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Last week to comment on Proposed Poudre River Reservoir

posted August 28, 2015
by Nathan Fey
article photo 2

The Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) is a proposed large-scale dam and reservoir project, which threatens the ecology and recreational opportunities of Colorado's Cache la Poudre River.  The Proposal has gone through years of review and re-design, and continues to be significantly flawed in its analysis of impacts to river health, and recreation. Comments on the Proposal are Due September 3, 2015.

Maine paddlers seek new boating opportunities on the Saccarrappa

posted August 28, 2015
by Robert Nasdor
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Maine kayactivists converged on a meeting in Westbrook this week to demand that plans to decommission a dam on the Saccarrappa River include effective fish passage and high quality boating opportunities. Working with the local community, boaters want SAPPI to restore the river by providing the most effective fish passage that will also allow for the enjoyment of boating opportunities at Saccarrappa Falls where the dam is located.

Gauley River (WV) Open Letter To Boaters 2015

posted August 26, 2015
by Mark Singleton
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American Whitewater received the following open letter to boaters from the rangers and staff of the Gauley River National Recreation Area. The letter outlines important river information for upcoming fall releases. 

2015 Clif Bar Flowing Rivers Campaign Announced

posted August 14, 2015
by Mark Singleton
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American Whitewater is proud to announce the two affiliate recipients of the 2015 Clif Bar Flowing Rivers Campaign. Each group will receive a $1,250 grant to go towards their respective stewardship projects. Thanks to the many affiliate groups who participated in this year's grant process. Most of all, a huge thanks goes out to Clif Bar for sponsoring this wonderful opportunity for river stewardship!

Ohiopyle Over the Falls Festival (PA) August 22, 2015

posted August 13, 2015
by Mark Singleton
article photo 6

The "Ohiopyle Over the Falls Festival" will be held on Saturday, August 22, 2015. Come on out and participate in the Falls Race, the Free Style event, or just run laps on the falls! Additional activities will include a Silent Auction and Town Party at 7:30pm featuring The Mavens at the Steward on the Green Community Park in Ohiopyle.

Help Save Vital River Access Funding

posted August 11, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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Since 1965, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has been a critical source of funding for important river access projects and other recreational pursuits across the country. This fund however is set to expire on September 30, 2015 unless Congress reauthorizes it. We’re calling on all paddlers to reach out to their Congressional representatives and ask them to reauthorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Latest Hydro Legislation Better Thanks to River Advocates

posted August 7, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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Over the past couple months we’ve shared news of the hydropower industry asking Congress to give them huge advantages in damming and diverting rivers.  Paddlers and other river enthusiasts responded loudly with emails and calls to political leaders, and with editorials in newspapers. Thanks to your efforts, some of the worst parts of the industry’s wish list were cut away as the Senate crafted an energy bill. While our work on this issue is not over, the outreach to Senators has made a huge difference.

Colorado Mine Accident closes Animas River

posted August 6, 2015
by Nathan Fey
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Durango, Colorado - On Wednesday morning, 1Million gallons of contaminated mine drainage was accidentaly released into the Animas River watershed. A crew working to clean-up a mine outside of the town of Silverton, accidentaly released the plume forcing local officials to close the river to paddlers, pets and livestock, and other water users. The impact on fish and wildlife is not fully known at this time.

Dam Owner Offers No Releases on New River Dries

posted August 4, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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Yesterday, the power company that de-waters the New River Dries with the Hawks Nest Dam proposed zero dam releases to mitigate their impacts on whitewater recreation and naturally variable flow patterns.  American Whitewater will be offering a balanced response to this extreme proposal that outlines the value and potential for restoring significant recreational and ecological values to the New River.  

Join AW at the 2015 Feather Fest!

posted August 4, 2015
by Dave Steindorf
article photo 3

Join American Whitewater for the 2015 Feather River Festival.  This year marks the 25th anniversary of this event.  Come see why this has become the best river festival in California!

Protecting Oregon's Owyhee Canyonlands

posted August 3, 2015
by Megan Hooker
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The remote and wild landscape of the Owhyee Canyonlands of Southeastern Oregon is complete with deep red-rock canyons, wild rivers and plenty of opportunities for backcountry recreation. The region is also a stronghold to over 200 species, and has fascinating geology, unique ecology and deep history. American Whitewater is part of a coalition working to permanently protect 2.5 million acres of the Owhyee, and you can learn more about the region, our proposal to protect it and ways to support our efforts here! 
 

