Devils Postpile Will Be Included in Wild and Scenic Inventory!
Good news from California! After the Inyo National Forest Plan Revision Objection Resolution meeting yesterday in Bishop California, the Deputy Regional Forester and the Inyo Forest Supervisor announced that they will add the segments of the Middle Fork San Joaquin that are on Inyo Forest land (11.5 miles) to the inventory of eligible wild and scenic rivers for the revised Inyo Forest Plan. They will also add whitewater boating as an outstandingly remarkable value (ORV). Specifically, the sections of the Middle Fork San Joaquin within the Inyo National Forest from Soda Springs footbridge to the confluence with the North Fork San Joaquin.
Action Alert! Support Protection of Access to Public Waterways in Oregon
Oregon is a state renowned for its plentiful water supplies and outstanding recreation opportunities on its public waterways. The abundance of outstanding river resources is a reason why people continue to live, work, recreate, and travel to the state. Protecting rivers and access to them is important to conservation and recreation, as it ties to strong local economies and community health. Right now there is a bill in the Oregon House that will improve and protect our access to rivers across the state. If the ability to access and safely navigate rivers in Oregon is important to you, please take a moment and use our easy action form and contact your Oregeon State representative in support of this new legislation.
Nathan Fey Departs as Colorado Stewardship Director
It was announced today that Nathan Fey, our Colorado Stewardship Director, will be leaving his role at American Whitewater to accept a new position as the Deputy Director of the Colorado Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry. That the state of Colorado would select someone from our Team speaks volumes about the program Nathan put on the ground for American Whitewater, and the legacy he has created for our community in Colorado and the Southern Rockies. Nathan and the Colorado boating community have made a huge impact in preserving and protecting flows for the future. We wish Nathan all the best in his future adventures, and trust that he will continue to make a lasting impact on the health of Colorado's rivers and recreation economy.
Southern Rockies Stewardship Director Job Opening
American Whitewater is hiring a new Southern Rockies Stewardship Director, following the announcement of the previous director moving on to a new role with the State of Colorado. The Director represents American Whitewater in strategically selected regional river conservation and access issues. These issues include water supply and demand management, public land and river management, community planning / river access, and policy issues that affect the region.
Action Alert! Devil's Postpile of the San Joaquin River
Calling all paddlers who've paddled or aspire to paddle the Devil's Postpile, and who could provide comments for the incredible nature of this section of the Middle Fork San Joaquin River. Comments are needed ASAP and are due on February 15th. Currently, American Whitewater is working with the Forest Service on the Inyo Forest Management Plan Revision. We are working both to ensure the Devil’s Postpile remains included in the inventory of Wild & Scenic eligible rivers and that whitewater boating on this reach is added as an outstandingly remarkable value.
Senate advances Wild and Scenic Rivers in a New Public Lands Package!
U.S. Senate Passes Public Lands Package, sending it to the House for further action! Your voice right now will go a long way towards encouraging your lawmakers in the House to follow through on this commitment and securing meaningful protections for our iconic landscapes. And it's super easy using AWs easy action templated forms. A personalized touch will make sure your representatives take your comments seriously and the forms only take a moment to update with an individualized comment about your connection to a place that’s up for protection, or your general love for wild rivers and the recreation opportunities they provide.
Green River Appeal Heads to the VT Supreme Court
A Wild and Scenic Coalition is Born
In 2018, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Wild and Scenic River System. In the wake of the impressive anniversary successes, however, one might ask, “So, now what?” Luckily, the rivers community asked that question some time ago. As with conservation innovations of the past, a group of river advocates and concerned citizens united to ensure that the rivers anniversary wasn’t simply a one-time party. And so, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Coalition was born at River Rally 2018 from the power of the unprecedented national-level cooperation undertaken during the anniversary. American Whitewater has been a leading proponent of forming a Wild and Scenic River Coalition for the past several years and we have long worked nationally with a group of partner organizations on Wild and Scenic issues. We are now thrilled be a founding and active member of this new coalition that has a bright future.
New American Whitewater Website Update
Welcome to the New National Whitewater Inventory!
American Whitewater has worked with an outstanding team of website designers and programmers over the past two years to redesign our National Whitewater Inventory (NWI). The NWI provides high quality information for a growing list of 5,760 whitewater river reaches across the United States. Each year this online guide helps almost 1,000,000 paddlers avoid hazards and match their skill level to the right rivers at the right flows. Like a Wikipedia of whitewater rivers, the Inventory is a dynamic crowd-sourced collection of river descriptions, locations, hazards, photos, and flow recommendations organized by a powerful database. This project was funded by a generous grant from the US Coast Guard, based on the NWI’s vital river safety value. We are actively fixing bugs and enhancing the user experience of the new design, so expect improved performance in the coming weeks.
