Recreation Roundtable on the Wild & Scenic Tuolumne River (CA)
American Whitewater, Outdoor Alliance California, Tuolumne River Trust and the Tuolumne River Outfitters spearheaded a recreation roundtable to highlight recreation and access issues on the Wild and Scenic Tuolumne River with Congressman Tom McClintock and his senior staff. Our goal for the two-day event was to build appreciation for this iconic stretch of river among all the stakeholders who manage, recreate, and depend on it for the local economy. We also wanted to call attention to last winter’s atmospheric rivers which damaged and closed key access roads and severely impacted whitewater recreation and visitation to the Tuolumne River.
On the first day, Tuolumne River Outfitters rolled out the red carpet with a full day of whitewater paddling with Greg Holt, Congressman McClintock’s Constituent Services Director, down Meral’s Pool to Don Pedro Reservoir. Other paddling guests present for the adventure were Hetch Hetchy Water and Power, Don Pedro Recreation Area, Winter Wildlands, CA Mountain Biking Association, CalWild, Patagonia and local Groveland businesses. The day included the complete package of a 2-mile hike into the put-in, 18 miles of iconic whitewater paddling including Clavey Falls, and an hour-long tow out to Moccasin Point on the Don Pedro Reservoir. The entire trip highlighted the need to direct federal resources to repair Lumsden and Ward’s Ferry Road eliminating the cumbersome short-term fixes of the 2-mile hike in and the hour-long tow out. It is safe to say many connections were made together on the Wild & Scenic Tuolumne river that would never happen behind an office desk chatting on Zoom!
The next day Congressman McClintock with Rocky Deal, his Chief of Staff, and Kimberly Pruett, his Senior District Representative, joined us in person at an Outdoor Recreation Roundtable in Groveland, California. We were also joined by U.S. Forest Representatives from the Groveland District, Stanislaus National Forest and the Pacific Southwest Region who assured us that Lumsden Road is a priority and on their radar. Overall, over forty participants gathered to discuss with Congressman McClintock the importance of collaboration, partnership, and stewardship amongst community members for the Wild and Scenic Tuolumne River. The Union Democrat wrote an article summarizing the roundtable here.
American Whitewater would like to extend our thanks to Congressman McClintock and his dedicated Staff for attending our roundtable and offering help to prioritize and secure funding for the repair of Lumsden Road and other key access points. We would also like to give a shout out to our Regional Coordinator, Jeff Venturino, and Katie Hawkins, Outdoor Alliance California Program Director, for their hard work to bring this entire event together.
You can see an Outdoor Alliance blog of the event here. If you would like to see the recreational issues that were framed for the roundtable, see the handout, put together by Peter Drekmeier, Tuolumne River Trust Policy Director, here.
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