Storm Events Cancel Rec Releases SF American River below Slab Creek (CA)
03/13/2023 - by Theresa Lorejo-Simsiman
Scheduled releases for the South Fork American River below Slab Creek for this weekend March 18th and 19th have been cancelled and will be rescheduled to April 15th and 16th. Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has informed American Whitewater that storm event modeling indicate impacts to their ability to physically control releases below Slab Creek Dam. Also, in anticipation of uncontrolled spill over the dam, SMUD elected to remove log booms from Slab Creek reservoir to protect them from high-water damage. Since the booms will not be in place and SMUD does not feel confident that they can control inflows, they have elected to reschedule. (See California Data Exchange Center Slab Creek information here)
American Whitewater River Safety Film Series Continues with New Films
03/09/2023 - by Evan Stafford
American Whitewater is proud to announce the continuation of our river safety films series, with two new releases available now! Tools of the Trade – Choosing Your Craft and Furthering Rescue and River Running Skills, offer short, up to date and easily digestible tips to help keep you and your friends safe on the water. Choosing the right vehicle for the right river is essential to safe river running, and we cover safety tips specific to individual crafts in our third film and we cover basic river running techniques, common rescue situations and simple solutions for solving them in our fourth film.
Designed to simply and effectively communicate the most basic elements of whitewater safety, these films provide a basis for the essential but not always accessible or readily available river knowledge that anyone wishing to spend time in a river environment should know. Produced by American Whitewater under a grant from the U.S. Coast Guard, directed and edited by Mountain Mind Media, and beautifully shot in locations across the country, there has never been a more approachable and compelling film series designed to increase basic river safety knowledge and understanding. Our hope is that everyone from professional instructors, outfitters, whitewater clubs, national parks and national forests to retail shops, whitewater centers and individual paddlers will adopt these films and share them with new and experienced paddlers alike, as we strive for a more knowledgeable and safe community. You can find all of our safety films at our YouTube channel.
New York Whitewater Release Schedule
03/02/2023 - by Robert Nasdor
The 2023 New York whitewater release schudule is official. From the Adirondacks to the Delaware River, the release schedule provides whitewater boating opportunities for paddlers from beginner to expert throughout the spring, summer, and fall. These releases have been brought to you by American Whitewater, affilliate clubs, and dedicated partners for more than 30 years. Below are the releases for the Moose, Beaver, Black, Raquette, Hudson, Salmon, and Mongaup Rivers.
2023 Recreational Releases Confirmed for Slab Creek and Ice House (CA)
03/02/2023 - by Theresa Lorejo-Simsiman
Recently, American Whitewater participated in the 2023 hydropower license compliance meeting with Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) to coordinate recreational releases for the South Fork American River below Slab Creek Dam and South Fork Silver Creek below Ice House Dam. Release dates are provided here.
Photo provided by Trevor Croft - Rafting Magazine
New Mexico Landowners Petition to SCOTUS on River Access Denied
02/27/2023 - by Hattie Johnson
Last year, the Supreme Court of New Mexico unanimously upheld the state constitution by affirming the public’s right to access all rivers and streams for recreational purposes. Today, landowners who had been fighting for years to exclude the public - in many cases physically by installing barbed wire fences - from rivers that run through their property, had their petition to overturn the state court’s decision denied.
New NC Forest Plan, Cause for Both Celebration and Disappointment
02/20/2023 - by Kevin Colburn
On February 17, 2023, the US Forest Service released their long awaited new management plan for the 1.1 million acre Nantahala Pisgah National Forest, which will set the course of federal management of the area for the next two decades or longer. The Nantahala Pisgah Forest Partnership (the Partnership), a collaborative group of which American Whitewater is an active member, has spent the past decade developing recommendations for the Plan to improve the management of the Forest. The Plan has both reasons for celebration and reasons for concern when it comes to the future of these special lands and the rivers that flow through them. While we’ll be doing a deep analysis of the Plan, we have some early reflections to share.
