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American Whitewater Pledges to Support Public Lands - You Can Too

Posted: 11/20/2019
by Evan Stafford

American Whitewater was founded in 1954 by a group of paddlers under the belief that we love the rivers we know, and the rivers we know we'll fight to protect. At that time, in the middle of the last century, many of our bedrock conservation laws did not exist and many rivers we now take for granted were threatened by dams, pollution, and resource extraction. These same issues still exist, but fortunately many of our most classic and favorite rivers to paddle are protected by surrounding public lands and special public lands designations such as Wild and Scenic Rivers, National Recreation Areas, National Monuments, and many others. That's why we strongly support protecting our federal public lands and waters, and also why we've signed, and strongly encourage you to sign the Outdoor Alliance Public Lands Pledge. American Whitewater is a member of the Outdoor Alliance, a coalition that unites the voices of the outdoor recreation community to conserve public lands and ensure those lands and rivers are managed in a way that embraces the human-powered experience.

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2019 BOARD OF DIRECTORS ELECTION - CURRENT MEMBERS PLEASE VOTE NOW!

Posted: 11/19/2019
by Evan Stafford

Each year American Whitewater's membership ratifies Board of Director members to serve three-year terms. These candidates volunteer to serve on the American Whitewater Board. Current American Whitewater members can cast their votes through Midnight Pacific Time, December 9th. Currently, American Whitewater has four Director Nominees to fill four open seats for election, you may vote for up to four candidates on the slate. The ballot for our Board of Directors election is placed online here.

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AW's 2019 Holiday Membership Deal now available!

Posted: 11/18/2019
by Bethany Overfield

American Whitewater is pleased to announce our 2019 Holiday Membership Offer -a one year AW membership paired with our 2019 AW calendar AND a 12 oz AW Klean Kanteen travel mug. . . all for just $55! Give a great gift (or treat yourself!) and support your favorite non-profit at the same time. . . rockin' river karma for the whole year!

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Comments Needed to Support Upper Yough Releases (MD)

Posted: 11/15/2019
by Kevin Colburn

The 12-year state permit that governs the releases from Deep Creek Lake into the Upper Youghiogheny is up for renewal, and decision-makers would benefit from hearing from paddlers. Three public meetings and significant discussions have led to broad agreement on some minor changes that are important to the paddling community, and other important issues remain unresolved. Your comment letters could help ensure the Upper Yough is managed in a responsible manner for years to come.

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Ashley National Forest (UT) Information Needed

Posted: 11/15/2019
by Kevin Colburn

The Ashley National Forest is in the process of updating its land management plan-something that hasn't happened since 1986. This creates an opportunity to advocate for better protection of streams and rivers across the 1.4 million-acre National Forest, which spans from the Uinta Mountains to Flaming Gorge. Right now, American Whitewater needs your help updating the National Whitewater Inventory to include better information on the rivers within the Ashley National Forest. We ask that paddlers familiar with this area add photos and descriptions to the NWI, check out our recent comments, and consider sending a comment letter to the Forest.

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Limited Edition AW tees, tanks and hoodies!

Posted: 11/14/2019
by Evan Stafford

Shred it, then protect it! American Whitewater has partnered again with FLOAT to bring you these limited edition tees, tanks, and hoodies! Celebrate the beauty of rivers and that ever important ingredient - flowing water! Support American Whitewater in our stewardship efforts! We have several t-shirt and hoodie styles available and for every t-shirt sold FLOAT will donate $8 to American Whitewater in support of our stewardship efforts restoring rivers. Head on over to FLOAT and SHOP today - lots of fun colors and styles to choose from!  Don't delay. . . this offer is only available this week and expires on Sunday, November 17th! Thanks for supporting American Whitewater!

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Owyhee Canyonlands Legislation Introduced (OR)

Posted: 11/08/2019
by Thomas O'Keefe

This week's introduction of the Malheur County Community Empowerment for the Owyhee Act (S. 2828) represents a historic move to protect over 1.1 million acres of public lands as wilderness in Malheur County centered around the Owyhee Canyonlands. The legislation also includes protection for an additional 14.7 miles of the Owyhee River as Wild and Scenic.

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Colorado Voters Pass Proposition DD to fund the Water Plan!