AW Gauley River Festival. . .calling all Vendors!

posted July 30, 2015
by Carla Miner
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Join us in Summersville, WV September 18th and 19th for the biggest and best ever Gauley Fest. Reserve your Vendor booth now!

Take advantage of the 15% discount on Vendor booths through August 31st. Reserve your booth today and lock in your discounted price!

Gauley Fest - Join us in Summersville, WV September 18-20, 2015

posted July 30, 2015
by Carla Miner
article photo 3

Gauley Fest can't happen without your help! Please consider signing up to volunteer for two hours (or more) and become a part of the Gauley Fest Volunteer Team! It's a fun and easy way for you to be a critical part of an amazing festival that's also AW's biggest fundraiser.

Hydropower Legislation Update & Action Alert!

posted July 24, 2015
by Megan Hooker
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Hydropower legislation is on the move in Congress and paddler’s voices are needed to protect our rivers. On July 22nd, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee introduced a comprehensive energy package, and the hydropower provisions hold many of the same dangerous outcomes for our rivers as the legislation we’ve been tracking in recent months. The bill opens the door for developers to dam and divert our nation’s remaining free-flowing rivers, and gives preference to hydropower operations over fish, wildlife and recreation values. Two markups are slated for the week of July 27th.
 

Colorado Update: NISP Hearings This Week

posted July 20, 2015
by Nathan Fey
article photo 2

As many of you know, the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) is a major transbasin diversion and reservoir project impacting the health of the Poudre River as it runs through LaPorte and Fort Collins. This week is the time to make your voice heard at two listening sessions sponsored by the US Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday and Thursday.

Hydropower Industry Continues to Push Legislation Threatening Your Whitewater

posted July 17, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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The hydropower industry is pushing legislation that threatens your whitewater. We encourage paddlers to share their personal experience enjoying rivers where hydropower projects provide recreational flows. We oppose any bill that would undermine the public's ability to balance hydropower interests with non-power values like recreation, fish and wildlife.

In Colorado A Gore Canyon Victory, a Glenwood Springs Setback

posted July 16, 2015
by Belinda Griswold
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What a week! On Monday, over 90 people attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for Gore Canyon Whitewater Park on the banks of the Upper Colorado River. The park’s official opening marks the first applied water rights for recreation on the Colorado River, and as such is a major victory for paddlers and advocates for the state’s booming river-recreation economy. Unfortunately, today brought less good news from the Colorado Water Conservation Board on the propsoed Glenwood Springs Recreational Water Rights.

Virginia Announces New Bridge Access Program

posted July 14, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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Late last week, the Commonwealth of Virginia took a great step forward in enhancing public access to rivers and streams. Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a memorandum of understanding that directs three state agencies to work together to identify new potential public-access projects, particularly at bridge crossings and roads. American Whitewater applauds the efforts of Governor McAuliffe to keep Virginia residents and visitors alike connected to the Commonwealth's outstanding rivers and streams.

Take Action! Protect Kalmiopsis Rivers (OR/CA)

posted July 14, 2015
by Megan Hooker
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The BLM is considering whether to halt new mining activities for 5 years on roughly 100,000 acres in the Kalmiopsis region of Southwestern Oregon. This action, known as a "mineral withdrawal," would protect wild rivers like Baldface Creek, the Wild and Scenic North Fork Smith, Rough and Creek and the Wild and Scenic Illinois from the threats of nickel strip mines. These rivers are not only whitewater gems, but also provide clean drinking water to downstream communities, are strongholds for salmon, and support the local economy. Paddler's voices from across the country are needed to support this effort.
 

Celebrate the designation of Browns Canyon National Monument

posted July 10, 2015
by Nathan Fey
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Buena Vista, Colorado - Saturday July 18th, Officials from the Departments of Interior and Agriculture, along with State leaders and members of Congress, will celebrate the designation of Browns Canyon National Monument along Colorado's Arkansas River. Please join us!

Eel River and Cache Creek in New National Monument (CA)

posted July 10, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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Earlier today the designation of the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument was announced. The new 330,780 acre National Monument is in Northern California and contains two whitewater sections of Cache Creek and two sections of the Eel River that offer some great paddling relatively close to San Francisco. The area also offers outstanding hiking and other recreational opportunities. This designation should ensure that the paddling opportunities and the landscape that supports them remain special for generations to come.  

