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Comments Needed on DOI Changes to Freedom of Information Act Requests!

posted January 23, 2019
by Evan Stafford
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On December 28, 2018 the Department of the Interior (DOI) proposed a rule that would change the way Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) records requests are handled by the DOI. American Whitewater uses FOIA requests in a number of ways to work on stewardship issues for rivers on public lands across the country. Knowing the history of policies and how management decisions have been formed are critical to our advocacy and FOIA requests at times are the only ways to access this information. The Interior’s proposed changes have the potential to greatly affect American Whitewater’s requests for records from the DOI in a negative way, leading to less requests being filled and less transparency overall at this vital public lands agency. These are proposed rule changes and therefore the public has an opportunity to comment, however the comment period ends very soon! Comments must be submitted by January 28, 2019. To submit a comment please use this regulations.gov portalWe’ve provided a template in the following article. 

Clackamas River flow information survey

posted January 22, 2019
by Thomas O'Keefe
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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.

Dates Scheduled for First New River Dries Releases (WV)

posted January 22, 2019
by Kevin Colburn
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Last week, the first ever pulse flow releases were scheduled on the New River Dries, located near Gauley Bridge, WV. These releases were designed to support intermediate level whitewater paddling and to restore natural flow variability to a river reach that has been largely dewatered by the Hawks Nest Hydropower Project for generations. The releases are a requirement of the new 47-year federal dam license issued in late 2017. The releases will occur in March, June, July, and possibly August of this and future years. American Whitewater played a lead role in negotiating these releases.

Weber River Agreement Calls For New Flows & Access (UT)

posted January 18, 2019
by Kevin Colburn
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American Whitewater has spent the past three years participating in the relicensing of a hydropower dam on Utah's Weber River that dewaters a stretch of whitewater known as the Scrambled Eggs run. Last year, we reached an agreement with all parties calling for improved take-out access, as well as four pulse flow releases each year that will support whitewater paddling and the river's ecology. This agreement is core to the dam owner's 2018 federal dam license application, which we recently supported in formal comments. 

National Paddling Film Festival accepting submissions

posted January 18, 2019
by Bethany Overfield
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The National Paddling Film Festival  is rapidly approaching! The fine folks who run NPFF are currently accepting films and still images. Entries are free and categories include amateur, accomplished, and professional. You still have time to enter, details below.

AW Russell Fork Survey Results Shared (KY/VA)

posted January 14, 2019
by Kevin Colburn
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Last fall a diverse range of agencies and organizations expressed interest in enhancing the dam releases on the Russell Fork River, located on the border of Kentucky and Virginia. American Whitewater worked with local partners to craft a survey to inform the decision-making process and support releases that maximize benefits for paddlers and local businesses. We are pleased to share the full results of the survey, which were appreciated by the river managers. 

Flathead River Tributaries Get Protection for Christmas (MT)

posted January 11, 2019
by Kevin Colburn
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Wild rivers and their enthusiasts got some good news with the release of the new 15-20 year Forest plan for the Flathead National Forest. The decision newly protects 22 streams as eligible for Wild and Scenic designation, based in large part on the advocacy of American Whitewater and our awesome partners and members in Montana. These protections will serve as a vital steppingstone to the designation of some of our Nation’s most outstanding headwater streams. 

Support Wild and Scenic Rivers in a New Public Lands Package Today!

posted January 10, 2019
by Evan Stafford
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Despite the partial government shutdown and the tenuous situation in Washington DC right now, a group of lawmakers are making good on their promise to bring a package of public lands bills before the Senate, and to work to bring a companion package to the House. Your voice right now will go a long way towards getting these bills a vote and we make it super easy to contact your lawmakers in support of this public lands package through our easy action templated forms. A personalized touch will make sure your representatives take your comments seriously and the forms only take a moment to update with an individualized comment about your connection to a place that’s up for protection, or your general love for wild rivers and the recreation opportunities they provide. 

