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Protect Idaho Rivers Through Your Summer Adventures

posted May 9, 2018
by Kevin Colburn
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Paddle for a cause this summer in beautiful central Idaho! The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest will determine which streams to protect for potential Wild and Scenic designation through their forest plan over the coming year. Many of the streams under consideration are exceptional in part because they are remote and hard to access. That is where you come in. The Forest Service, the public, and politicians need to receive compelling photos, videos, and personal stories featuring these streams. If you are planning a trip into the wilds of Idaho this summer, you can help protect some amazing streams by sharing your experiences. 

2018 Colorado Whitewater Events

posted April 2, 2018
by Kestrel Kunz
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It's that time of year folks! Colorado Event Season is soon upon us. Whether you've been training all winter in preparation or whether you just enjoy a good show and boating with your friends, these classic Colorado river events are not to miss! 

In addition to the many whitewater festivals that American Whitewater partners with in Colorado, we are excited to announce that AW is hosting Gore Fest again this year! We hope to see you at Rancho Del Rio on August 24 - 26. Stay tuned for more details on race registration, entertainment, and volunteer opportunities.

Support Wild and Scenic Protections in Idaho

posted March 13, 2018
by Kevin Colburn
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The Salmon-Challis National Forest has produced a draft Wild and Scenic River Eligibility Report as part of their forest plan revision process. The public can comment on the eligibility report in support of the Forest Service protecting a suite of streams as "eligible" for future Wild and Scenic designation. This week, American Whitewater submitted our own comments, and we encourage paddlers to explore the Forest Service's proposed river protections and send in a comment.

Forest Service Considers Shrinking List of Protected Rivers (ID)

posted January 10, 2018
by Kevin Colburn
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The Nez Perce and Clearwater National Forests encompass some of the best paddling and salmon habitat in the United States including the Lochsa, Selway, and Clearwater rivers. The Forest Service is updating their management plan which must include an updated roster of streams they will protect as eligible for Wild and Scenic designation. They tentatively propose to grow the list from 29 to 89 rivers which is a well-reasoned decision. Unfortunately they propose to significantly cull that list in the coming months based on political and public feedback through a misapplied process they call "suitability." Public meetings and comment periods offer river enthusiasts to speak up for these incredible rivers.

It's Permit Season!

posted December 28, 2017
by Thomas O'Keefe
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If you haven't started already it's time to start planning for that big multi-day trip you've been wanting to do. American Whitewater's permit database can help you find the information you need.

Congressman Gianforte Introduces East Rosebud Wild & Scenic Bill (MT)

posted December 14, 2017
by Kevin Colburn
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Earlier today Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte introduced legislation to designate Montana’s East Rosebud Creek as a Wild and Scenic River! The bill matches bipartisan legislation introduced earlier this year by Montana Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines. As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 2018, this popular bill is now well positioned for passage if the Montana delegation can shepherd it through Congress. We’d like to thank the delegation for championing this bill!

TAKE ACTION: Comment on the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area Management Plan

posted November 1, 2017
by Kestrel Kunz
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ARKANSAS RIVER, Colo. - The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) is revising their Management Plan for the first time since 2001. The new Draft Plan was made publicly available in October and the AHRA is accepting public comments through November 10, 2017 (next week!). In order to design effective and productive comments, American Whitewater has thoroughly reviewed the Draft Plan, discussed the Plan with our local Affiliate Clubs, attended AHRA Public Open Houses, and reached out to key members of the local paddling community. To make it easy for you to SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS, American Whitewater staff have compiled our key concerns and comments for your review. 

Colorado Honors the legacy of Matt Brown

posted October 30, 2017
by Nathan Fey
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Gunnison, Colorado - Last Wednesday, Matt Brown - longtime river guide, adventurer, and pillar of the Gunnison Valley community- passed away tragically after an accident in Moab. Matt was so much to so many.  At the request of his family and friends, contributions in Matt's memory can be made to American Whitewater’s River Access work in Colorado.  Matt was a strong ally and advisor in our work to protect the public’s rights to float and fish in the State.  We miss him immensely.