Molalla State Scenic Waterway Public Meeting And Comment Opportunity (OR)

posted July 9, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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Last fall the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department solicited input on the designation of a segment of the Molalla River that includes the Three Bears run as a State Scenic Waterway. American Whitewater is actively supporting this designation. We encourage the paddling community to attend the meeting and file comments.

Chetco State Scenic Waterway Public Meeting and Comment Opportunity (OR)

posted July 9, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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Last fall the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (ORPD) solicited input on the designation of a segment of the Chetco River that includes the Chetco Gorge as a State Scenic Waterway. American Whitewater is actively supporting this designation. We encourage the paddling community to attend the meeting and file comments.

Upper CO Wild and Scenic Alternative Plan gets Federal approval

posted July 9, 2015
by Nathan Fey
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Excellent news on the Upper Colorado today with the release of the Record of Decision from both the Forest Service and the BLM on our long-worked for Wild and Scenic Alternative stakeholder plan. Since 2007, the Upper Colorado Wild & Scenic Stakeholder Group has been working on a plan to protect and enhance a remarkable stretch of the Colorado River’s mainstem between Kremmling and Glenwood Springs. It’s a truly important stretch of the Colorado for a variety of users, especially us paddlers, and it’s our goal to balance permanent protection of the river and flexibility for water users.

2nd draft of Colorado Water Plan Released: Stay Tuned!

posted July 8, 2015
by Nathan Fey
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The all important second draft of the Colorado statewide water plan was released yesterday, and it's already generating a lot of ink.

Whether you are a resident of Colorado, or a visitor during the summer event circuit, your comments are needed to help protect rivers from new dams and water projects.

Permit for Hydropower Development on Talkeetna River Cancelled (AK)

posted July 8, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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This week the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission cancelled the preliminary permit for the Talkeetna River Dam Hydroelectric Project effectively putting an end to any immediate plans to build a 370 foot high dam on the Talkeetna River in the middle of the classic overnight whitewater run.

Upper Methow Recreational Boating Survey (WA)

posted July 6, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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The Yakama Nation is currently conducting a survey of recreational boating on the reach of the Methow River from the Lost River confluence down to the Weeman Bridge. While this reach sees more limited boating than sections downstream, we know that this reach that includes the community of Mazama is used for river-based recreation. We encourage paddlers with local knowledge to fill out the survey.

Congress Introduces Protections for Oregon Rivers

posted July 6, 2015
by Megan Hooker
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Congress has taken several important steps recently to protect cherished whitewater rivers and wild landscapes throughout Oregon. Last week, Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley introduced the 2015 Oregon Wildlands Act, proposing to protect the Molalla and Rogue Rivers and Devil's Staircase near the Oregon Coast. Earlier this year Representatives Peter DeFazio (OR) and Jared Huffman (CA) joined Senators Wyden and Merkley in introducing the Southwestern Oregon Watershed and Salmon Protection Act of 2015, which protects the pristine watersheds of Southwestern Oregon from mining activity. 

Kokatat Presents AW's July 2015 Volunteer of the Month!

posted July 6, 2015
by Megan Hooker
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American Whitewater recognizes Don Millard as our July 2015 Volunteer of the Month! Don has been a vital part of maintaining access on the Upper Yough in Friendsville Maryland, helping to maintain a good relationship with the town and keep access fees low. In recognition of Don's contributions, he will receive a custom Kokatat X-Jacket. Thanks Don for all you do!
 
 

Annual Report for 2014 Available

posted July 6, 2015
by Mark Singleton
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American Whitewater released our 2014 Annual Report. At the heart of our organization is our river stewardship program and the understanding that conservation and recreation are mutually dependent. Time spent paddling forms the basis for a conservation ethic that values water in rivers. Paddlers understand that you cannot love what you don’t know. It’s our love of whitewater that makes us fierce defenders of rivers and their flows. This intimate connection to flowing water has made American Whitewater a force in river stewardship for over 60 years. A strong year, like the one we had in 2014, means that American Whitewater will be around for a very long time to represent the interests of the whitewater paddling community.

2015 Clif Bar Flowing Rivers Campaign Grant Deadline Extended

posted July 2, 2015
by Mark Singleton
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American Whitewater is extending the grant application deadline for the Clif Bar Flowing Rivers Campaign to August 1st. Back by popular demand, this program is great way to help your club fund activities that enhance and promote river stewardship and safety. Funding for this program is provided by the Clif Bar partnership with American Whitewater. AW affiliate clubs have the opportunity to apply for one of two $1,250 grants. 

