A decision made earlier this month by the Washington Office of the US Forest Service officially ends the agency’s consideration of recreational management on the Wild and Scenic Upper Chattooga River. In the decision, the Washington Office chose not to review all appeals of recent Forest-level and Regional-level decisions that had selected a new management plan for the river. The decision marks the final Agency green light allowing the public to paddle a 15-mile portion of the Upper Chattooga River this winter for the first time in 36 years!
The new management plan, however, includes unfair and illegal prohibitions and limits on paddling, including bans by flow, season, and reach. These limits – the strictest in the Nation - apply only to paddlers, while other visitors are artificially attracted by non-native fish stocking, development, and commercial use permits. American Whitewater and our partners will continue to resolve these remaining issues through the court system.
Before heading to the river, paddlers should carefully read the USFS March 14, 2012 Press Release to understand the paddling restrictions and opportunities.
American Whitewater first asked the US Forest Service to allow paddling on the upper Chattooga River in 1995 – 17 years ago. We would like to thank our volunteers and members for all the support it took to reach this major milestone. We look forward to paddlers enjoying the river this winter, while we resolve the remaining illegal USFS management actions through the court system.