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Relicensing of Montreal River Hydropower Projects Begins (WI)

05/30/2020 - by Thomas O'Keefe

In December 2019 Northern States Power submitted their Notice of Intent and Preliminary Application Document to relicense both the Saxon Falls and Superior Falls Hydroelectric Projects. These two projects regulate flows on the West Branch Montreal and Montreal Canyon. Both of these runs are enjoyed by paddlers from across the Midwest and offer opportunities that are unique to the region. American Whitewater will be filing formal comments and a study request within the next week requesting an evaluation of flow needs for whitewater boating and adequacy of accommodations for public access to the river. Paddlers in the region who know the river can help by filing personal comments.

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Cuyahoga River to serve as course for whitewater race on April 22

04/11/2017 - by Mark Singleton

Cuyahoga River to serve as course for whitewater race in downtown Cuyahoga Falls for the 2nd Annual Cuyahoga Falls Kayak Race on Saturday, April 22, at 1 p.m. The race will be held on the section of the Cuyahoga River Upper Gorge, which runs through downtown Cuyahoga Falls alongside the Sheraton Suites and currently terminates in the dam pool above the Gorge Dam in the Summit Metro Parks Gorge Metro Park. The scenic, urban setting provides both spectators and racers alike with spectacular views of the river. In addition, the location offers all the amenities of an urban river, including lodging, restaurants and outdoor supply stores within minutes of the race course.

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Help Preserve the Yellow Dog (MI)

03/03/2016 - by Thomas O'Keefe

Every spring paddlers in the Midwest make their annual pilgrimage to enjoy a few weeks of great whitewater on the creeks that flow into Lake Superior. One of these creeks is the Yellow Dog in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve is working to purchase private forest land along the river and make it a Community Forest. The goal is within reach and the paddling community can make a critical contribution.

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Grandfather Falls Licensing About to Get Underway (WI)

12/06/2012 - by Thomas O'Keefe

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has recently announced the commencement of relicensing proceedings for the Tomahawk and Grandfather Falls Hydroelectric Projects in Wisconsin. We are pleased to report that FERC has identified whitewater recreation as one of the issues requiring study and analysis and has proposed a whitewater flow study. Paddlers have the opportunity to attend next week's public meeting and file written comments.

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Requirements to Provide Whitewater Recreation Upheld for Fox River (WI)

10/22/2011 - by Thomas O'Keefe

In an important affirmation of the value of whitewater recreation at federally-licensed hydropower projects, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ruled that licensee's have a responsibility to provide recreational opportunities in accordance with area needs. The fact that risk may be involved in such activities as whitewater boating does not obviate a licensee’s responsibility to provide these opportunities.

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Federal Regulators Issue New License for Fox River (WI)

05/25/2011 - by Thomas O'Keefe

Last week the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a new license to the City of Kaukuna for the Badger-Rapide Croche Hydroelectric Project (P-2677). We are pleased to report that they recognized whitewater recreation as a legitimate use of the Fox River and incorporated our recommendations in the new license.

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American Whitewater Applauds Administration's New Focus on Rivers

02/16/2011 - by Kevin Colburn

The Obama Administration issued a report on America's Great Outdoors earlier today that lists river recreation as among the top ten priorities of a new federal action plan for reconnecting people with nature through human-powered outdoor recreation. The report summarizes the results of listening sessions held around the country last summer and fall as the Obama administration sought public input on its action plan for America's Great Outdoors initiative. The report reflects the robust participation of the whitewater paddling community for heeding the call and standing up at the listening sessions to be the voice of rivers

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Access to Vermilion River Planned For 2011 (IL)

12/06/2010 - by Kevin Colburn

In late November the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced an agreement that will allow a treasured whitewater reach of the Vermilion River to be re-opened for public recreation.  The agreement will also lead to safety modifications to the dam and to signs aimed at significantly enhancing river safety, hopefully in time for the 2011 paddling season. 