West Rosebud Release This Weekend (MT)!

posted July 2, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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Montana's awesome Class IV/V West Rosebud Creek will be running this weekend thanks to a recreational dam release. These releases are relatively subtle increases in flow that bring the creek into prime paddling levels, and were negotiated by American Whitewater and Beartooth Paddlers. This may be your only chance to paddle West Rosebud this year, so Enjoy!

Punchbowl Falls Funding Secured (OR)

posted July 1, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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A vision more than a century in the making is about to become reality with last week’s decision by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission to approve the grant for the acquisition of Punchbowl Falls and the property at the confluence of the West and East Forks of the Hood River.

Submit Photos for the 2016 AW Calendar This Month!

posted July 1, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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American Whitewater is accepting photos for our 2016 Calendar now through August 1, 2015.  Submitting photos through our online form is simple, and we can't wait to see your best shots.  Thanks to all of our contributors!

Mountains to Sound Greenway Legislation Introduced (WA)

posted June 28, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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Bipartisan legislation was introduced this past week to designate the Mountains to Sound Greenway as a National Heritage Area. Senate legislation was introduced by Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, and House legislation was introduced by Congressmen Dave Reichert and Adam Smith.

King County Survey of Rivers (WA)

posted June 17, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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King County has some great whitewater on the South Fork Skykomish and tributaries like the Tye and Money Creek; forks of the Snoqualmie with great runs like Ernie's, Middle-Middle, and Fall in the Wall; Green River Gorge; Cedar River; and White River. As part of an ongoing effort to guide management of rivers, the King County Water and Land Resources Division is conducting a survey of resident attitudes and perspectives on rivers. We encourage paddlers to fill out this survey.

Camping Now Open on Middle Fork American River

posted June 7, 2015
by Theresa Simsiman
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After a private boater was cited for misdemeanor criminal charges for camping, American Whitewater asked California State Department of Parks and Recreation to reconsider their camping policy on the Middle Fork American River (MFA).  This policy essentially banned private boating camping from July to October to reduce the risk of fire.  In a letter to Superintendent Mike Lynch, Auburn State Recreation Area (ASRA), Dave Steindorf acknowledged the importance of protecting the recreation area from fire risks but did not believe State Park’s intent was to exclude private boaters from enjoying a river camping experience on the MFA.   

AW's Dam Busting Tour

posted June 5, 2015
by Carla Miner
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Be the first to wear this awesome Dam Busting Tour t-shirt depicting deadbeat dams removed by AW and our partners. Purchase your t-shirt NOW in our online store!

AW Gauley River Festival ~ September 18th – 19th ~ Summersville, WV

posted June 4, 2015
by Carla Miner
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Gauley Fest. . .bigger and better every year!

Vendor registration is now open and we encourage you to reserve your space now. Take advantage of the 15% discount on Vendor booths through August 31st. Reserve your booth today and lock in your discounted price!

Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild & Scenic Rivers Act of 2015 Introduced (WA)

posted June 4, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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The Wild Olympics Coalition, which includes American Whitewater, today cheered the introduction of the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act by Senator Patty Murray and Representative Derek Kilmer to permanently protect more than 126,500 acres of Olympic National Forest as wilderness and 19 rivers and their major tributaries, a total of 464 river miles, as Wild and Scenic Rivers.

Bellows Falls (VT) Flow Study Reveals Hidden Whitewater

posted June 2, 2015
by Robert Nasdor
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A hardy group of northeast boaters climbed into the natural river channel below a hydropower dam to participate in a flow study designed to assess whether whitewater flows should be restored to this dewatered river reach on the Connecticut River. While significant obstacles remain, this site has the potential for providing instruction, playboating, and a big water feature that that could be run throughout much of the year and provide a much needed boost to the local economy. 

Support American Whitewater This Summer!

posted June 1, 2015
by Megan Hooker
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Throughout the rest of 2015, American Whitewater will be working hard across the country to protect and restore the rivers that you love, and ensure that everyone can enjoy them safely. We can't do this work without your support, and twice each year, we reach out to you to ask that you become a member, renew your membership or consider making a tax-deductible donation. Curious about what projects you'd be supporting? Check out our 2015 Summer Appeal to learn more!

 

Annual Deerfield Riverfest Planned for July 11th

posted May 29, 2015
by Robert Nasdor
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The 21st Deerfield Riverfest will be held on July 11th in Charlemont (MA). The annual event celebrates whitewater boating on the Deerfield River that resulted from the historic settlement agreement signed by AW, FLOW, AMC and others which provides 106 whitewater release days on the Fife Brook section and 32 releases on the Dryway section of the Deerfield River. The festival is AW's biggest fundraiser in the northeast and supports our stewardship work in the region. See you at the Fest!

