Report Your Run: Ernie's Gorge Whitewater Survey

posted February 15, 2013
by Thomas O'Keefe

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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has recently approved study plans for the proposed Black Canyon Hydroelectric Project that would impact Ernie's Gorge on the North Fork Snoqualmie River.
While American Whitewater continues to oppose the project, we did work in good-faith with the developer and their consultant, along with Washington Department of Ecology and the National Park Service, to collaboratively develop a study plan using established methodology for whitewater recreation studies.
As an initial step in the study process, American Whitewater is encouraging paddlers who run Ernie's Gorge to complete an online post-trip evaluation survey. The goal of this survey is to allow experienced boaters who boat Ernie's Gorge to evaluate flow levels immediately following their trips throughout 2013. This will help respondents become calibrated to the gage, focus on flow-dependent attributes of their trips, and provide quantitative evaluations of specific flows immediately after they have observed them.
Please fill out the survey after every run you do this spring. If you have any problems finding the survey please contact American Whitewater.
We will also use the survey to identify a group of boaters to participate in a “long-from survey” that will include questions about a wider range of flows and flow issues, taking advantage of users’ wider knowledge about preferred flow ranges and flow regimes, access concerns, or other potential Project-related issues. Following the completion of the surveys, the study team will convene a focus group of 5-10 individuals to review findings from the study and consider these in the context of project impacts.
We encourage paddlers to review the full study plan.
Thomas O'Keefe
3537 NE 87th St.
Seattle, WA 98115
Phone: 425-417-9012

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