Decision to Allow Limited Boating on Chattooga Headwaters Reversed

posted March 27, 2012
by Mark Singleton

article photo 2

American Whitewater received the following press release from the US Forest Service. It's another in a long list of challenges over the fight to lift the 35 year ban on human powered non commercial whitewater boating on the Wild and Scenic Upper Chattooga river.


USDA Forest Service

Southern Region
1720 Peachtree Road, NW
Atlanta, GA 30309


Contact: Linda Brett (404) 347-7226

USDA Forest Service Southern Region Grants Request to Stay the Permitting of Boating on Upper Chattooga River

Status Quo Preserved until Six Appeals are Reviewed


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                            RELEASE NO. 12-06

ATLANTA (March 27, 2012) – The Southern Region of the U.S. Forest Service yesterday granted a request from Greenfire Law, on behalf of Georgia Forest Watch, the Sierra Club and Wilderness Watch, to stay a decision by the national forests in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina to allow boating on the upper segment of the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River.

“The six appeals we received on this decision have raised a number of complex issues,” said Ken Arney, Deputy Regional Forester for the Southern Region and the appeal reviewing officer for this decision. “Granting Greenfire Law’s stay request will allow a meaningful administrative appeal process to continue based on the merits of each appellant’s issues.”

While the appeal process continues, status quo will be maintained on the river, which will delay a move the agency made less than two weeks ago to open the upper river to boaters. Now boaters will have to wait until the agency makes the final administrative decision for each of the six appeals.

For more information on recreation uses on the upper segment of the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River, please visit





Moving forward - American Whitewater will continue to challenge this latest setback by pushing for a Federal court date in the fall of this year. The Judge reviewing our Chattooga case has issued a scheduling order.