Sierra & Sequoia National Forest Management Plans (CA)
The U.S. Forest Service recently released the revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and Draft Forest Plans (DFP) for the Sierra and Sequoia National Forests. As part of this process, National Forests are required to identify the eligibility of rivers for inclusion into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Once a river is found eligible it is managed to protect the values that support their inclusion. To that end, American Whitewater has identified recreation as an outstandingly remarkable value on many iconic whitewater rivers within the Sierra and Sequoia National Forest and is advocating for their inclusion into the inventory of eligible Wild & Scenic Rivers. Dinkey Creek Photo by Daniel Lundberg
Submit Your Best Images For the 2020 American Whitewater Calendar!
Submit your best photos for the American Whitewater Calendar! Many of the best whitewater rivers in this country are on public lands, but our rivers on public lands also face a number of challenges. For our 2020 calendar we're celebrating these incredible rivers that belong to all of us in an effort to encourage your enjoyment of them and their protection. Images that feature rivers on public lands will be given the highest consideration and bonus points for images that feature current, past or future American Whitewater projects.
AW Stewardship Assistant Job Announcement
American Whitewater is hiring! The Stewardship Assistant will be responsible for supporting American Whitewater's Regional Stewardship Directors in project-related analysis, research, and writing as well as communicating and advocating for our work to resource agencies, funders, elected officials, and our membership. The Stewardship Assistant position is an hourly 20hr/week contract position with potential for growth. Hourly contract pay is competitive and based on experience, without benefits or office space provided. The Stewardship Assistant location is flexible, and reports to the National Stewardship Director.
Gore Canyon Festival (CO) is coming up August 23rd-25th
American Whitewater is pleased to announce the 2019 Gore Canyon Festival taking place August 23-25th on the Upper Colorado River. As the leading representative of the river-recreation community on the Upper Colorado River, American Whitewater is deeply invested in creating opportunities to protect, restore, and enjoy whitewater paddling on the Colorado River. The Gore Canyon Festival is the perfect stage to celebrate the beautiful and iconic Colorado River, and an opportunity for our partners to engage the public in cooperative river management.
New Mexico Game Commission Halts Landowner Certification of Non-Navigable Waters
In 2017, the New Mexico Game and Fish Commission adopted a new rule allowing private landowners to apply to certify streams running through their property as "non-navigable" and subject to a trespass statute outlined in the new rule. The New Mexico Game Commission called for a 90-day moratorium on the rule at their meeting on Wednesday July 24th. During the 90-day period, the commission will not hear any new applications for non-navigable certification. American Whitewater joined forces with our affiliate club, Adobe Whitewater, the American Canoe Association, and the New Mexico Wildlife Federation to request that the newly instate game commission rescind the rule.
Russell Fork Releases Expanded (KY/VA)
The fall release schedule for the Russell Fork River was recently announced, and it includes two new Friday releases that will offer 3-day weekends of releases. While announced without explanation, the added released are presumably a result of a public process convened by the Army Corp of Engineers last spring to explore the possibility of an expanded release schedule. American Whitewater and many regional paddlers advocated for additional recreational releases throughout the public process. We conducted and shared a survey that indicated significant support for Friday releases. The new releases are listed as "tentative and subject to change," and hopefully if they go well additional releases will be scheduled in future years. Enjoy these new paddling opportunities!
The Forest Service Doesn’t Want Your Input
When American Whitewater goes to bat for river corridor protections, or to stop a dam or mining project before it starts, our main tool is the combined force of our voices giving public feedback on how these actions will positively or adversely affect the rivers we love and our enjoyment of them. Unfortunately, right now the Forest Service is set to make changes that would take away our right to have a say in how public lands and rivers are managed. We have until August 12 to comment on these changes to the public process that will potentially remove the public's voice from about 93% of all Forest Service projects. We need you to let them know removing the public's voice from Forest management is unacceptable. We've made it super easy with our simple comment submission form, but please personalize it if you have an extra moment.
AW VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH PRESENTED BY KOKATAT: Charlie Duffy
American Whitewater is pleased to recognize Charlie Duffy as our August Volunteer of the Month. Charlie is a long-time kayaker and swiftwater rescue instructor who has worked hundreds of hours to help AW improve the Accident Database. He has gone over every single entry, checking each for accuracy and adding more information as needed. In the process, he uncovered a number of bugs in the way the new website handles the database. These have been reported and corrected. He also prepared a series of useful charts to help us better understand the "lessons learned" from decades of tough experiences. He shared this data with Team River Runner and the Swiftwater Rescue Committee of American Canoe Association. Charlie has helped American Whitewater inform and elevate river safety as a core part of our mission.
