Middle Fork Feather & Four Other California Rivers Reopened
Great news out of California!
As a result of American Whitewater’s advocacy and the outpouring of nearly 1,000 comments from our members and supporters, the Plumas National Forest ended their boating ban on the the Middle Fork Feather River’s Devils Canyon Run, effective March 31. This iconic Wild and Scenic river is once again open to boaters and anglers, and it is running at perfect flows right now!
MF Feather River: The Forest Service closed a large part of Plumas National Forest during the 2020 North Complex wildfires. It had since reopened all of the closed area but imposed a boating and fishing ban for the Middle Fork Feather River “to provide for public safety” even though it had not identified a single fire-related hazard that affected boating or fishing. We are happy that the river is open again; however, it never should have been closed without justification. We are working to ensure that this type of arbitrary closure does not take place again. Paddlers are reporting that there are currently no fire-related hazards in the river, but always keep in mind that rivers are dynamic systems, changes are frequent, and that fire-related hazards may be present on shore.
Also in the Northern Sierra Nevada, the Eldorado National Forest just reopened access to 65 miles of whitewater runs that had been closed since the Caldor Fire last summer. American Whitewater met with Forest Service District Ranger Scot Rogers in March to discuss options for reopening access to rivers, including the South Fork American, Silver Fork American, and Middle Fork Cosumnes. We appreciate Ranger Rogers’ engagement on the issue and his support for reopening as much access to rivers as possible. The Eldorado National Forest listened to the input and information we provided and reopened access to eight whitewater runs on four different rivers, effective April 1. These runs are:
1. American, S. Fork - IV-V Strawberry to Kyburz (Lover's Leap)
2. American, S. Fork - III-V Kyburz to US 50 Bridge @ Riverton (Kyburz Run)
3. American, Silver Fork - V Hwy 88 to Fitz Rantz Bridge (Tip-top)
4. American, Silver Fork - V Fitz Rantz Bridge to Girard Creek (Dugald Bremner Run)
5. American, Silver Fork - III-IV Girard Creek to China Flat (Middle)
6. American, Silver Fork - V+ China Flat to SF American confluence (Lower)
7. Camp Creek - IV+ Fleming Meadows trailhead to Happy Valley Road
8. Cosumnes, Middle Fork - V FS Route 9N60 to Mt. Aukum Road (Upper Middle)
All told, American Whitewater helped open access to 88 miles of whitewater this week, covering nine runs on five different rivers!
In February, American Whitewater similarly succeeded in helping restore access to nearly 100 miles of whitewater runs in the Trinity River watershed in far Northern California that had been closed following the Monument Fire and River Complex. Read more about that in our earlier article, Nearly 100 Miles of Whitewater Re-opened in Far Northern California Today.
MF Feather River photo by Carli Beisel.