Dam Removal on Sullivan Creek Begins Next Week! (WA)

posted September 6, 2017
by Kevin Colburn
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Excavators are in place at Mill Pond Dam on Northeastern Washington's Sullivan Creek, poised to begin chipping away at the 50-foot tall dam on Tuesday, September 12th, 2017. Removing the concrete dam, and an older log-crib dam under the reservoir is expected to take a couple months. American Whitewater played a significant role in negotiating this dam removal, and we are excited to watch the progress this fall.

Comments needed on Upper Colorado River Recreation Area Management Plan

posted August 28, 2017
by Nathan Fey
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Kremmling, Colorado - The Bureau of Land Management has released for public review and comment a set of preliminary alternatives for managing about 40 miles of the Upper Colorado River between Parshall and State Bridge - including Gore Canyon and Pumphouse. This is your chance to weigh in on whether there should be a day-use permit;  a camping permit with designated campsites in the popular stretch between Pumphouse and State Bridge; and expanding the developed Pumphouse Campground.

Gore Fest 2017 is a few weeks away!

posted August 9, 2017
by Nathan Fey
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Bond, Colorado - American Whitewater is presenting Gore Canyon Festival - August 25-27th 2017Online registration is open and there are events for everyone, so sign up today! 

Montana National Forest Proposes New River Protections

posted July 31, 2017
by Kevin Colburn
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The Custer-Gallatin National Forest has proposed new protections for 18 outstanding streams in Montana through their forest planning process. The Forests propose to manage these streams as “eligible” for Wild and Scenic designation, along with 12 other rivers and streams previously determined to be eligible. The Forests’ analysis is solid in our view and merits appreciation from paddlers, though there is room for a bit of improvement. They are accepting comments through August 12, 2017.

Submit Your Best Photos for the AW Calendar by August 6th

posted July 21, 2017
by Kevin Colburn
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The time is here for you to submit your favorite river photos for the 2018 AW Calendar! You have until August 6th, 2017 to upload your best photos. We look forward to reviewing all kinds of great photos this year from across the United States, and will be giving special consideration of shots of Wild and Scenic Rivers since 2018 is the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. If your photo is selected you'll get a free calendar, credit, fame, and you'll be supporting American Whitewater! Thanks from all of us at AW. 

Save The Date: Wild West River Fest (WY)

posted July 3, 2017
by Kestrel Kunz
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Cody, Wyoming - This August 19 & 20 the Wild West Paddle Club is hosting the 2017 Wild West River Fest in Cody, Wyoming. In celebration of the beautiful Shoshone River, the Fest has events for everyone - Slalom Race, Class II Sprint, Shoshone Canyon Boater Cross, and many other fun activities for the whole family! Weekend festivities are free to the public, with the exception of race registration fees for competitors. You can find a full schedule here and all competitors need to register online in advance.  

West Rosebud Releases On the Horizon

posted June 19, 2017
by Kevin Colburn
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The Mystic Lake Dam began spilling yesterday which means we are entering the timeframe when whitewater releases are possible. The Mystic Lake Hydroelectric Project historically eliminated many natural paddling opportunities. American Whitewater and Beartooth Paddlers Society negotiated releases that bump up flows on weekends when flows are otherwise just below good paddling levels.

A Successful River Cleanup on the St. Vrain (Lyons, CO)

posted June 7, 2017
by Kestrel Kunz
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On Sunday, nearly 50 people gathered on the banks of the St. Vrain River to pick up trash from the water and the shoreline. We started the day off with Hotbox Roasters coffee and donuts, and a few words about River Stewardship – the common cause that brought us all together. We found bedframes, rusty nails, lawn chairs, car doors, plastic water bottles, candy wrappers, fast food containers, and it doesn’t stop there. Our findings are likely a combination of leftover debris from the floods, illegal waste dumping along the river, and built up trash from years of careless passers-by. Thank you to all those that came out for the river cleanup! American Whitewater depends on our affiliate clubs, members, and dedicated volunteers in order to tackle our many River Stewardship projects.  

