Archived Articles (in this area) Current Articles (in this area) All Articles
 

 

 


article photo YciWOW2Ijd9dsZDafAOgO.jpg

Supreme Court Dives Into Clean Water Act Scope

10/03/2022 - by Kevin Colburn

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments this morning on a case that will likely shift the balance of which wetlands and perhaps streams are covered under the Clean Water Act. A permit is required to dredge, fill, or discharge pollutants into waters that are covered under the Act. Waters not covered under the Act lack this federal review. Now, just days from the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the Supreme Court considered this request to significantly weaken the effect of the landmark law that is largely responsible for the remarkable restoration of our Nation’s rivers. 

article photo O7KbYKFNLtuAdxFsZqnRj.jpg

Please add your voice to update Colorado’s Water Plan

09/23/2022 - by Hattie Johnson

The Colorado Water Conservation Board released the 2023 draft update to the Colorado Water Plan this summer. The plan is an important framework to ensure we have a vibrant future in Colorado. The original plan was finalized in 2015 and identified water based recreation as an important value. American Whitewater is working to ensure that the update builds on that plan by identifying the valuable socio-economic role recreation plays in our state and identifying actions to ensure it’s protected and enhanced. There is currently a public comment period open until September 30th. Below we describe some of the comments we will be providing and we encourage you to add your voice. Please follow this link to make your own comment.

article photo QSeCf1B6wnhyLIH6D3OG2.jpg

American Whitewater Opposes Legislation to Undermine Clean Water Act

09/23/2022 - by Bob Nasdor

On September 21, Sen. Manchin (D-WV) released the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2022, long-anticipated legislation seeking to speed up environmental review and approval of energy projects under the National Environmental Policy Act and Clean Water Act. The proposed legislation would weaken Section 401 of the Clean Water Act undermining our ability to advocate for instream flows below hydropower dams.

article photo eCraAxU51mTV9dvOCYQ48.jpg

Mokelumne River (CA) 2022 Recreational Releases

09/22/2022 - 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.

article photo rg0qUUPfPBJaVX1InZQ5R.jpg

Feather Festival is a Go but Tobin Downriver Race 2022 Canceled

09/12/2022 - by Theresa Lorejo-Simsiman

We are geared up to see folks at our 2022 Annual Feather River Festival and look forward to the Slalom Race, Film Festival and Feather River Party! We do have unfortunate news to share –  we made the difficult decision to cancel the Class V Tobin Downriver Race for the 2022 Feather River Festival due to a lack of adequate insurance coverage. Despite this news, it is our hope that paddlers will still come join in the festival fun to support our stewardship work here at American Whitewater. Low flow releases on the North Fork Feather for Friday September 23 will provide boating opportunities for the early birds and recreational releases of 800 cfs will begin on Saturday September 24 and run through Sunday September 25. The Rock Creek Slalom is still slated for Sunday and Rafting Magazine will hold flat water clinics including a raft flip contest on Saturday. We truly appreciate the support and love American Whitewater gets from the Feather River Festival Community and we're hoping to see you all in person there again!!!

article photo yqt9h8jY8VFvKFRX6G1AM.jpg

Local Coalition Celebrates Commission Ruling to Protect Colorado's Waters

09/09/2022 - by Kestrel Kunz

During this year’s World Water Week, a coalition including community members, anglers, recreation groups, and conservation organizations are celebrating the finalization of the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission’s decision to designate over 520 miles on 25 streams across Southwest Colorado as Outstanding Waters. The coalition came together from across the state, dedicating three years to demonstrating that these streams have high water quality, exceptional recreational and ecological values, and that they warrant protection. The Commission’s designation of these waterways marks the adoption of the largest community proposal for Outstanding Waters in Colorado’s history.

article photo vM0ya6Pbnya5tpHEivEh0.jpg

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.

article photo 9j09EQQ87yhhhUUDMGUvM.jpg

Volunteers Work Hard on Upper Yough Accesses

08/26/2022 - by Charlie Walbridge

Although a broken dam curtailed Upper Yough water releases this year, it's been a great season for American Whitewater volunteers. On the left, Jesse Shimrock is AW's new Upper Yough Access Manager. A lifelong resident of Garrett County, he learned to paddle here as a teen. After years on the freestyle circuit he built a house in Sang Run and is ready to look after the interests of river runners. AW has maintained the site for decades thanks to an agreement with Maryland State Parks. Jesse has plans for upgrades and improvements; if you want to help, contact him on FB. And don't forget reliable Don Millard, on the right, who has mowed the grass in both Sang Run and Friendsville for many years! He does a great job and saves AW thousands of dollars each year!


article photo woISRMo7eytr0iyskitvp.jpg

2022 Gauley Season Details From The National Park Service

08/19/2022 - by Kevin Colburn

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 2020 season. Camping and other facets of Gauley season are returning to more normal operations following two years of Covid-related restrictions. As part of our agreement with the land owner, there is no camping allowed on the Legg field that American Whitewater leases for overflow parking. The letter from NPS follows:

article photo 3ewkUFYGQEva6xh3JBWjw.jpg

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.

article photo x1M4eKmbAvMCrxzUymNyB.jpg

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. 

 

article photo LZrYlq4Z4uM2SxCjArtur.jpg

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.

article photo GCL8G5sguRE7X1FZOKT2F.jpg

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.

article photo XJ96GRcib85tpdVnM7eiP.jpg

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. 

article photo Qfy2U6gge9Mm48DSBkWT0.jpg

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. 

article photo k5txZzh2n7TRJJfutbmEh.jpg

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. 

article photo zNZjx7cPHPIAYkN8FqDhT.jpg

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!

article photo jnqBURGU3k5Xnl2ABIIt2.jpg

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 public. 

article photo t1rdr1HznbKQ0cK9XTPGC-2.jpg

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.

article photo 91kGA9ll1b7G5xM9LOwui.jpg

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.



Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!