Posted: 11/07/2019
by Ian Stafford

Voting day has come and gone. The mailings, text reminders, and campaign signs have all (for the most part) been put away for a brief period of time. We, like the rest of you, were excited to submit our ballots and wear our "I voted" stickers proudly on Tuesday. We were even happier on Wednesday when we found out the Prop DD passed! 

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Help Quantify the Economic Impact of the Green River (NC)

Posted: 11/07/2019
by Evan Stafford

Want to be part of a project designed to protect recreation on the Green River (NC)? Take this survey! Chris Bell, who served 12 years on the American Whitewater board, and who was one of the first 16 Green racers, is conducting an analysis of the economic impact on Henderson and Polk Counties of recreation-friendly water releases from the Tuxedo Hydro Station. The Green River in North Carolina is the magnet that's drawn paddlers from around the world to settle in this beautiful corner of Appalachian country. Near year-round flows cascade down multiple sections of whitewater through a lush temperate rainforest, and we need your help to quantify the economic effect instream flows in the Green River has on surrounding communities. As a Green River, NC paddler, and possibly as a Green Race competitor, spectator, or volunteer, we'd love it if you would complete either/or both surveys, whichever apply to you. Thank you!

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Instream Flows Restored to Poe Reach on the North Fork Feather!

Posted: 11/07/2019
by Evan Stafford

Twenty years after American Whitewater began engaging in the relicensing of the Poe hydroelectric project on the North Fork Feather River (CA), the section is finally seeing boatable flows that will support recreation almost year round in all but the driest years and will greatly improve ecological conditions for the river. FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) issued a new license for the Poe project in December of 2018. This new license included increased base flows and a volume of water to develop a recreation flow schedule, to be determined by American Whitewater, resource agencies, Butte County and PG&E. This fall we conducted the first test release on the Poe reach, and it was a huge success. "Good times on Poe Canyon! What a cool release so late in the season. Thanks for the release AW, Poe Canyon was the highlight of my fall!" -Mareike Delley. This reach includes the upper, Class V, section from Sandy Beach down to Bardees Bar, and the Class III/IV section from Bardees Bar to the Poe Powerhouse. American Whitewater has spent so much time and effort on the Feather because of its huge restoration potential. This added recreation opportunity on the Poe segment will continue to help revitalize the North Fork Feather canyon and provide more summer and fall boating opportunities when other drainages are no longer running at boatable flows. 

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Check Out the American Whitewater Winter Stewardship Update

Posted: 11/07/2019
by Evan Stafford

American Whitewater has big stewardship plans for 2020, removing dams, securing new Wild and Scenic designations, enhancing access and protections for rivers on public lands, and protecting our landmark river conservation laws such as the Clean Water Act. We see a unique opportunity to pass legislation that's good for rivers across the country, but we can't do it without your ongoing support to keep our work on track. Your membership dollars and donations will support our conservation efforts from protecting large landscapes and the whitewater rivers that flow through them to securing protections under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, restoring flows to rivers impacted by hydropower to advocating for removing deadbeat dams, and protecting flows threatened by water resource projects to our access and safety work. We've got our work cut out for us in 2020. Take a moment to see what your contribution will support in every whitewater region across the country in our 2019 Winter Appeal

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Eagle River and Gore Creek Flow Survey

Posted: 11/05/2019
by Hattie Johnson

We need your help defining paddler flow preferences that support recreational opportunities in the Eagle River watershed. Please take this link to a user survey that will allow you to report on how changes in streamflows affect recreation quality on several sections of the Eagle River and Gore Creek. Information collected by this study will be used to assess river-dependent recreation as part of the Eagle River Community Water Plan. Your input will help identify the full range of flows necessary to support activities like kayaking, rafting, float-fishing, tubing, and stand-up paddle boarding for novice, intermediate, and expert users alike. The information you provide will help protect and enhance local tourism-based economies and the high quality-of-life enjoyed by Eagle County residents.

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AW Volunteers of the Month Presented by Kokatat: Bob and Megan Larkin

Posted: 11/05/2019
by Bethany Overfield

American Whitewater would like to recognize Bob and Megan Larkin for their tremendous work as coordinators for the Russell Fork Rendezvous. They are our November Volunteers of the Month. Bob and Megan, who have organized the Rendezvous for a number of consecutive years, are part of the Bluegrass Wildwater Association-a club founded in 1976 that works tirelessly to support American Whitewater and shares a similar mission and vision.

