As part of our work to protect and promote access to public waterways, American Whitewater is pursuing a bill in the Washington State legislature to require an evaluation of providing public access for state highway projects that include construction of a bridge across a navigable waterway. Our hearing on Wednesday (2/25) went well and the bill passed unanimously out of committee. If you are a resident of Washington State, you can help by reaching out to your Senator and asking them to support this bill when it goes to the full Senate.
On May 21, 2015, American Whitewater members have a fantastic opportunity to enjoy a 4-day trip on Colorado’s Yampa River - one of the most sought-after whitewater adventures in the world. We invite you to join our staff and Board as we team up with O.A.R.S for a trip through the heart of Dinosaur National Monument, and down the last major tributary in the Colorado River system that runs wild and free.
Canoe & Kayak magazine has compiled a list of ten classic paddling runs around the globe that are critically endangered. With input from American Whitewater, Colorado's Yampa River makes the list for the threats it's world-class whitewater and wilderness paddling faces from dams, diversions or other development projects.
On February 19th, President Obama will use his authority under the US Antiquities Act to protect over 20,000 acres of public lands surrounding Colorado’s Browns Canyon of the Arkansas River. American Whitewater has actively worked to protect Browns Canyon since we hosted the Colorado Roundtable in Buena Vista back in 2006, and we are celebrating the result of all the partnerships and work that has gone into this campaign. Join American Whitewater and community leaders in thanking President Obama for designating the Browns Canyon National Monument!
Wyoming Representative Cynthia Lummis introduced legislation last week that will require the National Park Service to study and reconsider their management of non-commercial paddling in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. The legislation is the result of significant dialog among the Parks, conservation-oriented paddlers, Representative Lummis, and others.
Last week the State of South Carolina issued the final permit that Duke Energy needed before the federal government could issue them a new license for operating their dams. With a new license now expected sometime this year, paddlers can start gearing up for some big changes in the Catawba Watershed including new conservation opportunities, access areas, water releases, and stream gages.
Connecticut boaters have a great opportunity to protect the Lower Farmington River and
Salmon Brook. One of the best tools for protecting our rivers from harmful dams and diversions is
the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. American Whitewater is working with our partners in Connecticut
to designate sections of these rivers as Wild and Scenic, including the Tariffville
We need paddler's voices to make this a reality. Please join us in supporting efforts to enact federal legislation that will permanently protect these rivers for future generations.
Over the last few years, American Whitewater worked with the paddling community to raise $25,000 to go towards a take-out parking lot in the town of Friendsville, Maryland. This "seed money" was leveraged to attract over $200,000 in grants for the town to complete the take-out facility. American Whitewater has learned that Jess Whittemore was re-elected to the Friendsville, Maryland Town Council. Thanks to Jess's leadership the town partnered with the whitewater community to welcome hundreds of river runners to the area for summer releases on the Upper Youghiogheny River.
This week, the annual State of the Rockies Report was released by Colorado College. The report describes conservation attitudes in the West, with a focus on public lands. What is striking in this years report, is that the concerns over low levels of water in our rivers, and inadequate water supplies, are viewed as an extremely serious problem - even more serious than the economy and unemployment.
Right around the corner, National Paddling Film Festival will be held on February 20-21 in Frankfort, KY at the Buffalo Trace Distillery. NPFF has helped to raise the quality of paddle sport entertainment by providing recognition of talent along with important and useful feedback for the artists who make the show a possibility.
For 33 years the National Paddling Film Festival has been hosting a competition to determine the best in paddle sport videos and images. This year's NPFF will be held on February 20-21 in Frankfort, KY at the Buffalo Trace Distillery. NPFF has helped to raise the quality of paddle sport entertainment by providing recognition of talent along with important and useful feedback for the artists who make the show a possibility.
Lyons, Colorado - American Whitewater is pleased to recognize Matt Booth as our February 2015 Volunteer of the Month! Matt has dedicated countless hours to growing Lyons Outdoor Games and rebuilding local communities after the Colorado floods of 2013.
Our river stewardship efforts are supported by your membership. American Whitewater is pleased to announce the availability of our 2015 Member Rewards for major donors.