Washington Legislature Paddlesports Education Program Shelved (updated)
02/17/2023 - by Thomas O'Keefe
For the past several years the Washington State legislature has had an interest in improving paddlesports safety and reducing fatalities. It’s a good thing to have the legislature interested in boating safety and we are pleased that it has helped raise the profile of Washington State’s Boating Safety Program. While the interest in boating safety is appreciated, the specific legislative proposals introduced over the past few years have had issues and not advanced out of committee and that was again the case this session. Various ideas have included a Boater Education Card, vessel registration, and mandatory requirements to wear a Personal Floatation Device. With a new session underway, the legislature came back with SB 5597 and HB 1781, legislation that would establish a new boater education card and $10 fee for paddlesports that effectively represents a license to paddle
Colorado Water Plan Update Improves Focus on Recreation
02/14/2023 - by Hattie Johnson
The Colorado Water Conservation Board finalized the first update to the state water plan at the end of January. American Whitewater submitted detailed comments on recommended changes to the draft plan that was released in the summer of 2022. Recreational considerations were included in both the original 2015 plan and the draft. However, our comments were focused on stressing the importance of river-based recreation to the economy and way of life of many communities in the state. About 50% of our comments generated some positive change to the final plan. We are grateful to the CWCB board and staff for their careful consideration of over 950 comments.
Great Falls Catawba Update - See You in March!
01/10/2023 - by Kevin Colburn
Following 20 years of work, American Whitewater and our partners are in the final push to have the Great Falls of the Catawba ready for flow restoration and paddling this March. We are confident releases will start in March and conditions will be prime to visit the river thereafter. In the interim we ask that paddlers please refrain from paddling the river to allow for important work to happen in and around the river. In this article we'll share an update on where things stand in this unique river restoration project.
Lolo National Forest (MT) to Begin Planning - Explore the Web Map
01/05/2023 - by Kevin Colburn
The Lolo National Forest, which encircles Missoula, Montana is gearing up to revise their forest plan starting this spring. The new plan will take a fresh look at which rivers merit protection as potential (eligible) Wild and Scenic Rivers and set recreational and other goals for the next 20 or so years. The process takes around 3 years, and there will be ample opportunities to get involved. Paddlers are encouraged to participate, and share their knowledge of rivers and streams. In this article we share a data-rich web map for paddlers to explore and some tips for how to get involved.
New Clean Water Act Rule Released, Rivers Benefit
01/04/2023 - by Kevin Colburn
Last week the Environmental Protection Agency released a new final rule governing which streams and wetlands will be covered by the Clean Water Act. If this sounds familiar, it is for good reason: this issue has been the subject of perennial debate and changes made by various administrations and courts for at least the past two decades. But, for today, for rivers, it is time to celebrate! The new rule, which will likely take effect in 60 days, will restore protections for many of America’s wetlands and streams that had lost protection under the previous version of the rule. Desert rivers are particularly big winners under the new rule, as protections for many of these rivers were lost under the prior rule and will now return.
American Whitewater Seeking Wordpress Developer for Website Project
12/22/2022 - by Kevin Colburn
American Whitewater is seeking the services of a contractor with significant experience in website design, implementation, and support to produce a new version of the main American Whitewater website - www.americanwhitewater.org - in Wordpress. The project will integrate with but not replace the National Whitewater Inventory (eg River Info), our CRM, our current branding, or significant backend components of our site. The new site should provide an attractive, fun, and easy to navigate entry point for someone to learn about American Whitewater, who we are, what we do, and how we are advancing our mission, as well as providing easy and intuitive pathways for engagement inlcuding membership, donations, and calls to action. The ideal candidate will have designed, built, migrated, deployed and maintained a WordPress site that serves tens of thousands of unique users per day, and will have experience with nonprofits and working on a nonprofit budget. Experience with American Whitewater, paddling, outdoor recreation, online activism, Salesforce, and EveryAction is a plus. American Whitewater is an equal opportunity employer. Potential applicants are encouraged to review and respond to the RFP linked in the article.