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CHARITY NAVIGATOR AWARDS AMERICAN WHITEWATER TENTH CONSECUTIVE 4-STAR RATING

Posted: 11/03/2019
by Mark Singleton

November 2019, Charity Navigator, America's largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities, announced that American Whitewater has earned its tenth consecutive 4-star (highest) 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. 

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AW Launches Hiwassee Dries (TN/NC) Flow Survey

Posted: 10/30/2019
by Kevin Colburn

American Whitewater has long had an interest in restoring flows to the 13-mile long, biologically diverse Hiwassee River Dries. American Whitewater is gathering information on the recreational, hydrological, and ecological attributes of the river in order to create a science-based vision for a restored Hiwassee Dries. We have created an online survey to hone in on the recreational flow preferences of paddlers who have run the river. Ultimately this will help us create proposals for flow restoration that meet ecological and recreational goals in an integrated manner. If you have paddled the Dries, please take just a few minutes and fill out this survey.

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Halloween Vote in the House on Important Public Land and Rivers Protecting Bills

Posted: 10/29/2019
by Ian Stafford

This coming Thursday, October 31st, there will be a vote in the US House of Representatives on the Colorado Outdoor Recreation & Economy (CORE) Act (H.R. 823). By permanently protecting over 400,000 acres of public lands in Colorado, the CORE Act unites four iconic Colorado landscapes into a single bill, providing additional benefits by protecting watersheds important to boaters, such as the Roaring Fork, Crystal, Eagle, and Gunnison rivers. Along with the CORE Act, the House of Representatives will take up two other bills focused around removing mineral leasing from historic and treasured landscapes: The Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act (H.R. 1373) which seeks to permanently remove 1,000,000+ acres of federal land surrounding the Grand Canyon from mineral leasing; The Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act (H.R. 2181) seeks to protect 300,000+ acres of artifacts, ancient dwellings and sacred sites of the Chaco Ancestral Puebloans, their descendants, and other Four Corners area tribes, from future oil and gas development. We need your help to ensure that these bills gets passed! Take a quick minute to let your representatives know that you want to see the CORE Act pass through the House Of Representatives

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Protect Access to Rivers in New Mexico!

Posted: 10/23/2019
by Hattie Johnson

The New Mexico Game Commission called for a 90-day moratorium on the rule at their meeting on Wednesday July 24th asking Attorney General Hector Balderas to finish a pending legal analysis of the rule during that time. The moratorium has passed, the legal opinion was not completed and the lawyer/lobbyist of the wealthy, out-of-state landowners have been making their case to keep the rule intact. We need you to add your voice to protect access to New Mexico's rivers!

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Cheoah River Survey Responses Needed (NC) (Update - Results)

Posted: 10/23/2019
by Kevin Colburn

American Whitewater was a lead negotiator of the releases on the Cheoah River back in the early 2000's and we now collaboratively review and schedule the releases each year. Paddler attendance at releases in 2019 was significantly lower than in prior years, and we'd like to better understand and share with our partners why that was the case. If you paddled the Cheoah River in the past 2-3 years please take this quick 3-5 minute survey to help ensure we are doing everything we can do to make the Cheoah an awesome resource.

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Funding Colorado’s Water Plan - What is Proposition DD?

Posted: 10/15/2019
by Hattie Johnson and Ian Stafford

Although many individuals are already focused on 2020, there is an important election taking place in Colorado in 2019. This year's ballot will be slimmer than others, but there is a proposition that is critical to funding the Colorado Water Plan. Proposition DD is a tax on casinos in the state for sports gambling that will provide a down payment of funding to Colorado's Water Plan, and is a ballot measure that American Whitewater has endorsed. 

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EPA Proposing to Weaken State’s Ability to Protect Clean Water and Recreation

Posted: 10/15/2019
by Evan Stafford

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing new regulations that would weaken the ability of states to protect clean water at hydropower dams and other federally-licensed energy projects. Under the Clean Water Act, states must certify that these projects comply with state water quality standards before they can receive a 30-50 year federal license. For American Whitewater, these changes would hamstring our ability to restore flows to dewatered river sections, ensure access for boating, and secure scheduled boating releases like the ones we enjoy on so many rivers across the country, such as the Beaver and Moose in New York, the Gauley in West Virginia, the Tallulah in Georgia, and the North Fork Feather in California. To take action on this issue, go here and let the EPA know that you do not agree with this rule change and that taking away state's rights to protect their water quality is unacceptable. Comments are due October 21, 2019.