We are pleased to share the 2015 schedule of Class IV and V scheduled dam releases for Western North Carolina and North Georgia. American Whitewater and our partners negotiated these releases over the past two decades, and the result is 34 days of outstanding paddling opportunities for advanced paddlers on the Cheoah, Tallulah, Upper Nantahala, and West Fork of the Tuckasegee.
Earlier this month Montana's Kootenai National Forest found Callahan and Ross creeks to be eligible for Wild and Scenic designation in response to an appeal crafted by American Whitewater. This decision will protect these two awesome streams from hydropower development for current and future generations. The Kootenai and Idaho Panhandle national forests however left many worthy streams unprotected, and disregarded paddling values on several incredible streams.
Today river advocates criticized the Washington Department of Ecology for adopting a flow rule for the Spokane River that allows further dewatering of the popular urban river. The state rule sets flows for the Spokane River, including summertime low flows at 850 cubic feet per second. A recreational flow survey by American Whitewater found that all boaters prefer flows higher than 1000 cfs and most prefer flows in the range of 5000 cfs.
Earlier this month American Whitewater and the National Park Service's Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program (RTCA) hosted a series of meetings and site visits in the Harper's Ferry, WV area. We met with roughly 35 interested groups and individuals, including 18 leaders from the paddling community, and visited over 20 river access sites. The meetings kicked off a collaborative effort to create and implement a river access Plan for the Harper's Ferry area, and were highly successful.
The legislative session is underway in Washington State and earlier this week we were shocked to learn of a bill that would severely limit access to the state's rivers and shorelines. Specifically the bill would prohibit water access on small parcels of public land that do not provide formal parking.
As many paddlers know, the future of the Colorado River is fraught with competing demands to pump and pipe water to faraway cities, and efforts to protect what little water is left in the river. A group of well-respected academics convened by University of Colorado Professor Doug Kenney has released a short, easy to read summary of the challenges facing the river. Check it out:
Punch Bowl Falls is one of Oregon’s iconic scenic and recreational sites on the Hood River in the Columbia Gorge. At the confluence of the east and west forks of the Hood River, the site has been privately owned and its future remains to be determined. Our goal is to see the site become a public park and we encourage the boating community to join that discussion.
Late December saw the Bureau of Reclamation approval of the Windy Gap Firming Project, yet another major diversion of the imperiled Upper Colorado River. And while AW has worked hard over the years to ensure that projects like this don’t further impact the health of the upper Colorado, we are disappointed to see that recent federal action doesn’t lock in the protections that are essential to mitigating the worst effects of yet another trans-mountain diversion.
Photo Credit: Brian Adkins, Boulder, Co
What would happen in the Southwestern United States if there was no water available from the Colorado River to support the economy, and no way to replace the water normally used from the River throughout the region?
A new report from Protect the Flows suggests that the Colorado river region would suffer 64.4% loss in Gross State Product if there is no Colorado River water for one year. Loss in the Real Estate, Healthcare, Finance, Professional Services, and Retail Trade sectors, from the absense of Colorado River water, totals Billions of Dollars.
A new study, Economic Analysis of Outdoor Recreation in Washington State, by Earth Economics demonstrates the importance of outdoor recreation for the Washington State economy. Residents and visitors collectively spend $21.6 billion annually on trips and equipment purchases supporting nearly 200,000 jobs. Over one third of this economic activity occurs along water. American Whitewater is actively engaged in efforts to promote public access to water and conserve the river resources of the state that represent an important engine for this economic activity
Recent elections for the American Whitewater Board of Directors concluded on December 15, 2014. Please welcome Chris Neuenschwander and Melissa Pennscott as new American Whitewater Directors.
In June 2015, American Whitewater members will have an opportunity to join American Whitewater staff and board members for an exclusive trip on Oregon’s Rogue River. We invite you to come learn more about what we're up to while having a great time enjoying one of our nation’s first Wild and Scenic Rivers.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Yuba/Bear and Drum Spaulding projects in Northern California. Our review of this 1000 page documents says that it spells good things for boaters.
