American Whitewater Northeast Stewardship Director, Alan Panebaker, of Montpelier, Vt., passed
away on Sept. 19, 2012, while paddling the Pemigewasset River
Alan came to American Whitewater with a Juris Doctor (JD) and a Masters in Environmental Law and
Policy from the Vermont Law School, as well as a B.A in Journalism from the University of
Montana. He had experience working in both journalism and environmental law fields, and possessed
a deep knowledge of the regional rivers and paddling community.
Alan loved the outdoors, the roots of that deep affection stem from growing up in a National Park
Service family. He lived in or near five different parks growing up, including Glacier National
Park in Montana, Yosemite, Wrangell-St. Elias in Alaska and the Great Smoky Mountains National
Park. He took up kayaking as a member of Boy Scout Troop 914 in Sylva, N.C., where he earned
the rank of Eagle Scout. Alan was a highly skilled class V whitewater kayaker, and paddled rivers
throughout North America.
Alan graduated from the University of Montana School of Journalism in 2005 and was a reporter for
the Ashland Daily Tidings and Mail Tribune newspapers in Southern Oregon. He later wrote a weekly
outdoors column for the Anchorage Press in Anchorage, Alaska, and he published freelance work for
Canoe & Kayak magazine where he filed his most recent report last week on Gauley
A celebration of Alan’s life will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, at Eagle Park on
Lincoln Road in Bristol, VT. A reception will follow the gathering. There will also be another
celebration of Alan’s life in Colorado that will be scheduled at a later date.