Cuyahoga River Needs Paddler Support
AW Regional Coordinator and Keelhaulers member David Hill is leading a movement to protect the Cuyahoga River and he needs your help. The issue is that a power company is proposing to build a diversion and generator onto an old dam that is a hot target for removal. If successful, the power company will dewater 700 feet of the Cuyahoga River (including Butterfly Rock Rapids), and end the ongoing efforts to remove the dam and restore upstream rapids and riverine habitat. To make this attempt even more troubling, the diversion would occur in Gorge Metro Park.
David has filed comments with the FERC supporting paddler's issues, and will continue to work with AW staff and others to represent our interests. David is asking that all boaters or interested parties to obtain a special use permit from the MetroParks (http://www.summitmetroparks.org/inside/special_permits.shtml). A long list of permit holders will show how paddlers are concerned when river access and recreational opportunities are threatened. Please sign up for a permit to help us maintain river access, and to protect the river.
David noted that "If we are not successful, access, flows, and potential for removal will be lost for another 30-50 years. We are at a point where the potential of linking the Class IV Sheraton section (http://www.americanwhitewater.org/rivers/id/2499) with the Class III Gorge section (http://www.americanwhitewater.org/rivers/id/1467) into 2 miles of 100fpm will never become a reality if paddlers don't step up. Serious whitewater in Ohio is at risk and we already don't have much to start with."
The Next Step:
The Initial Study Plan submitted by Metro Hydroelectric Company includes Appendix B (Recreation and Socioeconomic Study Work Plan) which will be the focus for the boating community. The full text of both the Initial Study Plan and Appendix B are on the KH conservation page (http://www.keelhauler.org/conservation/index.htm).
Appendix B will be a study of the effects that this hydroelectric license will have on recreational boating. The license applicant will use the permit list as part of their recreational boating survey. Our comments and attendance at the public meetings will help ensure that the study plans and survey content will be in the best interest of the paddling community. David has volunteered to represent the keelhaulers and AW, but he will needs support of individual paddlers.
The meeting is on November 2nd, and all are welcome.
For more information on the Cuyahoga Issue, Check out the Keelhaulers' great conservation page. http://www.keelhauler.org/conservation/index.htm