Sultan River (WA) Summer Release Update
At American Whitewater we are always seeking opportunities to restore rivers while also enhancing recreational opportunities. Sometimes our initial ideas can be refined and improved upon and we recently had that experience on the Sultan River. We consistently received feedback from the paddling paddling community: "we have an abundance of boating options during winter storms and spring snow melt; can't we get an opportunity to enjoy the Sultan in the summer?" We sat down with the utility and took at look at the water budget. Ultimately we determined that instead of keeping water in our water budget to supplement natural flows in the dark winter months, we could take that water and use it to provide another opportunity in late summer. We sat down with resource agencies that manage fishery resources, the utility, and the Tulalip Tribe to see if we could make it work. After a few meetings and discussions we came to consensus that we could provide another opportunity in August-a time of year when boating opportunities in the Skykomish watershed are limited. The opportunity comes with a few caveats, the most significant being that we need sufficient water in the reservoir. The whitewater boating opportunities don't use much water and provide an ecological benefit but the water is also used for drinking water so that will be a consideration. Ultimately however we believe we will be able to provide this new summer opportunity in most years.
Upper Yough Access Depends on Everyone
Many thanks those who have contributed to AW's Sang Run Access Fund on line. We raised over $1200 to pay for the porta potty and gravel. Thanks to you, we've maintained this site for the State of Maryland for over 20 years! Let's also give a special shout out to Don Millard, who has cut the grass in both Friendsville and Sang Run for many years to keep our access costs low. If not for him you might see a parking fee of $5 a head at both ends! Jeff Macklin Photo
Congress to Take Up Wild and Scenic River Bills Covering Over 1000 River Miles
This week, the House Natural Resource Committee's Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands will hold a hearing on bills that would designate over 1000 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers. American Whitewater has brought the voice of the whitewater paddling community to the discussions that led to these legislative proposals with a goal of protecting rivers and the whitewater paddling experience.
Appeals court sides with Spokane River advocates!
Late in the day Wednesday, June 26th, the Washington State Court of Appeals Division II ruled in favor of Spokane River advocates, finding that the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) failed to protect summertime flows needed by the river, and thousands of boaters, fishers, anglers, and businesses. The court, in rejecting Ecology's Spokane River rule, underscored that the agency arbitrarily disregarded thousands of public comments, boater surveys, an analysis comparing the aesthetics of different flows, and testimony of river-dependent businesses.
Join American Whitewater On The Wild And Scenic Rogue River (OR) In 2019
For the past few years, the staff of America Whitewater has joined with a number of our members to participate in a four-day float trip on the Rogue River in southern Oregon. This trip has been a great opportunity to connect with members in ways that build a lasting understanding of the role of recreation in fostering a stewardship ethic. As one of the original eight Wild and Scenic Rivers in the country, the Rogue is an outstanding classroom for American Whitewater’s river stewardship program.
Charity Navigator Awards American Whitewater Ninth Consecutive 4-Star Rating
Thanks to an organization wide effort to provide transparency and operate efficiently, Charity Navigator awarded American Whitewater with its ninth consecutive 4-star rating. Receiving four out of a possible four stars indicates that American Whitewater adheres to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way. Only 2% of the nonprofits Charity Navigator rates have received nine consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that American Whitewater outperforms most other charities in America. This “exceptional” designation from Charity Navigator differentiates American Whitewater from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust and support.
Upper Yough Access Depends on Everyone!
As we head towards Upper Yough Race Day (July 27th) in Friendsville it's time to remind everyone that we need to work together to maintain our access points. Thanks those who have contributed to the Sang Run Access Fund on line. We raised just under $300 last week; our goal to pay for the porta pots and gravel is $1000. To donate, please go to https://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Membership/donate/? nd and write "Upper Yough Access in the comment line. Let's also give a special thank you to Don Millard, who cuts the grass in both Friendsville and Sang Run to keep our access costs low. If not for him you might see a parking fee of $5 a head at both ends! Keep the good times coming! Don't forget to contribute!! Jeff Macklin photo.