Thanks to an organization wide effort to provide transparency and operate efficiently, Charity Navigator awarded American Whitewater with its fifth 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 4% of the nonprofits Charity Navigator rates have received five 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.
Silver Spring, NM - New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has only two weeks left to make a decision on the proposed Gila River Diversion. This project will drain the headwaters of the Gila River, threatening some of the most beautiful, biologically rich riparian habitat in the state, that also provides amazing paddling opportunities.
Take Action by calling the Governor TODAY!
Over the past year, American Whitewater, New England FLOW and Appalachian Mountain Club have been working with hydropower utilities in the northeast to complete flow studies as part of the relicensing of five hydropower projects along the Connecticut River. This past summer, the flow studies at Sumners Falls/Hartland (VT/NH) and Turners Falls (MA) demonstrated that with appropriate flows, there are high quality boating opportunities available at both locations. Next year, we will assist with the completion of the final flow study at Bellows Falls (VT/NH).
Anticipation was running high for the first public dam releases on the newly constructed Holtwood Whitewater Park this fall, however the final round of testing in early October revealed more work was needed before opening the park. Testing and modifications are ongoing, and we'll release a schedule of releases early next year. The good news is that the waves are going to be incredible.
In the final days of the 113th Congress, several river conservation measures have been passed designating significant new Wilderness Areas and Wild and Scenic Rivers in areas vitally important to the paddling community.
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has released their draft management plan for the Green River Gamelands in North Carolina. This plan addresses all uses and activities in the iconic Green River Narrows, as well as the Class III+ Upper Green and the Class II Lower Green. This place and this plan are important to many paddlers in the southeast and across the globe. You can review the plan, and send in a comment by January 16th, 2015.
In the summer of 2013, American Whitewater’s Regional Coordinator, John Simpkin, started the tedious task of gathering the facts and information to help American Whitewater get illegal fences blocking public access to the Cosumnes River at Latrobe Road Bridge removed. To date, El Dorado County Department of Transportation maintains fences obstructing public access and American Whitewater has issued a letter to County Counsel requesting their removal.
Photo by Steve Ruhnau
Currently several National Parks across the country are considering increased fees for park entry and wilderness permits. A number of National Parks provide whitewater paddling and we want to make sure our community is aware of the opportunity to provide comment on these proposals.
Currently, the Transportation Division of El Dorado County in Placerville, CA is in the process of updating a Mosquito Road Bridge Replacement Study that will outline alternatives for a new bridge to be constructed in 2018-2019. Identified as one of the key take-outs for the Class IV-V Slab Creek whitewater reach, American Whitewater believes this is the perfect opportunity to advocate for river access improvements.
Salida, CO - This Saturday, Senior officials from the Obama Administration will be meeting with Coloradoans to discuss the Browns Canyon National Monunument. It is important that paddlers attend the meeting, and speak-up for protecting the landscape around one of the Arkansas River's greatest whitewater runs.
While its a tough time of year to travel, WE MUST show public support for this designation. Please attend and speak on behalf of Browns Canyon National Monument!
Whether you live in Colorado, or visit the state for its world-class paddling, American Whitewater needs your help to keep our Colorado river stewardship work going. Colorado Gives Day - Colorado's largest fundraising event - is Tuesday, December 9th. That day, people from across the country can come together to support non-profit organizations working in Colorado. This year, our goal is to raise $5,000 to support efforts to protect instream flows for recreation and defend public access to rivers in Colorado. Whether its $10, or $1000, please make your donation today. You can learn more about how to help us meet our goal here...
Colorado - U.S. Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet have urged President Obama to consider designating Browns Canyon of the Arkansas River as a National Monument. AW has worked directly with Sen. Udall to protect the landscape surrounding our nation's most popular whitewater river, and are confident that designation will not change how the Arkansas River is managed. Your support is critical to protecting this special place...
Grand County, Colorado - After several years of negotiations and political maneuvering, engineering, and fundraising, American Whitewater joined representatives from Grand County to break ground on the new Gore Canyon Whitewater Park on the Colorado River. The park is integral to a new water right that protects the river from losing more water in the future, while providing new opportunities for paddlers of all ages and ability.