Potomac Milk & Honey Fundraiser for AW on June 5th

posted May 28, 2015
by Mark Singleton
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On Friday, June 5th 2015 at 8:30 - 10:30pm join Mark Singleton, Executive Director of American Whitewater, and DC boaters for a fundraiser in support of American Whitewater’s river stewardship program that supports efforts to keep rivers free, clean, and flowing.

Support The New Clean Water Rule Today!

posted May 27, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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Today, the U.S. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers released the new Clean Water Rule. The rule will continue longstanding water quality protections for our nation’s rivers, headwater streams and wetlands. American Whitewater supports the rule, and asks paddlers to take action to support the rule today! 

Colorado River Basin Next Steps: Clear as a Mountain Stream

posted May 18, 2015
by Nathan Fey
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Last week's release of the Colorado River Basin Study "Moving Forward" report prompted some good conversation about next steps, which isn't a moment too soon.

AW believes it's time to move past talk to action in the basin, and especially action on water conservation. Conservation is the cheapest, simplest and most effective way to bridge the large and growing gap between river water supplies and demands.

Bonus feature of conservation: we will still have rivers to run!

Check out our take in the Longmont Times-Call, and listen to an interview with Pacific News Service here.

Cedar River Corridor Plan: Opportunity for Public Input (WA)

posted May 18, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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Please save the date of Monday, June 15th, from 5:30-8:00 PM for a Cedar River Recreation Workshop. King County is developing the Cedar River Corridor Plan to address multiple objectives related to floodplain management and salmon recovery including consideration of impacts and opportunities for recreation in the corridor. Input from paddlers is important.

Take Action: Hydropower Industry Legislation Hearing May 13th

posted May 8, 2015
by Megan Hooker
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On Wednesday, May 13th the House Energy & Commerce Committee will hold a hearing about the draft "Hydropower Regulatory Modernization" Act, which proposes to gut important environmental and public interest protections in the Federal Power Act. These are the very tools that American Whitewater and our partners have used to put water back in rivers across the country that were once completely devastated by the impacts of hydropower. If passed, all of the whitewater and access gains we've made over the last 25+ years could easily become a thing of the past. We encourage everyone to contact their Representatives and make their voices heard.  

Flathead National Forest River Protections Open for Comment (MT)

posted May 8, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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The Flathead National Forest has released the list of streams they propose to protect as “eligible” for Wild and Scenic designation in their forthcoming revised Forest Plan.  Paddlers with opinions on the list are encouraged to send the Forest an email or letter before the May 15, 2015 comment deadline. Your comment could help protect spectacular rivers and streams.  

May/June AW Journal in the Library Now!

posted May 5, 2015
by Carla Miner
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The May/June Issue of the AW Journal features "Fighting for the Colorado River’s Future". 

Current members - Read the issue now!
Not a Current member - Join or Renew!

Hydropower Industry Takes Aim on Rivers

posted May 4, 2015
by Megan Hooker
article photo 2

U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) has released a discussion draft of a bill that is, by far, the most dangerous piece of hydropower legislation for rivers that we've seen in over a decade. The proposed "Hydropower Regulatory Modernization Act of 2015" would take the hydropower industry back to the days that brought about massive hydropower development during the last century, where developers could dam a river, take out all of the flow and barely give a second thought to the fish, wildlife, habitat or the recreation economies that depend on them. 

Join AW for California Rivers Day May 11th!

posted May 4, 2015
by Megan Hooker
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California boaters! Join American Whitewater on Monday, May 11th at the State Capitol in Sacramento for California Rivers Day–an education, outreach, and activism event focusing on rivers. Our rivers need your voices more than ever, as the severe and persistent drought has unleashed an intense push to take us back to the era of big dam building and weaken protections for our waterways. Come help us celebrate and advocate for California's rivers with a pancake breakfast and paddle, river fair, and visits with key decision makers. 

River Stewardship T Shirts Available From FLOAT For a Limited Time

posted May 4, 2015
by Mark Singleton
article photo 2

THIS WEEK ONLY! American Whitewater is thrilled to announce that we have partnered with FLOAT to bring you limited edition river stewardship T shirts available this week only! For every shirt sold FLOAT will donate $8 to American Whitewater to help us restore rivers. Head on over to www.float.org and SHOP today – lots of fun colors to choose from!