SAVE THE DATE! Join AW for a river cleanup on the St. Vrain, June 4 - Lyons, CO

posted May 4, 2017
by Kestrel Kunz
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Come one, come all! American Whitewater has teamed up with the CAN'd Aid Foundation and Avid4 Adventure to host a river float and cleanup along the St. Vrain during the 2017 Lyons Outdoor Games festival in Lyons, Colorado. Register online to volunteer @ http://bit.ly/2oQNcBvJoin us at Bohn Park at 9:30am for Hotbox Roasters coffee, donuts, and registration. After the cleanup, we'll head to Oskar Blues Grill & Brew for some brews and apps on the patio. Each volunteer will receive one FREE Oskar Blues Brewery core beer. See you there! 

 

Help Keep Invasive Species From Threatening Rivers and Access

posted April 18, 2017
by Kevin Colburn
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The spread of invasive aquatic plants and animals is an emerging threat on our rivers. To protect rivers from invasive species, and to avoid closures and limits, paddlers should make every effort to avoid transporting invasive species from one river to another. In this article we offer a friendly reminder to Clean, Drain, and Dry your boat and gear between rivers, and a cautionary tale from our nation's headwaters in Montana.

Green River Boat Passage Officially Open! - UT

posted April 6, 2017
by Kestrel Kunz
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American Whitewater staff traveled to Green River, UT in late March to meet with private water users and state agencies, and to participate in the official opening of the new boat passage through the Green River Diversion (Tusher Dam). Completion of the boat passage has freed the Green River from its last in-stream obstruction between the Flaming Gorge Dam and the confluence with the Colorado River – over 400 floatable river miles through iconic canyons and historic landmarks. It has a been a long process, and our work isn’t over yet! As your boating representative, American Whitewater will continue to work closely with the dam operators and Utah’s Division of State Lands (FFSL) to ensure that the boat passage meets the needs of the public during its inaugural year.

Bear River Runs as Idaho Flows Boom

posted March 17, 2017
by Kevin Colburn
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March is the new June in Idaho, and early snowmelt has river flows booming. The dam that normally diverts almost all the water from the Black Canyon of the Bear River has begun to spill and boatable flows are likely for for the next couple weeks. Flows are likely to reach or exceed 1,500cfs which means a rare chance to experience the Bear at big Class V flows.

Releases in Idaho's Milner Mile Likely This Spring

posted March 10, 2017
by Kevin Colburn
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Idaho Power announced today that "flows of 10,000 cfs or greater in the Class V whitewater Milner Gorge Reach (Milner Mile) below Milner Dam on the Snake River are likely to be available during April 2017." In most years the hydropower project removes so much water from the Milner Gorge that whitewater paddling is not possible at any time. In high water years like this one though, the power company must release flows into the big, powerful Class V run known to paddlers as the Milner Mile.

Releases to Lower Dolores River certain in 2017.

posted February 17, 2017
by Nathan Fey
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Cortez, Colorado - Last week, American Whitewater met with local water managers, fisheries biologists, an other interests in Dolores River water, to start negotiating releases from McPhee Dam - like we do every spring.  This year, things are looking very good for the Dolores...

Update on New Whitewater Park in Eagle, CO

posted February 17, 2017
by Kestrel Kunz
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Eagle, Colorado - The new Eagle River Park, “connecting the heart of Eagle to the soul of the river”, aims to improve river recreation opportunities for local Eagle residents, as well as visitors from around the nation. After a year of working on the design of the whitewater features, S20 design and the Town of Eagle released updates on the plan yesterday. The updates include a photo album of Existing Conditions at the Eagle River Park site, new descriptions of the four whitewater features, and a recap of the latest Steering Committee meeting, including the guiding principles for the park design.

