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Participate in the Chattooga Decision

Posted: 08/28/2007
by Kevin Colburn

Public Comments Needed By September 13!


            The USFS recently published a range of 6 potential alternatives explaining how the USFS will manage the upper Chattooga River for the next 15-20 years.  BEFORE THE END OF THIS YEAR, the USFS will select one of those alternatives or some other alternative based on public input. Importantly, whatever alternative the USFS selects will control whether you get to paddle this spectacular section of river during the next 15-20 years!  The USFS proposed alternatives are seriously flawed.  Tell the USFS you expect better!


The Scoping Document outlining these 6 potential alternatives can be downloaded here:


Under federal law, the USFS is required to solicit, read and consider your comments to its proposed alternatives, including your thoughts on how the USFS’s alternatives could be better and your thoughts on which alternative the USFS should choose.  THE DEADLINE TO FILE YOUR WRITTEN COMMENTS IS SEPTEMBER 13, 2007!  PLEASE FILE COMMENTS!   Your ability to enjoy the solitude, beauty and adventure of this Class III-V treasure from the seat of your boat depends on it.


American Whitewater is working on its own set of comments to file before September 13, 2007.  American Whitewater’s comments will propose substantial revisions to the current alternatives.  PLEASE FILE YOUR WRITTEN COMMENTS BEFORE SEPTEMBER 13TH!

 Comments should focus on the scope of alternatives, highlighting things the proposed alternatives lack, suggesting better alternatives, and offering specific comments on the proposed alternatives.  A rough sample letter and a draft alternative that AW is interested in seeing analyzed can both be downloaded and viewed by registered and logged in AW website users in the box to the right.

Public Meeting


In addition to filing written public comments by September 13 the next important public input opportunity will be a public meeting on September 29, at the Rabun County Civic Center, 25 Court House Square, Clayton, GA 30525. The public meeting registration starts at 9 a.m. THIS MAY BE YOUR LAST OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE IN PERSON AND HELP DIRECTLY IMPACT THE DECISION.


This all day “Alternatives Workshop” is vitally important and we hope you will do whatever it takes to attend. It is very important that we have a large turnout of people supporting legalized boating on the upper river. 


Next Steps in Process


The next step in the NEPA decision making process after you have submitted written comments by the September 13 dead line is the public meeting mentioned above. Sometime this fall, after this public meeting, the USFS will next issue an Environmental Assessment. It will be very important to also submit written comments on this document in addition to your September 13 comments. Once we know the actual dates of this next public comment period we will let you know via AW’s website.  The EA will then result in either a final decision or another more in depth analysis around the end of this year.


How to Submit Your Written Comments


You may submit your written comments by the 4 PM EDT dead line on September 13 either by via regular mail to Mr. John Cleeves, U.S. Forest Service, 4931 Broad River Road, Columbia, SC 29212.  or via email to

You may also wish to CC your Senators and Representatives.

Kevin Colburn
Asheville, NC


  • Chattooga Sample Scoping Letter

    This is a rough sample letter for personal comments on the Chattooga Scoping Document. Please personalize and add to this letter prior to sending one of your own. NOTE, you must be logged into the AW site for this feature to work.

  • Chattooga Draft Scoping Alternative

    This is a preliminary proposed alternative for Chattooga River Management that we would like the USFS to analyze.

  • Rediscovering the Chattooga Headwaters

    Don Kinser's personal report from his trip down the Chattooga Headwaters, as part of the 2007 USFS Expert Panel Study.

  • Chattooga Standards Map

    This map depicts AW's proposed frontcountry and backcountry areas within the Chattooga Corridor, for which we propose different standards, and different management.

  • Chattooga Final Scoping Comments

    American Whitewater's final scoping comments regarding the ban on paddling the Chattooga Headwaters, September 13, 2007

Associated News

Associated Projects

Chattooga Headwaters (NC)
The US Forest Service has banned boating on the upper 21 miles of the Wild and Scenic Chattooga River.