Nooksack Recreation Plan Completed (WA)

posted May 4, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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Following a two and a half year process, the  Upper Nooksack River Recreation Plan, has been finalized. This new, comprehensive plan will help guide the management of recreation and natural resources along the upper Nooksack River system in Washington state. The plan recognizes and supports the economic and health benefits of recreation, along with protection and restoration of the natural and cultural values of the upper river basin.

Final Decision released for Green River Diversion Project

posted May 2, 2015
by Nathan Fey
article photo 2

Green River, Utah - The Natural Resources Conservation Service published it's Record of Decision (ROD) on the Green River Diversion Project this week, which serves as the final agency decision on whether Tusher Dam will be reconstructed with Fish and Boat Passage.  Thanks to paddler input, the agency has decided to include a water right and a boat chute to ensure paddlers have safe passage through the dam.

Gauley Fest 2015 - Vendor Registration Open Now!

posted May 1, 2015
by Carla Miner
article photo 2

Vendor registration for the largest whitewater festival in the world, Gauley Fest, is now open! Make sure to register before prices automatically increase 15% on September 1st.

Show Your Support for Protection of Mountains to Sound Greenway (WA)

posted May 1, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 2

Extending from the Seattle waterfront to Ellensburg Washington, the Mountains to Sound Greenway is a 1.5 million acre outdoor recreation paradise. It includes great whitewater runs like the Middle-Middle, Club Stretch, Ernie's Gorge, Fall in the Wall in the Snoqualmie River drainage; Cooper and Cle Elum in the Yakima River drainage; Cedar River Slalom Course; and many more great paddling destinations. Today, we are asking the whitewater paddling community to join in to support the designation of this landscape as a National Heritage Area.

Participate in Our Survey of Oregon Whitewater

posted May 1, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 2

If you boat whitewater rivers in Oregon, American Whitewater wants to hear from you! We're doing a survey to better understand the importance of some of the state's best whitewater runs. The information you provide will be used to support our work to protect, restore and improve access to your favorite rivers in the state.

May 5th is a Great Day to GiveBIG to AW!

posted April 30, 2015
by Megan Hooker
article photo 2

As paddling season kicks into high gear, we hope that you'll consider making a contribution to American Whitewater on GiveBig Day–Tuesday, May 5th! When you contribute to AW through the Seattle Foundation on GiveBIG day, your donation automatically goes further through a stretch pool made possible by generous sponsors. And, no matter how much you contribute, you may win a Golden Ticket that would boost your donation by $1,000! Mark your calendars to GiveBIG on Tuesday, May 5th! 

Merced in Yosemite–Officially Open at Last!!

posted April 27, 2015
by Megan Hooker
article photo 2
On Friday, April 24, 2015, the Merced River in Yosemite National Park was officially reopened to paddlers! Even though the new Wild and Scenic River Plan was finalized a year ago, the actual rules and regulations for the Park were finally updated on Friday. This marks the culmination of seven years of sustained engagement by American Whitewater with the National Park Service and other stakeholders. 
 

New Parking Area Greets Upper Yough Paddlers

posted April 27, 2015
by Charlie Walbridge
article photo 4

May 2nd will be the first Saturday Upper Yough release of the year, and hundreds of white water paddlers will converge on the small town of Friendsville, MD. After $25,000 in paddler-donated seed money and $160,000 in grants raised by the Town the new parking area is complete and awaiting final approval. We hope the parking will be open, but please park on the side of the road if it isn't. Please observe the usual courtesies when in town: don't drink alcohol in public, change clothes or relieve yourself where others can see you, or park in residential areas along the river. And do take time to patronize the businesss in town who are eagerly awaiting your arrival.

Ocoee River (TN) Needs Your Help

posted April 23, 2015
by Mark Singleton
article photo 2

The current agreement for water in the Ocoee River with Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) expires in 2018. A new agreement is needed. TVA is exempt from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s requirements because of its uniques structure as a quasi federal agency. Write your representatives today supporting a legislative solution that would require water for releases.