Upper Colorado River Access funded by Land & Water Conservation Fund - CO

posted February 6, 2017
by Nathan Fey
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Dotsero, Colorado - A key river access point on the Upper Colorado river, once threatened with closure, has now been permanently protected through a partnership between BLM and Eagle County. 

One more day to submit input on Colorado's Brown Canyon National Monument!

posted January 17, 2017
by Kestrel Kunz
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There is only one more day left to share what you value most in the Browns Canyon National Monument planning area! The Bureau of Land Management, U.S Forest Service, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife are working together to develop a Coordinated Management Plan for Browns Canyon National Monument. In order to design a plan that most benefits citizens and visitors of Colorado, the agencies designed an Online Survey and Mapping Tool to understand how the public interacts with the Browns Canyon planning area and what aspects of the area are most important to the public.

 

New Report on Impact to San Miguel River From Proposed Reservoirs

posted January 9, 2017
by Evan Stafford
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Colorado - American Whitewater has released a new study on whitewater recreation in the San Miguel River Basin. The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) requested that Montrose County consult with American Whitewater on recreational needs and future impacts for the San Miguel River. Montrose County acquired conditional water rights to the San Miguel River in hopes of building multiple new reservoirs on BLM land. American Whitewater worked with Montrose County’s agents to assess the impact its conditional storage proposals would have on existing recreational opportunities. 

President Designates Bears Ears National Monument (UT)

posted December 29, 2016
by Thomas O'Keefe
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This week, President Obama declared the Bears Ears region of southeast Utah a National Monument, permanently protecting this incredible region that includes the San Juan River. American Whitewater is especially proud to announce that the National Monument Proclamation specifically acknowledges whitewater paddling as an appropriate and valued recreation activity.

Safe Boating Passage Through Tusher Dam (UT) Is Threatened By New Conflict

posted December 15, 2016
by Kestrel Kunz
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The Green River, from the Flaming Gorge Dam to its confluence with the Colorado River, is known for its beautiful and iconic multiday paddling trips enjoyed by boaters and anglers. For as long as any of us can remember, the only man-made obstruction to boaters and fish on this stretch has been the Green River Diversion Dam (i.e., Tusher Dam), located just over 6 miles upstream of the town of Green River, UT and more than 120 miles above its confluence with the Colorado River. Since it was first built in 1913, the Tusher Dam and the keeper hydraulic it created forced boaters to either portage around it or run the unsafe hazard, while negatively affecting fish migration patterns.

 

Proposed Asphalt and Gravel Mine threatens the Upper Colorado River

posted December 6, 2016
by Evan Stafford
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A new proposal to allow the development of a 90- acre open pit mine in Eagle County at the gateway to the Colorado River has local river users asking questions. We encourage everyone to attend an Open House December 6 at 6 PM at the Gypsum Recreation Center, and to make your voices heard at the Town Council meeting where they will discuss the application on December 13 at 7 PM.

 

 

Help Protect Flathead River Tributaries (MT)

posted September 26, 2016
by Kevin Colburn
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Next month marks the 40th anniversary of the designation of Montana's four Wild and Scenic Rivers (3 Flathead Forks + the Missouri). We now have a once-in-a-generation chance to expand on that incredible legacy of river conservation in Montana. Take action to support new river protections on the Flathead National Forest this week! 

Blue River Watershed Group: Recipient of 2016 Clif Bar Flowing Rivers Grant!

posted August 15, 2016
by Evan Stafford
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American Whitewater is proud to announce that the Blue River Watershed Group in Summit and Grand Counties, will receive a $1,250 grant to support their stewardship project on Colorado’s Blue River. The Group is building community and financial support for construction of the Blue River Whitewater Course, to be located in the town of Silverthorne, Colorado.

Counting down to the 2016 Gore Canyon Festival!

posted August 2, 2016
by Nathan Fey
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Colorado - American Whitewater is excited to host this year’s Gore Canyon Festival - building on the 30+ year legacy of the Gore Canyon downriver race, with a freestyle rodeo, SUP races and demos, and family floats this year. Register as a competitor, or volunteeer to help with logistics or safety today!