American Whitewater joined river conservation groups in releasing an updated review of the economics of restoring hydropower at Enloe Dam on the Similkameen River in Washington State. This project would cost $40 million to build, would cost more to operate than it brings in for revenue, and accumulate $170 million losses over the life of the project. It is time to remove a project that has not operated since 1958 and is simply an economic loser.
The future of late summer flows in the Colorado River is at risk, and we need your help to show how important these flows are to paddlers. Front Range entities are questioning whether paddlers even use the Colorado River in Glenwood Canyon after Labor Day. If you enjoy the Colorado River, please take two minutes to write a letter to the City Manager of Glenwood Springs. You can help prove that paddlers enjoy late summer flows and prevent the Front Range from taking away an entire month of the paddling season!
Through Outdoor Alliance, American Whitewater joined today with the Outdoor Industry Association to support the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers' proposed Clean Water Protection rule. The rule clarifies Clean Water Act protections for rivers and streams that offer world-class recreation opportunities that improve the quality of life and provide the economic foundation for countless communities. "It's important to American Whitewater's membership that these headwater streams and wetlands are protected by the Clean Water Act," said Kevin Colburn, National Stewardship Director.
Last week the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on the case over the Forest Service’s 2012 decision to implement restrictions on paddling the Wild and Scenic Upper Chattooga River. Conservation-oriented paddlers, Georgia Forest Watch, and the Rust Family had asked the court to overturn various portions of a lower court decision that favored the Forest Service. These requests were denied, and the lower court ruling was upheld by the Fourth Circuit.
The Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group is developing a Fish Habitat Conservation
Approach focused on the long-term management of salmon and steelhead habitat along the lower six
miles of the White Salmon River. The Enhancement Group has worked closely with American
Whitewater, Yakama Nation, and resource agencies to develop a collective vision for the White
Salmon River that realizes the full benefits of Condit Dam removal for fish and the community. It
is important for the boating community to be a part of this discussion, and we encourage local
boaters to participate in a community meeting in Husum on Saturday, November 15th.
It's workplace giving season, which is a great way to support American Whitewater! If you are a federal employee, American Whitewater is eligible to receive tax-deductible donations through the Federal Combined Giving Campaign (yes, we're a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization). If you're not a federal employee, you can check to see if your employer participates in workplace giving through United Way or other programs, and ask how to donate to the organization of your choosing. Thanks for your support!
It’s not too early to be thinking about the Holiday gifts you’ll need for all the river enthusiasts on your shopping list. We have a great offer this year - for just $45 you get a standard one year membership with American Whitewater and a 2015 AW Calendar.
We think this is a great gift to give to any river lover. . .or a great gift to give yourself! And, it’s so easy to order.
American Whitewater needs your help to define flows that support the full range of whitewater boating opportunities for the Lower Spokane River in Washington. This survey is designed so individuals can evaluate flows, which will then help American Whitewater and our conservation partners describe how flows affect recreation quality. We are seeking responses by Thursday November 6th.
American Whitewater's Volunteers of the Month for November are Charlie and Karin Guilbault, who have been long time volunteers at the Feather River Festival in California. The success of this event would not be possible without key volunteers who work tirelessly to make this event a reality, and Charlie and Karin certainly fit the bill. In recognition of their efforts, they will receive custom Kokatat WoolCore Shirts. Thanks so much Charlie and Karin!
The American Whitewater Journal is the longest running whitewater paddlesports publication in the US. Our Journal has also documented the evolution of paddlesports and chronicled the development of kayaks that were primarily imported from Europe, to homemade glass layups, squirt boats, the rise and fall of play boats. This winter we will be combining the November/December and January/February issues to create a winter issue that will be in your mailbox this January.
American Whitewater is very fortunate to have a Board of Directors with a passion for our mission and a mix of appropriate skills to help guide American Whitewater and meet the challenges we face, both now and in the future. Each year American Whitewater’s membership elects volunteer Directors to serve three-year terms on the American Whitewater Board of Directors. Current American Whitewater members can cast their votes through Midnight Pacific Time, December 15th.
