

Posted: 02/25/2019
by Charlie Walbridge

Nancy Kell, a very experienced Mid-States kayaker, died on February 24th after flipping in a Class II rapid on West Virginia's Red Creek. There were a number of strainers in the vicinity above and below the water. One of them snagged her tow tether, pulled her out of her boat, and held her under water. She was with a very experienced crew but they could not reach her quickly enough. Equipment snags are a real risk. In the light of this accident I strongly urge anyone using a cowtail, pigtail, or tow tether to recheck your setup, and to consider whether wearing a tow tether makes sense. Be certain that your tether releases cleanly at both ends. Do not attach the front carabiner to a non-releasable point, like a pocket or strap. Ms. Kell did this, and it may have been a contributing factor. Apparently many current rescue PFD designs to not feature a front release point! Do not attach a tether to the rear of your PFD with a non-locking carabiner, as that may inadvertently clip into a rope. The tether should fit very snugly, without sagging, but as the photo shows Ms. Kell did that, and it did not protect her! The harness release should be quick and foolproof. Practice harness releases under pressure before using it on the river. Finally, remember that any additional strap is a potential snag hazard. Ask yourself if the usefulness of a tow tether is worth the risk, especially on small, strainer infrested creeks. Carry it in a PFD pocket or dry bag if necessary. Click for a link to the report in the AW Accident Database. (Jeff Macklin Photo)

 

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Clackamas River flow information survey

Posted: 01/22/2019
by Thomas O'Keefe

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.

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Upper Yough Access Fundraiser a Big Success

Posted: 01/07/2019
by Charlie Walbridge

Tonight American Whitewater presented the Town of Friendsville, Maryland with a $5000 check towards the extension of the Upper Yough Access Parking Area. This, combined with a $1000 donation from Keelhaulers Canoe Club, made a strong statement of how much paddlers value the river and the town! Under the leadership of Mayor Spencer Schlosnagle and long time paddler and Friendsville resident Jess Whittemore the town raised $7 in additional funding for every dollar paddlers donated - just like they did on the initial construction! This makes these gifts a great value for the whitewater community. A big shout out and thank you to ALL who donated!

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Flow Survey Announced For Rio Grande And Conejos Rivers (CO)

Posted: 01/07/2019
by Evan Stafford

Alamosa, Colorado - American Whitewater needs your help to define streamflows that support the full range of recreational boating opportunities on the Rio Grande and Conejos Rivers in Southern Colorado. Information provided by you will help set goals for flows and physical conditions to protect and enhance streams, and inform multi-objective projects to improve ecological, recreational, and community values. Please participate in our survey today!

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New Graphics Summarize 20 Years of Accident Data

Posted: 01/01/2019
by Charlie Walbridge

 

Charlie Duffy has created a series of graphs summarizing the contents of the Accident Database over the last 20 years. Along the way, he searched our files for any errors and duplicates and corrected them. Click through to scroll through these fascinating  charts or to download them for your use.

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Join American Whitewater On The Wild And Scenic Rogue River (OR) In 2019

Posted: 12/02/2018
by Mark Singleton

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.

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Charity Navigator Awards American Whitewater Ninth Consecutive 4-Star Rating

Posted: 11/13/2018
by Mark Singleton

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.

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American Whitewater Announces Endowment

Posted: 07/30/2018
by Mark Singleton

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.