Good River Beer Company commits 2% for Rivers - Partners with AW!

posted July 6, 2016
by Nathan Fey
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Denver, CO - American Whitewater is thrilled to announce our new Industry Partnership with Good River Beer. The partnership was born out of a shared love for river recreation and a shared vision for river conservation, and is made possible by Good River Beer’s unique business model. Good River Beer has committed to donating two percent of their revenue to river stewardship and conservation, and half of that will benefit American Whitewater’s Colorado River Stewardship Program.

Colorado's "Protect Our Rivers" License Plate Program to support AW

posted July 6, 2016
by Nathan Fey
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You have to register your vehicle and trailer, so why not show your support for Colorado’s rivers with the Protect Our Rivers license plates! 100% of the money raised goes toward the conservation, protection and restoration of rivers and streams in Colorado. For every License Plate ordered with AW's Partner Code, a portion of your donation goes directly to support our stewardship efforts!

Submit Photos For the 2017 AW Calendar This Month

posted July 5, 2016
by Kevin Colburn
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American Whitewater is accepting photos for our 2017 Calendar now through August 1, 2016.  Submitting photos through our online form is simple, and we can't wait to see your best shots.  Thanks to all of our contributors!

Montana National Forest Proposes New Stream Protections

posted May 27, 2016
by Kevin Colburn
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The Flathead National Forest is a treasure trove of whitewater paddling thanks to the three forks of the Wild and Scenic Flathead River, the Swan River, and many robust tributaries. Today, the Forest released their new inventory of streams they intend to protect as eligible for future Wild and Scenic designation.  The inventory includes 22 outstanding streams, 10 of which are new eligible streams totalling 125 river miles. These streams were recommended for protection by American Whitewater, our partners in Montanans for Healthy Rivers, and citizens from across the state and country. 

Weber River Whitewater Study—Focus Group May 3, Ogden, UT

posted April 21, 2016
by Kevin Colburn
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PacifiCorp is hosting a whitewater focus group for the Weber River Hydroelectric Project. Focus group participants will help provide an understanding of the whitewater boating opportunities and use patterns on the reach of the Weber River downstream of the Project diversion. Environmental Resources Management will be conducting the focus group.  Your input is needed on whitewater boating opportunities, use patterns, flow preferences, and access in the Scrambled Eggs run.

Weber River Flow Survey for Paddlers (UT)

posted April 11, 2016
by Kevin Colburn
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The owner of the Weber Hydroelectric Project (Project) is currently seeking a new license for the Project. As part of the relicensing process, the dam owner will study whitewater recreation use on the reach of the Weber River affected by the Project (The Scrambled Eggs Run). If you have ever paddled this section of the Weber River, or paddle it this spring you can help!  Your participation in a survey and/or focus group will help to provide an understanding of the whitewater recreation opportunities on this reach of the river.

New Flows on the NF Feather (CA)

posted March 29, 2016
by Evan Stafford
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The North Fork of the Feather River will be boatable every day for the rest of 2016! Flows will increase because of a revised flow schedule and the wet year we are having in California. Almost twenty years ago, American Whitewater made it our goal to restore the North Fork Feather River and this new flow regime is a testament to our success.

Malad River Gets Additional Water This Year (ID)

posted March 15, 2016
by Kevin Colburn
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Thanks to a turbine replacement project requiring a hydropower diversion to be shut down for much of 2016, paddlers will get a longer and better season on the Malad River this year. Have fun and be safe out there! 

West Coast River Touring by Dick Schwind

posted December 17, 2015
by Dave Steindorf
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One of the classic West Coast guidebooks is now available on the AW website for download.  Dick Schwind’s guidebook, published in 1974, contains many rivers that are still uncovered in other guides, online or in print.  His work also provides a great window into what it was like to be a paddler in the 1970’s

Help Protect Streams on Montana's Lewis and Clark National Forest

posted November 30, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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Montana's Lewis and Clark National Forest is updating the inventory of rivers they protect as eligible for Wild and Scenic designation. Paddler comments on these streams on the Rocky Mountain Front and other great parts of Montana can help protect some of the state's most outstanding streams from dams and other potential impacts. Comments are due by December 15th, and make great Christmas presents for Montana rivers!