American Whitewater works to protect and restore the whitewater rivers across the country that you love, and we rely on your ongoing support to keep us going strong. Twice each year, American Whitewater reaches out to you to ask that you become a member or renew your membership to American Whitewater, or to consider making a tax-deductible donation. Learn more about what your contribution will support in our 2014 Winter Appeal!
American Whitewater submitted comments this week to the Bureau of Reclamation in opposition of the proposed Temperance Flat Dam slated for the San Joaquin River in California. The proposed dam would inundate a reach of river that the Bureau of Land Management recognized as suitable for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System for its cultral and scenic values. Temperance Flat Dam will have steep economic and resource costs while yeilding little water, and is not the solution to California's extreme drought.
The Forest Service is seeking comments on their Environmental Assessment and proposal to upgrade and designate the trails and access areas that paddlers and others use to access the Wild and Scenic Upper Chattooga River. Comments are due by midnight, November 7, 2014. Your comments can help encourage high quality and sustainable hiking and paddling opportunities, and help clarify that no permit should be requied to paddle the Chattooga River upstream of Green Creek.
Today marks the release of an inspiring, wild ride down the Yampa River. Warm Springs is a film featuring AW staff and friends from all over Colorado, and delivers a rich and gorgeous portrait of one of the West’s last truly wild rivers through the lens of its most famous rapid, Warm Springs.
After years of wondering if it would ever get underway (the six-year deadline has already passed), PacifiCorp has finally begun construction on the new access improvements at the Yale Bridge take-out for Canyon Creek. That's the good news. The bad news is they let the project slip into the fall boating season and have offered no accommodations for access after this weekend until the project is done.
A couple of weeks ago AW staff and several like-minded river folks attended the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) meeting in Glenwood Springs. We joined together to let the board know that the upcoming state water plan must ensure that healthy rivers (and the communities that depend on them) are treated fairly in the plan. Sounds pretty non-controversial, right? Wrong.
The first three weekends in November mark classic boating in the southeast with releases on the Tallulah River. Release weekends are November 1 & 2, 8 & 9, and 15 & 16. The river flows through Tallulah Gorge State Park, the Park has specific regulations for visitors.
Stream access in Virginia is one of American Whitewater’s Top 10 River Stewardship Issues this year, as it has been in many years past. The public right to enjoy rivers in the commonwealth is less than clear, leading to confusion and differences of opinion. A legislative fix is possible, but we'll need a broad coalition of support. Start this conversation in your networks, and join the Virginia Freedom to Float facebook page to keep in the loop.
The Friendsville, Maryland paddler parking lot is being finished. This lovely town of 500 people, is doing what it can to accomodate the hundreds of paddlers who arrive here for summer releases on the Upper Youghiogheny River. The project owes much to the vision and leadership of long-time resident Jess Whittemore and the support of Mayor Spencer R. Schlosnagle and Town Council. American Whitewater helped paddlers raise $25,000 towards the lot and this "seed money" has helped attract over $200,000 in grants! We thank the town for their persistence, and their ongoing support for Upper Yough whitewater.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) is proposing to build another large dam on California's San Joaquin River. If built, the Temperance Flat Dam would have significant impacts to the San Joaquin River Gorge, including drowning several Class III-V whitewater runs, such as Patterson Bend. The BOR took a major step forward in bringing the dam into reality when it released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project last month. You can stand up for the San Joaquin by attending a public hearing during the week of October 13th, or submitting public comment by October 27th.
Northwest Power Services recently filed a preliminary permit application to construct a hydropower project on the Talkeetna River. The Talkeetna is known to many as Alaska's best backcountry whitewater trip. The developer proposes to construct a 2300 feet long and 370 feet high dam located in a scenic canyon just downstream of the confluence of Disappointment Creek. A public comment period is now open for this project.
If you've enjoyed getting out on the water with more concern for your shuttle than whether the river you're paddling is polluted, you likely have the Clean Water Act to thank. Over the last eight years, there's been a lot of uncertainty about whether certain headwater streams and wetlands are covered by the Act. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers are taking public comment through November 14th on a proposed rule that brings clarity to this issue. American Whitewater supports the proposed rule, and encourages you to weigh in!
