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Last Chance for Ausable Access for 40 Years

Posted: 06/29/2007
By: Kevin Colburn

July 6th, 2007 is the last chance you will have to request paddling access to New York's Class IV Ausable Chasm for at least 40 years.  The chasm is truly a spectacular place, yet access has been blocked by a power company for decades.  The dam owner has finally completed their whitewater study, and they have formally requested that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission allow them to continue blocking river access.  There is NO reason access should be limited in any way.   Any paddler that may want to paddle the Ausable River in the next 40 years should send FERC a quick letter requesting access.  The power company is making the argument that they should not have to build a set of stairs because no paddlers will show up.  Prove them wrong.  Write a letter as soon as possible. 

Copy and paste in your text to the letter below.  Request that FERC allow unlimited access to the Ausable River at the Rainbow Falls Project.  If you have experiences in the Chasm, share them.  




Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Mail Code: DHAC, PJ-12

888 First Street NE

Washington, D.C. 20426

RE:   Whitewater Access Plan for the Rainbow Falls Hydroelectric Facility, FERC Project No. 2835.


Dear Secretary,

           Please require New York State Electric and Gas to provide free, year-round river access to the Ausable River for whitewater paddlers immediately upstream of Horseshoe Falls, very near the Rainbow Falls powerhouse, during daylight hours.  In addition, please require the construction of several parking spaces at the NYSEG powerhouse site.

Thank You,


[Your Name]

[Your Address]

Kevin Colburn

Asheville, NC

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