article photo 1

Charlie Vincent: AW River Steward of the Year

Posted: 09/29/2008
By: Kevin Colburn

Last week at the Gauley River Festival, American Whitewater announced that Charlie Vincent was named the 2008 River Steward of the Year.  American Whitewater annually awards this honor to a single volunteer who has shown exceptional dedication to our river stewardship mission, and who has recently reached a major milestone in their efforts. 


Charlie has been assisting AW and representing the paddling community on Idaho's Bear River for a decade.  Beginning in 1998, Charlie actively participated in the extremely challenging relicensing of several dams on the Bear River.  As past AW Conservation Director John Gangemi once noted. " 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." The odds were stacked against us on the Bear, and Charlie did a superb and artful job of advocating for releases. 


In addition to working on recreational issues, Charlie also played a pivotal role in the successful 2006 removal of the Cove Dam on the Bear River, which is just downstream of the Black Canyon.


When the new license for the dams was issued in 2004 Charlie took a seat on the adaptive management team that was in charge of implementing the license.   Many challenges remained - and remain today - in  restoring water to the Bear's Black Canyon.  As many paddlers are likely aware, this summer saw the first whitewater pulse flows in the Black Canyon. Paddlers travelled from around the region to tackle the Black Canyon and were treated to great basalt rapids in a surprizing and scenic canyon.  The river is well worth the effort!  The releases this year, and for the next two years, will be carefully monitored to determine their environmental effects.  AW staff continue to work closely with Charlie on the Bear. 


We would like to formally thank and congratulate Charlie on restoring flows to the Bear River!  In addition to our appreciation the AW River Steward of the Year Award comes with a Wavesport kayak.  Thanks Charlie!



Kevin Colburn

Asheville, NC

Full Profile

Associated Projects

Bear River Restoration (ID)

Hydropower relicensing on the Bear River offered an opportunity to restore aquatic resources and recreational opportunities on this river.

Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!