AW Journal - The January/February Issue Online Now!

posted January 9, 2019
by Bethany Overfield
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The January/February issue of the AW Journal is available in the "Library". This issue includes 'The Top Ten River Stewardship Issues of 2019’.  Read the issue now online or download your copy.

Current members - Read the issue now!
Not a current member - Join or Renew!

Upper Yough Access Fundraiser a Big Success

posted January 7, 2019
by Charlie Walbridge
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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!

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

posted January 7, 2019
by Evan Stafford
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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!

AW is Hiring a Contract GIS + Web Programmer

posted January 7, 2019
by Kevin Colburn
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American Whitewater is seeking to hire a professional contract-based web programmer with significant experience in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The project involves creating and modifying GIS layers, designing and programming a web-based platform for adding new GIS features to a web-based database, and programming the efficient online display of GIS data. Initial inquiries and resumes are welcomed until January 18th. American Whitewater is an equal opportunity employer.

New Graphics Summarize 20 Years of Accident Data

posted January 1, 2019
by Charlie Walbridge
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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.

Check Out the New Draft National Whitewater Inventory

posted December 31, 2018
by Kevin Colburn
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Earlier this month we announced that American Whitewater is close to releasing the new design for our National Whitewater Inventory (NWI). We'll be going live with the final new design of the NWI in January, but we are stoked to share the draft beta version of the site now, so our members can get a taste of the look and feel for the new site.

AW releases Saint Vrain and Lefthand Creek Recreational Flow Study - CO

posted December 14, 2018
by Nathan Fey
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Longmont, Colorado - As part of a comprehensive Stream Management Plan for the St Vrain Creek Watershed, American Whitewater is collecting and compiling data on recreational uses, and identifying projects and strategies to improve stream health, recreation, and environmental conditions in the region. You can help with this extensive effort. Please participate in the Recreational Flow survey.

 

It's Permit Season!

posted December 10, 2018
by Thomas O'Keefe
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If you haven't started already it's time to start planning for that big multi-day trip you've been wanting to do. American Whitewater's permit database can help you find the information you need.

Welcome Bethany Overfield, our new Membership Director!

posted December 4, 2018
by Mark Singleton
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Please welcome our newest staff member, Bethany Overfield. Bethany is stepping into the large shoes being vacated with the retirement of Carla Miner. Both Bethany and Carla are working together through the month of December to ensure a smooth membership services transition.

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

posted December 2, 2018
by Mark Singleton
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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.

Support Colorado River Access on Colorado Gives Day!

posted November 29, 2018
by Kestrel Kunz
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Colorado Gives Day is on December 4 this year and is fast approaching! Go here to schedule your online donation to support American Whitewater's Colorado River Access Program. All donations made to American Whitewater on Colorado Gives Day (December 4) will be put towards our River Access Program in Colorado. American Whitewater works to improve river access and public safety throughout the state by working with landowners and managers, paddlers, law enforcement, and lawmakers to understand Colorado's river access laws and the ongoing threats to public safety. Thank you for your support!

Charity Navigator Awards American Whitewater Ninth Consecutive 4-Star Rating

posted November 13, 2018
by Mark Singleton
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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

posted July 30, 2018
by Mark Singleton
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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.

Ohiopyle State Park Updates River Regulations

posted March 30, 2018
by Charlie Walbridge
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This past fall American Whitewater met with Ohiopyle State Park managers to discuss possible updates to their whitewater paddling regulations. The first topic was to change the rules governing raft sizes at different water levels to recognize the capabilities of self-bailing rafts. Shorter self-bailing boats will now be allowed to run the river at high water. Some small changes to the regulations will make Ohiopyle Falls more accessible to paddlers. A change in the way the gauge is interpreted should make the falls "legal" on more days. Although whitewater paddlers are only one part of the vast public that visits the park, every effort was made to accommodate them while avoiding user conflicts and safety hazards. Special thanks goes to Ken Bisbee, Ohiopyle State Park Operations Manager and John Hallas, a former Ohiopyle State Park Operations Manager who is now Director of State Parks. Click here to read the updated Ohiopyle River Regulations:




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