#OptOutside With American Whitewater This Holiday Season

posted November 8, 2018
by Evan Stafford

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As the holiday season approaches, certain locales whitewater seasons are heating up, while in other regions, the season may be cooling off and the temptation to cozy up inside and sip some warm cocoa might be starting to become a real threat. At American Whitewater we encourage you to sip that cocoa after you play outside. It just tastes so much better. That’s why day-in and day-out we’re working to provide more whitewater opportunities close to home, and why we are enthusiastically joining our partners at REI and asking you to #OptOutside. 
 
A few years ago, REI started a movement for people to reconnect with the outdoors over the holidays. REI closed their stores on the day after Thanksgiving, one of the most popular shopping days of the year, paid their 12,000+ employees to spend time outside, and invited America to join in. This message resonates with us at American Whitewater. Anyone who spends significant time paddling rivers knows that time outdoors makes us healthier and happier.
 
We encourage all our members to build on the momentum of #OptOutside and to start new holiday traditions that are all about sweet boofs, stylie lines, dynamic surfs, or just laughing and enjoying a mellow day on the water with friends.
 
Here are a few of the places you might find our staff and members out enjoying a day on the water:
 
Update: Due to the Camp Fire in this area, paddling the North Fork Feather may not be possible or in good taste – Please save this river for another time and help out folks in this area any way you can. The South Fork American on the weekend is a possible fall back option in CA to #optoutside this holiday season.
California: Join us on the Rock Creek and Cresta reaches of the North Fork Feather River which, due to a maintenance project on their dams, flows in the 800 cfs range are expected to start on November 5th and stay high until repairs are complete. Repairs are expected to finish by November 23rd for the Rock Creek Dam and November 30th for the Cresta Dam. As of 2016 the Tobin Reach, has had boatable flows year-around. We have literally brought this dewatered river back to life along with dozens of others in California. 
 
We’ve also recently made a formal request for remediation of the ongoing and increasingly serious threat to public safety caused by the instability of Union Pacific Railroad’s retaining wall and adjacent hill slope on the Tobin Run. 
 
Southeast: Do a rain dance and hope for the Nolichucky River to keep running, as it’s done pretty frequently this past fall and late summer, and where we are helping to lead the charge for Wild and Scenic Designation. If it stops raining, the Green River probably still has what you need. On the Green, Tuxedo Hydro is under contract to be sold, with continued releases and flow information assured through a unique non-regulatory approach brokered by American Whitewater and other leaders in the local paddling community and thanks to Duke Energy's collaborative approach. We’ll be tracking the sale of the dam closely as it moves forward. 
 
Pacific Northwest: As winter storms drop copious amounts of rainfall, paddlers rejoice in the return of frothy whitewater adventures throughout the region. Make it a new tradition to enjoy the Olympic Peninsula Rivers where we are working to designate 19 of the major river systems as Wild and Scenic. Or venture inland to the North Cascades where we working to instigate Wild and Scenic designations for the Nooksack River and its many whitewater tributaries, and numerous other rivers and creeks in the area.  
 
Colorado: There's nothing like enjoying year-round flows on the Shoshone section of the Upper Colorado River near Glenwood Springs, where we are working to protect instream flows with new Recreational Water Rights. Looking for more of a desert float? Ruby Horsethief or Westwater canyons further downstream on the Colorado provide great year round multi-day opportunities to enjoy our public lands. 
 
Wherever you find yourself this holiday season, step out the door and make your way to a river. For many paddlers connecting with rivers makes our lives better, so join American Whitewater in creating a new tradition of paddling over the holidays starting today!