Paddling representatives were shocked this week to receive a letter from Richard Carlson of the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) stating that the spring release on the Vermont’s popular West River would be made during the week rather than on a weekend as has been the practice for decades. This news follows an ACOE decision last fall to move the release earlier into the spring when the state park that provides access is closed. In combination, these two decisions render the releases almost recreationally useless. What has for decades been a valued and vibrant recreational opportunity has been needlessly and senselessly eliminated by the ACOE.
This news is especially shocking because paddling representatives walked away from a meeting with the ACOE last fall feeling that a productive course of action was finally underway. Opportunities were discussed to shift the spring West River release into May to benefit salmon and paddlers alike instead of the ACOE proposal for an early April release. Also discussed were opportunities to slightly delay natural pulse flows to provide weekend boating opportunities. Now, without discussion, the releases will occur during the week in early April when use will be severely limited.
We ask that West River paddlers take action on this issue. The two most important steps to take are:
We ask that paddlers consider and share the following points:
Please call, write, or email the Governor or your political representatives in DC right away. For more information read the documents attached to the right of this article, or visit the Friends of the West River Website.
Response of the Army Corps of Engineers to paddlers' request for a viable whitewater release on the West River for the spring of 2009.
A synopsis of the October 30, 2008 meeting between paddlers and the Army Corps of Engineers regarding whitewater recreation below ACOE dams in New England.
Army Corps Torpedo’s West River Releases (VT)
March 26, 2009