article photo 1

USFS Offers Brief Chattooga Update

Posted: 07/10/2009
by Kevin Colburn

Joel Holtrop, Deputy Chief of the National Forest System, recently provided American Whitewater with a brief update on the status of the long-overdue management plan for the Wild and Scenic Upper Chattooga River, located in NC, SC, and GA.  Mr. Holtrop offered that at this time the USFS is expecting to issue a final decision by the end of summer.  Mr. Holtrop also stated that "Most recently, we have been conducting an extensive legal review to ensure that we have addressed all relevant concerns."


We appreciate Mr. Holtrop's response to our request for an update on the status of this issue.  You can read his letter in the document box to the righthand side of this article.


In 2005 it was determined by the Washington DC office of the USFS that the previous plan violated the Wilderness Act and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act based on a successful appeal that AW filed against the plan.  American Whitewater has actively sought a new management plan that does not violate federal law and policies for over four years since our successful appeal.  Draft versions of the new management plan have failed to comply with federal laws, or meet even the most basic tests of equity or science.  We continue to encourage careful scrutiny of the plan by the Washington DC office to ensure a positive outcome that protects the river from ongoing impacts, allows equitable paddling enjoyment of the river, and requires nationally consistent management of the Chattooga River for the first time in over three decades.  .   



Kevin Colburn
Asheville, NC

Associated Projects

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

Associated Rivers


  • Chattooga Update July 2009

    Letter from Joel Holtrop, USFS Deputy Chief, updating AW and our attorneys on the status of the Chattooga River management plan.