Federal Regulators Recommend Denial of License for New Bear River Dam (ID)

posted October 2, 2015
by Thomas O'Keefe
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Citing a host of environmental concerns raised by American Whitewater and our partners, the federal government has recommended denial of an application seeking to build a 109-foot-tall hydroelectric dam on the Bear River in southeast Idaho. Federal regulators agreed with our view that the Oneida Narrows represents a regionally unique and important river recreational resource that would be destroyed by the proposed dam, for which mitigation is not possible.

Sullivan Creek Releases Have Begun (WA)

posted September 9, 2015
by Kevin Colburn
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Sullivan Creek is a beautiful advanced/expert level creek that tumbles out of the lush Selkirk Range in the remote northeastern corner of Washington State. American Whitewater worked with the power company and other local stakeholders to improve the fall drawdown water releases from Sullivan Lake for whitewater paddling, economic value, and ecological considerations. Drawdown releases began yesterday, and are anticipated to provide ideal paddling conditions starting today, and extending through much of the fall.    

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!

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!

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.  

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.

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.

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. 

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.  

Support AW on Colorado Gives Day–December 9th!

posted November 25, 2014
by Megan Hooker
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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...  

AW Wins Forest Service Appeals - Rivers to Benefit (ID & MT)

posted September 29, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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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.

Sullivan Creek (WA) Releases Begin September 3, 2014

posted August 25, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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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. 

Weigh In on Wednesday River Conservation Hearing

posted July 22, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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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.  

Virgin River Comprehensive Management Plan Approved

posted February 27, 2014
by Nathan Fey
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Springdale, Utah - Zion National Park has released the Final Virgin River Comprehensive Management Plan, which provides protection for 144 miles of designated Wild & Scenic Rivers within the Park. The Park’s management strategy, as outlined in the plan, does not adjust current flow limits for paddling.

New Protections for Outstanding Wyoming Streams

posted February 20, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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American Whitewater would like to commend the Shoshone National Forest for expanding their roster of rivers protected as “eligible” for Wild and Scenic designation under their new Forest Plan.  American Whitewater participated in their forest planning process and offered evidence and recommendations for several new eligible streams.  All told over 82 miles of spectacular rivers receive new protections under the new plan. 

A Deeper Dive Into Yellowstone

posted February 14, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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Earlier this week we posted a quick article informing our community that American Whitewater would not pursue the Senate version of the River Paddling Protection Act, ending our exploration of a legislative solution to the management of paddling in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.  We’ve obviously gotten some questions about this decision and would like to offer a more robust explanation. 

AW Not to Pursue Yellowstone Legislation in Senate

posted February 11, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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American Whitewater has decided not to pursue a Senate version of the River Paddling Protection Act, ending our exploration of a legislative solution to the management of paddling in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.  Advocating for this legislation in the Senate with insufficient support would exhaust resources better spent on promising conservation projects, would damage valued relationships, and would be unlikely to produce a favorable outcome.

Yellowstone Bill Passes the US House of Representatives

posted February 8, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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The River Paddling Protection Act, introduced by Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), passed the US House of Representatives on Thursday and now moves to the Senate for consideration.  The bill grants the National Park Service three years to replace 60 year-old paddling prohibitions in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks with modern science-based management.  Doing so would allow Americans to experience these iconic landscapes through non-commercial paddling in a low impact, sustainable, and carefully managed manner. 

Yellowstone Paddling Bill Clears Committee!

posted January 29, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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A new version of the River Paddling Protection Act, HR 3492, was sent to the full House of Representatives yesterday when it passed in the House Natural Resources Committee by unanimous consent. The bill will ultimately help thousands of Americans connect with the rivers flowing through Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks in a healthy, low impact, and environmentally sustainable manner.  We've included a list of Q&A's as a partial response to recent media articles.  