2015 California Recreational Releases

posted April 23, 2015
by Theresa Simsiman
article photo 5

During dry years like the persistent drought here in California, American Whitewater believes water should be put to good multi-use down our flowing rivers. Thus, most of the agreements that have been negotiated on hydroelectric projects over the past 15 years have conditions that provide for recreational flows even in critically dry years. Paddlers can feel comfortable that water is being put to good multi-use and fortunate that they still have a number of boating opportunities throughout the season. American Whitewater Release Calendar

10th Annual South Platte Clean-up - This Saturday!

posted April 21, 2015
by Nathan Fey
article photo 6

We are excited to announce that AW and Colorado Whitewater are hosting the 10th annual South Platte River Cleanup on Saturday, April 25th in celebration of Earth Day in Denver, Colorado. This is an all-volunteer event to pick up trash along Denver's South Platte River.  UPDATE: Due to ongoing construction at Johnson Habitat Park, the put-in and registration for Section 2 of the South Platte River Clean-up has been moved to the intersection of South Platte River Dr. and Alameda Avenue.

Cheat Festival (WV) Coming May 2nd

posted April 14, 2015
by Charlie Walbridge
article photo 3

Friends of the Cheat, a long time partner of American Whitewater, will put on the 21st Annual CheatFest on Saturday May 2nd. It's an all day event with races, kid's events, great music, and of course, whitewater! FOC works tirelessly to improve water quality in the Cheat River Watershed and was a key player in the recent protection of the Cheat Canyon. They currently maintain three river access areas on the Cheat and Big Sandy Rivers which they built with help from AW.

Department of Energy - Still Aiming to Dam Every River?

posted April 13, 2015
by Megan Hooker
article photo 2
Last month Politico reported that top Department of Energy officials continue to push their ambitious goal to double hydropower production in the U.S. by 2030. Hydropower companies have taken note since the DOE first announced its goal last year, and they continue to gear up to help. American Whitewater is deeply concerned to see that this goal continues to be promoted as a viable possibility. With less than 2% of our rivers in the lower 48 left relatively undeveloped, the Department of Energy’s vision to dam every possible river to double hydropower production is not one that we can afford to see. 

Sultan River Whitewater Opportunities to Begin (WA)

posted April 1, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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On Saturday April 25th, Snohomish PUD will be providing a whitewater recreational opportunity on the Upper Sultan River. This class IV gorge is a great piece of whitewater in a spectacular setting. If you wish to check it out, be sure to sign up with Snohomish PUD.

AW's April Volunteer of the Month–Presented by Kokatat!

posted April 1, 2015
by Megan Hooker
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American Whitewater recognizes John Simpkin as our April 2015 Volunteer of the Month! As a California Regional Coordinator for American Whitewater, he represents us at monthly meetings on the PG&E Mokelumne Hydroelectric Project, and has advocated for the removal of illegal fences that block access to the Consumnes River. In recognition of all John does for American Whitewater in California, he will receive a custom Kokatat X-Jacket.
 

Space Still Available on AW Colorado Yampa River Trip with OARS!

posted March 31, 2015
by Mark Singleton
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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.

Tallulah Spring Releases 2015 (GA)

posted March 31, 2015
by Mark Singleton
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The first two weekends in April mark classic boating in the southeast with releases on the Tallulah River. The river flows through Tallulah Gorge State Park, the Park has specific regulations for visitors.

2015 French Broad River Festival (NC)

posted March 31, 2015
by Mark Singleton
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Join American Whitewater at the French Broad River Festival May 1 - 3. Each year the festival features a host of awesome musical acts, art, food, vendors, and raft race. Proceeds from the event support American Whitewater river stewardship projects.

New Mexico: Threats To The Gila River And To Public Stream Access

posted March 30, 2015
by Nathan Fey
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AW and the Adobe Whitewater Club are working hard to derail two very troubling bills in the New Mexico legislature that are proposing to eliminate navigability of the states rivers, while also continuing to fight a devastating Gila River diversion. You can help!

2015 Northeast Whitewater Release Schedule Set

posted March 27, 2015
by Robert Nasdor
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Northeast boaters are celebrating the end of a long, cold and snowy winter and are making boating plans for the year. Here is the 2015 Northeast Release Schedule

Deerfield River (MA) Hydro Relicensing: Building on Past Success

posted March 24, 2015
by Robert Nasdor
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Twenty years after reaching a historic settlement agreement on the Deerfield River hydropower relicensing that has transformed northeast paddling opportunities, we began another relicensing process this spring that will likely result in improvement in flows, access and facilities for boaters in the region.

Bill to Promote Access at Bridges Awaits Action in House (WA)

posted March 24, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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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 bill has passed the Senate unanimously and is now before the House Transportation Committee. The most helpful action members can take now is to reach out to members on the Transportation Committee.

