WERNER PADDLES Helps AW with Access!

Posted: 04/15/2002
by Jason Robertson

WERNER PADDLES & AMERICAN WHITEWATER ARE TEAMING TO RESTORE & PROTECT FUTURE PUBLIC ACCESS TO WASHINGTON'S SKYKOMISH RIVER

Silver Spring, MD (April 15, 2002)- Werner Paddles will make a donation of $10,000 in 2002 to American Whitewater, supporting both specific efforts to secure access on the Skykomish River in Washington State, and to grow American Whitewater's access efforts nationwide. The Skykomish River is one of the most popular whitewater rivers in the state, and a close drive to Seattle.

"This is an exciting shift in how we support the continued growth and health of our sport," notes Shelley Furrer, Marketing Director for Werner Paddles. "In the past, we've always supported American Whitewater and river conservation efforts indirectly through festival donations. This year we are taking a more direct approach by forming a Corporate Partnership with American Whitewater's Access Fund. Our donation will be used to match funds previously raised for the 'Sky Access Fund', with the primary objective to purchase access to an important launch site on the Skykomish River and have asked the balance go to AW for it's nationwide efforts to restore and protect whitewater rivers." Shelley concluded, "We want current and future outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy our public natural resources, and know they need to be able to get to them in order to enjoy them."

"We are thrilled that Werner is making this commitment to American Whitewater and helping to secure public access to the Skykomish," comments Jason Robertson, American Whitewater Access Director. "Werner is making a very bold and clear statement that they dearly value paddlers' ability to access America's rivers and streams and that they also recognize the direct connection between our work and the needs of their customers."

Local American Whitewater volunteer Tom O'Keefe observed, "Werner's support leverages the funds raised by private donors via the annual Sky Fest river rodeo." Tom continued, "This year's festival is scheduled for June 22 & 23 is in Index, Washington and should provide the additional support we need to seriously address access acquisition opportunities."

See www.americanwhitewater.org/archive/article/187/ for more information about American Whitewater's access objectives and efforts to secure access to the Skykomish.

Skykomish Put-in Issue: Access to Sunset Falls, the traditional launch site for kayakers, was denied by the state in 2000. American Whitewater volunteers met with Washington state officials in January 2002 to discuss the situation and are optimistic that seasonal access can be worked out cooperatively with fish transport operations around the falls. Donations from Werner Paddles and SkyFest will be used to secure access near this site.

Skykomish Take-out Issue: American Whitewater volunteers and staff are seeking funding for the purchase of a take-out from (1) a willing seller, (2) with matching private, corporate, and federal funds, (3) to be developed and transferred to a regional land management agency for permanent access near Highway 2 mile 32 or 33. Currently boaters take out at the railroad bridge over the Skykomish at (Hwy 2 mile 32.5), upstream where the road is quite close to the river (Hwy 2 mile 32.9), or at the fishing access downstream (Hwy 2 mile 30.4).

White Salmon River Conservation Issue: American Whitewater is helping to acquire riverfront properties along the White Salmon River downstream of Husum Falls. This reach is used as a training ground for novice paddlers and will become the start of a new run to the Columbia River following PacifiCorp's agreement to remove Condit Dam. See www.americanwhitewater.org/archive/article/448/ for more information.

Jason Robertson
635 Joseph Cir
Golden, CO 80403-2349