Proposed Crazy Mountain Land Swap Open For Comment (MT)
12/20/2022 - by Kevin Colburn
The Forest Service is considering a proposed land exchange in Montana that would trade away public lands along Big Timber and Sweet Grass creeks in the Crazy Mountains. The proposal appears unlikely to change paddling access or other values on Big Timber Creek, but access to Sweet Grass could be greatly reduced. This area is riddled with checkerboard ownership and has longstanding public access uncertainties. Hunters, anglers, and other backcountry enthusiasts have largely panned the proposal because it reduces public access. American Whitewater submitted a comment respectfully asking that the impacts to paddling be considered, and that the proposal be modified to improve rather than limit public access. Comments are due by December 23, 2022.
Massachusetts Announces Office of Outdoor Recreation
12/13/2022 - by Robert Nasdor
Massachusetts joined 16 other states in establishing an Office of Outdoor Recreation to coordinate the efforts of various state agencies in promoting the outdoor recreation economy in the Commonwealth. American Whitewater spearheaded the effort to enact legislation establishing the new office and build support for outdoor recreation in the state.
Check Out Our Winter Stewardship Update and See What Your Membership Supports!
12/13/2022 - by Evan Stafford
At the end of every year, American Whitewater takes a hard look at the success we’ve found and the steps forward we’ve taken in our multitude of projects across the country. We then quickly turn to the future and set the next set of ambitious stewardship goals we hope to accomplish in the following year. We share these goals and the progress we’ve achieved towards them in our Winter Stewardship Update. And you should know, we have big plans for 2023! From dam removals, new instream flows in dewatered rivers, and securing new Wild and Scenic designations, to new access sites, influencing National Forest Plans and sharing our second round of American Whitewater produced whitewater safety films and other tools, we’ll have our work cut out for us. If our past success is any indication we’ll surely rise to the challenge, but we can't do it without your ongoing support to keep our work on track.
Share Your Opinions in AW's River Permit Survey
12/11/2022 - by Kevin Colburn
American Whitewater is pleased to announce a survey that will gather paddlers' opinions on the permit systems that are used to manage use on multi-day river trips. We encourage all paddlers who have ever sought a permit on a multiday trip to take the survey. The survey should take you approximately 20 minutes to complete if you give it ample thought, and is best taken on a full size computer screen versus a mobile device. American Whitewater will analyze the results, share them, and use them to inform and support recommendations to the federal agencies that manage these treasured rivers. We hope a broad cross section of paddlers will take this survey.
2023 American Whitewater Calendar Now Available
12/08/2022 - by Bethany Overfield
Our 2023 American Whitewater calendar is hot off the presses and available now. Each year, we collect the best photos from our gracious and incredibly talented community and pick out our favorites for our annual calendar. Proceeds from calendar sales support our river stewardship work. It’s an awesome fundraiser for American Whitewater and a product we know you’ll love.
Head to our webstore to purchase your calendar today OR Join or Renew at the Ender Club level or above and receive one with your membership. Pro tip: these calendars make great gifts for the whitewater enthusiast in your life!
2023 American Whitewater Holiday Offer!
12/08/2022 - by Bethany Overfield
Looking for that special gift for someone or just feeling the need to treat yourself? Our 2023 American Whitewater Holiday Offer just went live! You can get a Standard Membership ($35), 12 oz MiiR Camp Mug, and a 2023 calendar (plus shipping) all for $75. We’re excited to partner with MiiR this year as they are a Climate Neutral Certified Brand and a B Corporation. In other words, MiiR walks the walks in the sustainable/environmental world! Head to our membership form and snag a Holiday Offer today.
Trip Reports Offer Enhanced Sharing of River Trips
12/06/2022 - by Kevin Colburn
American Whitewater has revitalized the Trip Report option on our website, and we hope paddlers will take advantage of it! Trip Reports allow anyone logged into the American Whitewater website to tell the story of a river trip by sharing any combination of photos, text, date, and water levels. The most recent three reports are found at the bottom of every river page, and all reports are located on the Trip Report tab on river pages. We encourage paddlers to give it a try, and in this article we'll share a few suggestions on how we hope paddlers use the Trip Report option.
S. Rockies Stewardship Year End Review 2022
12/02/2022 - by Hattie Johnson and Kestrel Kunz
At the end of another year, we like to look back on all we’ve achieved together. Your support and engagement in American Whitewater’s mission is what makes the stewardship work we do possible. Thanks for fighting for rivers with us!
Image credit: Mark Armistead