Opening Day On the South Fork American - April 4th

posted March 23, 2015
by Theresa Simsiman
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American Whitewater invites paddlers to come out on Saturday, April 4th for the 3rd Annual Opening Day of the South Fork American River Celebration organized by California Canoe & Kayak and Jackson Kayak. This event is a benefit for American Whitewater (AW) and to help an injured River Champion, Bob Center!

North Fork Skykomish Road Repairs Continue to be Delayed (WA)

posted March 19, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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As another spring boating season approaches many of our members have inquired about the current status of the Index-Galena road that provides access to the North Fork Skykomish River. We need paddlers to weigh in with the Federal Highway Administration and Washington State Department of Transportation to get this project back on track. 

Tuolumne River (CA) Paddle to Sea 2015

posted March 19, 2015
by Megan Hooker
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Paddle to the Sea is the Tuolumne River Trust's annual paddle-a-thon to protect the Tuolumne River and raise funds and awareness for river stewardship. Sign yourself or your team up for a fun one-day paddle in May or June on the Tuolumne or American River, or challenge yourself to go the distance from the Sierra to the Sea! All funds raised support the Tuolumne River Trust's work to recover from the 2013 Rim Fire, educate the community about water conservation and efficiency, and restore the watershed.
 

Help American Whitewater Win $5,000!

posted February 26, 2015
by Megan Hooker
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American Whitewater was hand-picked as one of ten of Moosejaw and Patagonia's favorite charities and now we're part of the Moosejaw X Patagonia $10,000 Charity Challenge Thing! That means that we have the chance to win $5,000 for protecting, restoring and accessing rivers across the country, and we need your help to get there! We win the prize if we secure the highest donation amount by March 13th. In addition to earning some awesome river-karma, if you donate at least $25 to American Whitewater, you'll automatically be entered to win a $500 shopping spree at Patagonia! 

Join American Whitewater On A Trip Down Colorado’s Yampa River!

posted February 20, 2015
by Nathan Fey
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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.

Colorado’s Yampa River Named World’s 10th Most Threatened Paddling Run

posted February 19, 2015
by Nathan Fey
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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.

President Obama Designates Browns Canyon National Monument - Colorado

posted February 18, 2015
by Nathan Fey
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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!

Yellowstone Paddling Legislation Reintroduced with NPS Input

posted February 17, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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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. 

State Clears Way for New Catawba River Dam License & Releases (NC/SC)

posted February 16, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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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.

Action Alert: Help protect the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook (CT)

posted February 12, 2015
by Robert Nasdor
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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 Gorge. 

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.

Upper Yough (MD) Update

posted February 12, 2015
by Mark Singleton
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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. 

Low River Flows are a top concern of Western Voters

posted February 11, 2015
by Nathan Fey
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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.

Coming Right Up - 2015 National Paddling Film Festival (KY)

posted February 10, 2015
by Mark Singleton
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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.

2015 National Paddling Film Festival (KY)

posted February 10, 2015
by Mark Singleton
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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.

AWs Volunteer of the Month - Presented by Kokatat

posted February 2, 2015
by Nathan Fey
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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.

2015 Member Rewards Announced

posted February 2, 2015
by Mark Singleton
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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.

2015 Class IV/V Releases Set For Southeast

posted February 2, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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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.

AW Appeal Protects Two Montana Rivers, Others Left At Risk

posted January 30, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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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.  

TAKE ACTION! Clean Water Protection Rule Under Threat

posted January 30, 2015
by Megan Hooker
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The proposed Clean Water Protection Rule is under attack, and your voices are needed today to protect clean water! Today, over 60% of streams and millions of acres of wetlands are vulnerable to pollution. These are the streams we paddle, and they also supply drinking water to one in three Americans. The proposed rule affirms protections for these streams. Please take action for clean water today!

Agency’s new Flow Rule threatens Spokane River (WA)

posted January 27, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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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.

AW and NPS Co-Host Access Meetings in Harpers Ferry (WV/MD/VA)

posted January 26, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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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.  

Bill Restricting Access to Washington's Rivers Introduced

posted January 24, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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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.

Common Sense on the Colorado River

posted January 23, 2015
by Nathan Fey
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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:

Opportunity to Determine Future of Punch Bowl Falls on the Hood River (OR)

posted January 22, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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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.

Colorado's Windy Gap Firming Project: Troubling Trend?

posted January 22, 2015
by Nathan Fey
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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