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Gresham Municipal Utilities Initiates Licensing Process for Red River Dams (WI)

08/16/2010 - by Thomas O'Keefe

Over the past few months Gresham Municipal Utilities has been gearing up to relicense their hydroelectric projects on the Red River. As paddlers know operation of the Weed Dam impacts flows on the Red River.  American Whitewater can provide technical assistance on the project but we are seeking a local volunteer or group of volunteers willing to invest some time in this process over the next few years.

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Discount on Patagonia Gear from Benchmark Outfitters

04/21/2010 - by Jeffrey Paine

The folks over at Benchmark Outfitters made a recent donation of $400 to American Whitewater. In addition to this, they're also offering up a coupon to help you save a few bucks off of Patagonia gear, cool. Check it out.

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Fox River (WI) Flow Survey

03/17/2010 - by Thomas O'Keefe

We are continuing efforts to collect information on flow preferences for whitewater recreation on the Fox River. If you get out on the river please help us gain a better understanding of instream flow needs by filling out the survey today.

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Vermillion River Access Issue Continues (IL)

01/11/2010 - by Kevin Colburn

A recent private closure of the Vermillion River in Illinois has paddlers and political representatives urgently seeking solutions.  It appears that several good solutions exist, and we encourage Illinois paddlers to offer their support and encouragement for opening the river. 

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Survey of Instream Flow Needs for Recreation on the Fox River

04/11/2009 - by Thomas O'Keefe

Currently Kaukauna Utilities is applying for a new license to increase capacity at the Badger Rapide Croche Hydroelectric Project. We are working with the National Park Service Hydropower Assistance Program to conduct a survey of instream flow needs for recreation. If you boat the Fox River you can help by taking the survey today.

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FERC Approves First River-Powered Hydrokinetic Project

12/16/2008 - by Kevin Colburn

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the first installation of a hydrokinetic device at an existing FERC-licensed hydroelectric project, to be located on the Mississippi River.  AW is supportive of testing new hydrokinetic "damless hydropower" technology and we are working to assure that the technology will be responsibly sited and operated only in cases in which the environment and public uses will be protected.

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AW Secures Flow Information for Fox River, WI

12/06/2008 - by Thomas O'Keefe

At the request of American Whitewater and with some help from FERC, Kaukauna Utilities now publishes information on instream flows in the reach of the Fox River bypassed by their hydroelectric project on the Fox River. This should allow us to begin an evaluation of impacts of a proposal to expand capacity of the project and divert additional water from the river.

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Illinois proposed "Exclusion Zones" threaten boating

09/16/2008 - by Kevin Colburn

The state of Illinois has proposed a new dam safety law.  The proposed law includes the establishment of a 300 ft upstream and 50 ft downstream exclusion zone around “dams” identified by the law as a threat to boaters. The law would prevent portage at many dams, effectively preventing public recreation.  It would also senselessly end use at at least one popular whitewater feature.

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AW files comments on Fox River Hydro Project

03/06/2008 - by Thomas O'Keefe

Kaukauna Utilties is applying for a new hydropower license to reconstruct and modernize the Badger Rapide Croche Hydroelectric Project. The river channel bypassed by the project is utiliized for whitewater recreation. AW recently filed comments on this project and we encourage those who have an interest in this project to file comments directly with FERC.

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Flow Study Completed for West Branch Montreal

10/31/2007 - by Thomas O'Keefe

Dam operations on the West Branch Montreal could allow for scheduled whitewater releases enhancing paddling opportunities in the Lake Superior area. To explore this possibility an internet flow survey was conducted between the spring of 2006 and 2007. Results of the survey provided information on optimal flows for whitewater recreation and we are excited to share our final report.

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FERC pulls the plug on Cuyahoga (OH)

06/18/2007 - by Thomas O'Keefe

In a letter dated June 14th, 2007, FERC officially pulled the plug on the proposed hydropower project on an old outdated dam on the Cuyahoga River.

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Dayton, Riverscape River Park Public Input Meeting

03/23/2006 - by Craig Plocica

The proposed RiverScape River Park in Dayton, OH is currently in a feasibility study and the McLaughlin Group will be seeking public input on March 30.  We encourage anyone interested not only in paddling but in outdoor recreation and/or downtown revitalization to attend.

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