AW's January Volunteer-Charlie Vincent
American Whitewater's success restoring rivers largely rests on our network of dedicated volunteers working with staff on local river issues. This month we want to celebrate Charlie Vincent's contributions to the paddling community. Charlie is a dedicated volunteer working altruistically for the paddling community on restoration of the Bear River in Southeast Idaho. Advocating to restore whitewater flows in the arid landscape of Southeast Idaho with it's plethora of irrigation ditches does not make you the popular person in meetings. Nonetheless Charlie has successfully taken on this issue on behalf of the paddling community with the vision of restoring whitewater within a two-hours of Salt Lake City.
When I look back through my email log for the Bear River relicensing correspondence with Charlie Vincent dates back to my earliest records for this project in 1998. Charlie actively participated in the relicensing process for this hydropower project that extended beyond the regulatory five-year period and now serves as the American Whitewater representative on the adaptive management team charged with implementing the new hydro license conditions on the Bear. Charlie persevered in the amidst the consumptive water users of Southeast Idaho successfully securing spring whitewater releases on the Bear. This success was achieved only through Charlie's tremendous time commitment to this drawn out process requiring regular attendance at monthly meetings and now a post-relicense adaptive management phase. Charlie's commitment to restoring whitewater flows on the Bear River will provide a tremendous opportunity to the Salt Lake City paddling community for the next 30 years. Thank you Charlie for your service to the paddling community.
On Friday January 7th, 2005 Charlie was involved in an accident that left him with a serious head injury. Charlie underwent surgery that same day. Charlie spent several days in intensive care at the Utah University Medical Center in the neurological unit. Charlie has now been transferred to the LDS Hospital where he is undergoing rehabilitation. My thoughts and support are with Charlie has he embarks on this recovery. Charlie is a veteran of the infamous Wasatch 100 mile endurance race. With the mental toughness to take on the Wasatch 100 I know Charlie will be successful taking on this most recent challenge. Updates on Charlie's progress and guestbook are viewable online for you to wish Charlie well and thank him for his service to the paddling community.