Comments Needed on DOI Changes to Freedom of Information Act Requests!
On December 28, 2018 the Department of the Interior (DOI) proposed a rule that would change the way Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) records requests are handled by the DOI. American Whitewater uses FOIA requests in a number of ways to work on stewardship issues for rivers on public lands across the country. Knowing the history of policies and how management decisions have been formed are critical to our advocacy and FOIA requests at times are the only ways to access this information. The Interior’s proposed changes have the potential to greatly affect American Whitewater’s requests for records from the DOI in a negative way, leading to less requests being filled and less transparency overall at this vital public lands agency. These are proposed rule changes and therefore the public has an opportunity to comment, however the comment period ends very soon! Comments must be submitted by January 28, 2019. To submit a comment please use this regulations.gov portal. We’ve provided a template in the following article.
Clackamas River flow information survey
As a part of Portland General Electric’s (PGE) license for its hydroelectric project along the Clackamas River, PGE follows a Recreation Resource Management Plan that directs the Company towards recreation projects along the Clackamas. PGE is currently seeking feedback from the whitewater community on the flow resources along the Upper Clackamas River through a short 8 question online survey.
Dates Scheduled for First New River Dries Releases (WV)
Last week, the first ever pulse flow releases were scheduled on the New River Dries, located near Gauley Bridge, WV. These releases were designed to support intermediate level whitewater paddling and to restore natural flow variability to a river reach that has been largely dewatered by the Hawks Nest Hydropower Project for generations. The releases are a requirement of the new 47-year federal dam license issued in late 2017. The releases will occur in March, June, July, and possibly August of this and future years. American Whitewater played a lead role in negotiating these releases.
Weber River Agreement Calls For New Flows & Access (UT)
American Whitewater has spent the past three years participating in the relicensing of a hydropower dam on Utah's Weber River that dewaters a stretch of whitewater known as the Scrambled Eggs run. Last year, we reached an agreement with all parties calling for improved take-out access, as well as four pulse flow releases each year that will support whitewater paddling and the river's ecology. This agreement is core to the dam owner's 2018 federal dam license application, which we recently supported in formal comments.
National Paddling Film Festival accepting submissions
The National Paddling Film Festival is rapidly approaching! The fine folks who run NPFF are currently accepting films and still images. Entries are free and categories include amateur, accomplished, and professional. You still have time to enter, details below.
AW Russell Fork Survey Results Shared (KY/VA)
Last fall a diverse range of agencies and organizations expressed interest in enhancing the dam releases on the Russell Fork River, located on the border of Kentucky and Virginia. American Whitewater worked with local partners to craft a survey to inform the decision-making process and support releases that maximize benefits for paddlers and local businesses. We are pleased to share the full results of the survey, which were appreciated by the river managers.
Flathead River Tributaries Get Protection for Christmas (MT)
Wild rivers and their enthusiasts got some good news with the release of the new 15-20 year Forest plan for the Flathead National Forest. The decision newly protects 22 streams as eligible for Wild and Scenic designation, based in large part on the advocacy of American Whitewater and our awesome partners and members in Montana. These protections will serve as a vital steppingstone to the designation of some of our Nation’s most outstanding headwater streams.
AW Journal - The January/February Issue Online Now!
The January/February issue of the AW Journal is available in the "Library". This issue includes 'The Top Ten River Stewardship Issues of 2019’. Read the issue now online or download your copy.
Upper Yough Access Fundraiser a Big Success
Tonight American Whitewater presented the Town of Friendsville, Maryland with a $5000 check towards the extension of the Upper Yough Access Parking Area. This, combined with a $1000 donation from Keelhaulers Canoe Club, made a strong statement of how much paddlers value the river and the town! Under the leadership of Mayor Spencer Schlosnagle and long time paddler and Friendsville resident Jess Whittemore the town raised $7 in additional funding for every dollar paddlers donated - just like they did on the initial construction! This makes these gifts a great value for the whitewater community. A big shout out and thank you to ALL who donated!
Flow Survey Announced For Rio Grande And Conejos Rivers (CO)
Alamosa, Colorado - American Whitewater needs your help to define streamflows that support the full range of recreational boating opportunities on the Rio Grande and Conejos Rivers in Southern Colorado. Information provided by you will help set goals for flows and physical conditions to protect and enhance streams, and inform multi-objective projects to improve ecological, recreational, and community values. Please participate in our survey today!