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Devils Postpile Will Be Included in Wild and Scenic Inventory!

Posted: 02/21/2019
by Theresa Simsiman

Good news from California! After the Inyo National Forest Plan Revision Objection Resolution meeting yesterday in Bishop California, the Deputy Regional Forester and the Inyo Forest Supervisor announced that they will add the segments of the Middle Fork San Joaquin that are on Inyo Forest land (11.5 miles) to the inventory of eligible wild and scenic rivers for the revised Inyo Forest Plan.  They will also add whitewater boating as an outstandingly remarkable value (ORV).  Specifically, the sections of the Middle Fork San Joaquin within the Inyo National Forest from Soda Springs footbridge to the confluence with the North Fork San Joaquin.

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Action Alert! Support Protection of Access to Public Waterways in Oregon

Posted: 02/21/2019
by Priscilla Macy

Oregon is a state renowned for its plentiful water supplies and outstanding recreation opportunities on its public waterways. The abundance of outstanding river resources is a reason why people continue to live, work, recreate, and travel to the state.  Protecting rivers and access to them is important to conservation and recreation, as it ties to strong local economies and community health. Right now there is a bill in the Oregon House that will improve and protect our access to rivers across the state. If the ability to access and safely navigate rivers in Oregon is important to you, please take a moment and use our easy action form and contact your Oregeon State representative in support of this new legislation. 

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Nathan Fey Departs as Colorado Stewardship Director

Posted: 02/13/2019
by Kevin Colburn

It was announced today that Nathan Fey, our Colorado Stewardship Director, will be leaving his role at American Whitewater to accept a new position as the Deputy Director of the Colorado Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry. That the state of Colorado would select someone from our Team speaks volumes about the program Nathan put on the ground for American Whitewater, and the legacy he has created for our community in Colorado and the Southern Rockies. Nathan and the Colorado boating community have made a huge impact in preserving and protecting flows for the future. We wish Nathan all the best in his future adventures, and trust that he will continue to make a lasting impact on the health of Colorado's rivers and recreation economy.

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Southern Rockies Stewardship Director Job Opening

Posted: 02/13/2019
by Kevin Colburn

American Whitewater is hiring a new Southern Rockies Stewardship Director, following the announcement of the previous director moving on to a new role with the State of Colorado. The Director represents American Whitewater in strategically selected regional river conservation and access issues. These issues include water supply and demand management, public land and river management, community planning / river access, and policy issues that affect the region

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Action Alert! Devil's Postpile of the San Joaquin River

Posted: 02/12/2019
by Evan Stafford

Calling all paddlers who've paddled or aspire to paddle the Devil's Postpile, and who could provide comments for the incredible nature of this section of the Middle Fork San Joaquin River. Comments are needed ASAP and are due on February 15th. Currently, American Whitewater is working with the Forest Service on the Inyo Forest Management Plan Revision. We are working both to ensure the Devil’s Postpile remains included in the inventory of Wild & Scenic eligible rivers and that whitewater boating on this reach is added as an outstandingly remarkable value.

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Senate advances Wild and Scenic Rivers in a New Public Lands Package!

Posted: 02/12/2019
by Evan Stafford

U.S. Senate Passes Public Lands Package, sending it to the House for further action! Your voice right now will go a long way towards encouraging your lawmakers in the House to follow through on this commitment and securing meaningful protections for our iconic landscapes. And it's super easy using AWs easy action templated forms. A personalized touch will make sure your representatives take your comments seriously and the forms only take a moment to update with an individualized comment about your connection to a place that’s up for protection, or your general love for wild rivers and the recreation opportunities they provide.  

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Green River Appeal Heads to the VT Supreme Court

Posted: 02/12/2019
by Robert Nasdor

American Whitewater is heading to the Vermont Supreme Court next month in its ongoing work to protect whitewater boating on the Green River. Following our big win in the Superior Court, Environmental Division in which the court overturned the state prohibition of scheduled releases on the Green, the state appealed to the Vermont Supreme Court. We filed our Supreme Court brief and oral argument is scheduled for March 12th at the Vermont Law School in South Royalton. American Whitewater has been involved with the Green since before the 2011 whitewater boating study on behalf of our affiliate Vermont Paddlers Club.
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A Wild and Scenic Coalition is Born

Posted: 02/11/2019
by Kevin Colburn

In 2018, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Wild and Scenic River System. In the wake of the impressive anniversary successes, however, one might ask, “So, now what?” Luckily, the rivers community asked that question some time ago. As with conservation innovations of the past, a group of river advocates and concerned citizens united to ensure that the rivers anniversary wasn’t simply a one-time party. And so, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Coalition was born at River Rally 2018 from the power of the unprecedented national-level cooperation undertaken during the anniversary. American Whitewater has been a leading proponent of forming a Wild and Scenic River Coalition for the past several years and we have long worked nationally with a group of partner organizations on Wild and Scenic issues. We are now thrilled be a founding and active member of this new coalition that has a bright future.

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New American Whitewater Website Update

Posted: 01/30/2019
by Evan Stafford

Here at American Whitewater we are rapidly fixing bugs and enhancing the user experience on our newly redesigned website, which we launched late last week. We launched our site under a hard deadline based on the outstanding financial support we received for this project from the US Coast Guard, and we appreciate our community’s patience and constructive comments as we hone the new site. We had a modest budget for this project, but luckily we also had a very talented, very small and dedicated programming and design team, and lots of volunteers who stepped up to help get it done. We encourage you to be a part of that history by dropping in on the site and constructively reporting what you find. Before you return feedback you can check here to make sure it’s not an issue we’re already addressing. We’ll keep this article updated over the coming weeks so the community can track our progress.
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Welcome to the New National Whitewater Inventory!

