Great Season for Releases in CA, Bad Energy Bill Looming

posted November 8, 2016
by Evan Stafford

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On October 29-30, recreational releases on the Pit 1 reach of the Pit River marked the end of another amazing year for restored boating opportunities at hydropower projects in California. Since the first recreational release in California occurred on the North Fork of the Feather River 15 years ago, the number of scheduled recreational boating days each year on California’s rivers has grown to over one hundred. In addition to the releases on the North Fork Feather and Pit rivers, this year recreation boating releases occurred on the Mokelumne, Kern, South Feather, Canyon Creek, South Fork Silver Creek and the Slab Creek reach of the South Fork American River.  All of these releases were negotiated as part of American Whitewater’s involvement in FERC’s process to relicense hydropower projects over the past 20 years. In addition to improved flows, we have also been able to create new river access and provide for improved flow information allowing thousands of paddlers to enjoy these rivers safely.
While all this is very good news for paddlers and rivers, there is bad news looming on the horizon. Some members of Congress are pushing to pass a comprehensive energy bill before the end of President Obama’s administration and we need your help to stop it. This bill, S. 2012, contains provisions that will change the hydropower licensing process making it more difficult for American Whitewater and our partners to restore flows for aquatic life, water quality and public river recreation. 
If this bill had been law 20 years ago, it is unlikely that any of the gains we have made for rivers across the country would have become reality, and we probably would not be celebrating this great year with over one hundred days of recreational releases in California.
We need your help to stop this legislation! Please take a moment to speak up for rivers and tell Congress that they should protect our rivers by removing the hydropower provisions from S. 2012. We’ve made it easy for you, so take action today