October's Volunteers of the Month are Neal Dana, Jim Patterson, Paul Araujo, and Jerry Stehman! Gauley Fest came close to having no electricity this year, but thanks to their cool heads and skillful efforts, American Whitewater's largest annual fundraiser and party went smoothly! In recognition for their service to AW and everyone at Gauley Fest, they will each receive a Kokatat Woolcore shirt!
Make your online shopping mean something for the rivers you love. American Whitewater is participating in the Amazon Smile program. With each purchase through Amazon Smile a small percentage is passed through to American Whitewater supporting river stewardship.
The Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) has denied Red Flat Mining Corporation's application for a water right for exploratory mining activities in the headwaters of Baldface Creek and the Wild and Scenic North Fork Smith River! The international mining company seeks to develop a nickel strip mine in the South Kalmiopsis Roadless Area, which is one of the most remote and expansive backcountry areas in Southern Oregon. This is an important victory in the effort to protect the crystal clear waters of Southern Oregon, however our work is far from over.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department wants to hear from you about whether three Oregon rivers should be protected as State Scenic Waterways. Sections of the Molalla, Chetco and Grand Ronde, all of which are well known and loved by Pacific Northwest paddlers, are up for consideration. The agency is seeking public feedback. Comments can be emailed or you can respond to a short survey by October 15th.
California's Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra National Forests are home to many rivers cherished by the whitewater community, including the Kern, Kings, and Merced Rivers and Dinkey Creek. On Monday, September 29th, American Whitewater asked the Forest Service to recognize the importance of these and other rivers for whitewater recreation activities, and to update and expand protections for them. Our comments come as the three forests begin the NEPA process for updating their forest management plans.
American Whitewater was recently notified that our appeals of the new Forest Plans for the Kootenai and Panhandle National Forests were successful. These forests, in northern Montana and Idaho respectively, contain incredible whitewater streams where paddlers might see grizzly bears, 10-foot white sturgeons, or even a caribou. The result of our successful appeals will almost certainly be the protection additional rivers and streams from hydropower dams and other threats.
At the last meeting of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, outdoor business leaders, advocates like Annie Henderson of the Upper Colorado River Private Boaters Association, realtors and concerned citizens gathered to urge the Board to make sure that river-based recreation receives equal consideration in the upcoming Colorado Water Plan.
American Whitewater is supporting a proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers that strives to clarify which streams and wetlands are protected by the Clean Water Act. This rulemaking is currently under threat in the House by H.R. 5078, which could go to a vote as early as Tuesday, September 9th. If passed, the bill would stop the current rulemaking dead in its tracks. Please stand up for clean water, contact your representatives and make your voice heard!
American Whitewater congratulates the Garrett College Adventuresport Institute for managing another successful season of Savage River whitewater releases. The river, which hosted the 1989 World Slalom and Whitewater Championships, offers five miles of very continuous Class III-IV whitewater that's a joy to paddle. Program Director Mike Mike Logsden and other Garrett College personnel arranged parking, shuttle service, put-in and take-out access, release of liability for the stake-holders, and the removal of dangerous river debris. Takeout procedures this year were re-designed to avoid a dangerous road crossing. Expenses related to the shuttle service and strainer removal was paid by donations from participating boaters. If you enjoyed yourself, send a brief thank you to firstname.lastname@example.org
After an initial round of meetings, earlier in the summer, the Oregon State Marine Board has announced that they will be doing another round of meetings and will continue to seek feedback on the needs of the non-motorized boating community. We encourage those who paddle in Oregon to join the conversation and provide feedback through the meetings or an online survey.
If you're in the PNW and can't make it to Gauley Fest, come celebrate Wilderness and the dry side of the Cascades with Wilderness Weekend, September 18th - 20th in Bend, Oregon. Events include the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, 27th Desert Conference and the WilderFest Block Party. Come on out to one or all of these events!