Posted: 01/25/2019
by Kevin Colburn

American Whitewater has worked with an outstanding team of website designers and programmers over the past two years to redesign our National Whitewater Inventory (NWI). The NWI provides high quality information for a growing list of 5,760 whitewater river reaches across the United States. Each year this online guide helps almost 1,000,000 paddlers avoid hazards and match their skill level to the right rivers at the right flows. Like a Wikipedia of whitewater rivers, the Inventory is a dynamic crowd-sourced collection of river descriptions, locations, hazards, photos, and flow recommendations organized by a powerful database. This project was funded by a generous grant from the US Coast Guard, based on the NWI’s vital river safety value. We are actively fixing bugs and enhancing the user experience of the new design, so expect improved performance in the coming weeks. 

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Comments Needed on DOI Changes to Freedom of Information Act Requests!

Posted: 01/23/2019
by Evan Stafford

On December 28, 2018 the Department of the Interior (DOI) proposed a rule that would change the way Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) records requests are handled by the DOI. American Whitewater uses FOIA requests in a number of ways to work on stewardship issues for rivers on public lands across the country. Knowing the history of policies and how management decisions have been formed are critical to our advocacy and FOIA requests at times are the only ways to access this information. The Interior’s proposed changes have the potential to greatly affect American Whitewater’s requests for records from the DOI in a negative way, leading to less requests being filled and less transparency overall at this vital public lands agency. These are proposed rule changes and therefore the public has an opportunity to comment, however the comment period ends very soon! Comments must be submitted by January 28, 2019. To submit a comment please use this regulations.gov portalWe’ve provided a template in the following article. 

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Clackamas River flow information survey

Posted: 01/22/2019
by Thomas O'Keefe

As a part of Portland General Electric’s (PGE) license for its hydroelectric project along the Clackamas River, PGE follows a Recreation Resource Management Plan that directs the Company towards recreation projects along the Clackamas. PGE is currently seeking feedback from the whitewater community on the flow resources along the Upper Clackamas River through a short 8 question online survey.

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Dates Scheduled for First New River Dries Releases (WV)

Posted: 01/22/2019
by Kevin Colburn

Last week, the first ever pulse flow releases were scheduled on the New River Dries, located near Gauley Bridge, WV. These releases were designed to support intermediate level whitewater paddling and to restore natural flow variability to a river reach that has been largely dewatered by the Hawks Nest Hydropower Project for generations. The releases are a requirement of the new 47-year federal dam license issued in late 2017. The releases will occur in March, June, July, and possibly August of this and future years. American Whitewater played a lead role in negotiating these releases.

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Weber River Agreement Calls For New Flows & Access (UT)

Posted: 01/18/2019
by Kevin Colburn

American Whitewater has spent the past three years participating in the relicensing of a hydropower dam on Utah's Weber River that dewaters a stretch of whitewater known as the Scrambled Eggs run. Last year, we reached an agreement with all parties calling for improved take-out access, as well as four pulse flow releases each year that will support whitewater paddling and the river's ecology. This agreement is core to the dam owner's 2018 federal dam license application, which we recently supported in formal comments. 

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National Paddling Film Festival accepting submissions

Posted: 01/18/2019
by Bethany Overfield

The National Paddling Film Festival  is rapidly approaching! The fine folks who run NPFF are currently accepting films and still images. Entries are free and categories include amateur, accomplished, and professional. You still have time to enter, details below.

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AW Russell Fork Survey Results Shared (KY/VA)

Posted: 01/14/2019
by Kevin Colburn

Last fall a diverse range of agencies and organizations expressed interest in enhancing the dam releases on the Russell Fork River, located on the border of Kentucky and Virginia. American Whitewater worked with local partners to craft a survey to inform the decision-making process and support releases that maximize benefits for paddlers and local businesses. We are pleased to share the full results of the survey, which were appreciated by the river managers. 

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Flathead River Tributaries Get Protection for Christmas (MT)

Posted: 01/11/2019
by Kevin Colburn

Wild rivers and their enthusiasts got some good news with the release of the new 15-20 year Forest plan for the Flathead National Forest. The decision newly protects 22 streams as eligible for Wild and Scenic designation, based in large part on the advocacy of American Whitewater and our awesome partners and members in Montana. These protections will serve as a vital steppingstone to the designation of some of our Nation’s most outstanding headwater streams. 

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AW Journal - The January/February Issue Online Now!

Posted: 01/09/2019
by Bethany Overfield

The January/February issue of the AW Journal is available in the "Library". This issue includes 'The Top Ten River Stewardship Issues of 2019’.  Read the issue now online or download your copy.

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

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Upper Yough Access Fundraiser a Big Success

Posted: 01/07/2019
by Charlie Walbridge

Tonight American Whitewater presented the Town of Friendsville, Maryland with a $5000 check towards the extension of the Upper Yough Access Parking Area. This, combined with a $1000 donation from Keelhaulers Canoe Club, made a strong statement of how much paddlers value the river and the town! Under the leadership of Mayor Spencer Schlosnagle and long time paddler and Friendsville resident Jess Whittemore the town raised $7 in additional funding for every dollar paddlers donated - just like they did on the initial construction! This makes these gifts a great value for the whitewater community. A big shout out and thank you to ALL who donated!

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Flow Survey Announced For Rio Grande And Conejos Rivers (CO)

Posted: 01/07/2019
by Evan Stafford

Alamosa, Colorado - American Whitewater needs your help to define streamflows that support the full range of recreational boating opportunities on the Rio Grande and Conejos Rivers in Southern Colorado. Information provided by you will help set goals for flows and physical conditions to protect and enhance streams, and inform multi-objective projects to improve ecological, recreational, and community values. Please participate in our survey today!