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Speak Up For Dam Removals On TN’s Little River

Posted: 08/28/2023
By: Kevin Colburn

The Army Corps of Engineers is proposing to remove two low head dams on the Little River in Tennessee, and considered but passed on the removal of a third dam. These dam removals are located in scenic Class I-II reaches that are popular with beginner and local paddlers. Sadly, these two dams, called Rockford Dam and Peery’s Mill Dam, have been responsible for seven drownings in recent years. Dam removal would significantly benefit the many members of the public who enjoy paddling rivers in the region, and American Whitewater has submitted a comment letter fully supporting this proposed dam removal. Additional comments from the paddling community will help this exciting project move forward and succeed at meeting the public interest in river restoration, recreation, and safety. 


We suggest comments that:


  • Share support for the proposed removal of Rockford and Peery’s Mill dams.

  • Share concurrence that the dam removals will have recreational and public safety benefits. 

  • Ask that any instream structures be built with paddling as a design goal, in consultation with whitewater park designers.

  • Ask that streambank restoration be accomplished with native vegetation rather than sharp broken rock called riprap. 

  • Ask that public river access be included as a project goal with related design features.

  • Ask that the Corps reconsider the removal of the third dam, Townsend Dam, which they decided to leave in place.  


Learn more about the proposal here, and read the detailed proposal here. Send comments via email by August 31 to:


Kevin Colburn

Asheville, NC

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