While the decades long struggle to secure releases on the West River in Vermont continues, the Army Corps of Engineers has modified its operating procedures for the Ball Mountain Dam in Jamaica, VT, resulting in new opportunities for boaters in the northeast to enjoy this whitewater treasure. The Corps has decided to modify how it releases water from the dam in order to provide boaters with new weekend boating opportunities following significant rainfall, and is hoping to be able to provide a second release day for the annual West Fest in September.
This year's Sullivan Creek releases will begin September 3, and will continue each day for at least a couple months. These releases, the gage, and a related dam removal were the outcome of a collaborative negotiation between the regional Public Utility District that owns the dams, American Whitewater, and a suite of local, state, and national groups.
Kremmling, Colorado - In a recent decision, the Bureau of Land Management has approved Grand County's application to construct a whitewater park on the Colorado River below Gore Canyon. The Proposed Gore Canyon Whitewater Park, located on public lands, seeks to protect streamflows in the Colorado River for recreational paddling. AW has supported this effort for several years, and we are pleased that this recent decision allows Grand County to move forward with construction of the park.
Lake Mead, the nation's largest reservoir, has been making a lot of national headlines lately. Its water level has dropped to its lowest level ever, and, it continues to drop every day, as the drought that's gripping much of the American West marches on. And though the lake itself is hundreds of miles from us here in Colorado, we have a lot at stake in the Colorado River and the reservoir's record-low levels have implications for our local communities.
The recreation releases scheduled for August 23/ 24 have been rescheduled for August 30/ 31. The releases needed to be postponed because of a breakdown at one of PG&E’s powerhouses.
Gauley season is just around the corner and in preparation for fall releases American Whitewater received the following open letter to boaters from the rangers and staff of the Gauley River National Recreation Area informing boaters of planning efforts for this season.
This year’s Festival will be on Saturday Aug 16, 2014. You can register at the event. We need plenty of help, and will require everyone 18 and over who wants to run the Falls to give the event at least one hour of safety! Registration fees are only $15 and volunteers who give us at least two hours of their time will receive a cool T-shirt.
Registration for the 36th Annual Moke Races on September 13th and 14th is live! Come see for yourself the beauty of the Mokelumne River watershed and understand why American Whitewater is supporting a bill that will designate 37 miles of the river as a State Wild & Scenic River. And of course, enjoy a weekend of friendly competition, camaraderie and paddling!
On Monday, August 4th American Whitewater submitted testimony to the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks in support of three bills that, if passed, will protect important whitewater rivers in Colorado, Montana and Washington. These include the Browns Canyon National Monument and Wilderness Act (S. 1794), East Rosebud Creek Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (S. 2392), and the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area Act (S. 2602). Our testimony follows the sub-committee hearing held on July 23, 2014.
Southwestern US - The U.S. Department of the Interior and major water utilities in Phoenix, Las Vegas, Southern California, and Denver have announced a landmark water conservation agreement called the Colorado River System Conservation program. The program will reduce demands on Colorado River water, keeping conserved water in the river to help boost declining reservoir levels and benefiting the health of the entire river system.
On Friday, July 25 American Whitewater submitted comments to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council on its Draft Amended Fish and Wildlife Program. We urged the Council to strengthen important river protections throughout the Pacific Northwest that protect over 44,000 miles of rivers and streams from new hydropower projects.
In follow up to an article regarding the Upper American River Project published in the Mar/Apr 2014 American Whitewater Journal (Page 10), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has finally issued the license for the Upper American River Project (UARP) #2101. This is great news for paddlers in Central California who have been working and waiting for this moment for over a decade.
American Whitewater and Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) partner to present the new DamNation film produced by Patagonia at NOC’s main campus in on the Nantahala (NC) on Saturday, August 16, at 8:30 p.m.
On Wednesday, July 23 at 2:30 ET, Colorado Senator Mark Udall will lead a hearing of the U.S. Senate National Parks Subcommittee on a suite of land and river conservation bills. The hearing will focus on several bills that are near and dear to the paddling community, including bills to protect Browns Canyon (CO), East Rosebud Creek (MT), and the Mountains to Sound Greenway (WA). Read more to see how you can help.