2014 Bear River Releases Announced (ID)

posted January 15, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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We are pleased to announce the 2014 scheduled pulse flows on the Bear River's Black Canyon located in southeastern Idaho.  Releases will vary from 900 to 1500 cfs based on inflows to the hydropower project, and offer outstanding Class IV and V paddling opportunities.  

AW Objects to Faulty Wild and Scenic Analysis in MT & ID

posted January 8, 2014
by Kevin Colburn
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American Whitewater recently filed formal objections to proposed Forest Plans for the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, and the Kootenai National Forest in Montana.  The objections assert that the Forest Service ignored their own policies and the facts before them when they determined many spectacular whitewater rivers are not eligible for Wild and Scenic designation.  If successful, we'll bring vital protection to many awesome whitewater streams in the Northern Rockies.  

Yellowstone Bill Hearing Goes Well

posted November 22, 2013
by Kevin Colburn
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Last week the River Paddling Protection Act, HR 3492, was discussed in a hearing in the House Natural Resources Committee.  This bill aims to lift a 60-year-old federal-level ban on paddling rivers in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks in favor of normal and flexible river management.  Aaron Pruzan testified on behalf of conservation-oriented paddlers, and we are actively working to improve and pass this landmark legislation.  

Yellowstone Paddling Legislation Introduced

posted November 15, 2013
by Kevin Colburn
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Yesterday, Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) introduced the River Paddling Protection Act, H.R.3492 , in the US House of Representatives.  The bill would eliminate federal prohibitions on paddling small human-powered boats like canoes and kayaks on rivers within Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. American Whitewater will spend the next few days and likely weeks reviewing the bill and discussing it with our regional partners who share a commitment to the preservation and sustainable enjoyment of these special places. 

New Sullivan Creek Gages Online (WA)

posted November 13, 2013
by Kevin Colburn
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American Whitewater is pleased to announce the availability of two new online stream gages in the Sullivan Creek watershed in northeastern Washington.  These gages are brought to you by a partnership between American Whitewater and the Pend Oreille Public Utility District, and will offer paddlers, anglers, and other visitors to the area vital flow information.  

The Water Rights Protection Act is bad for rivers - Take Action!

posted November 12, 2013
by Nathan Fey
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Colorado - In Late September, Representatives Scott Tipton and Jared Polis introduced H.R. 3189 with the intent of resolving the conflicts between the US Forest Service and the Ski Industry over proposed water rights conditions being applied to ski area permits. American Whitewater and our conservation partners are working to oppose the bills. Take Action Today!

Dam Proposal Fails on Boulder Creek (ID)

posted October 28, 2013
by Kevin Colburn
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Last week the Federal government cancelled a permit granting North Hydro, LLC exclusive rights to persue a hydropower development on Idaho's Boulder Creek. The hydro project would have largely dewatered 2 miles of Boulder Creek, an otherwise highly scenic and ecologically valuable whitewater stream.  American Whitewater is pleased to have played a role in successfully defending Boulder Creek from this threat.  

Gunnison Flow Study: Success, Next steps underway

posted October 14, 2013
by Chris Menges
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American Whitewater is pleased release a full report on the results of our summer 2013 Gunnison River Flow Survey, in addition to recommendations for regional water managers. This data will enable the management community to better evaluate opportunities to protect recreational flows in the Gunnison Basin now and into the future. Please read the post for full results and how we are using them.

Illegal Megaloads Push Ahead, Drawing Protests and Lawsuit (ID)

posted August 9, 2013
by Kevin Colburn
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Earlier this week a massive piece of industrial equipment was shipped through the Wild and Scenic Lochsa River Corridor, against the wishes of the US Forest Service, the Nez Perce Tribe, and river advocates.  As the shipment moved towards the Wild and Scenic River corridor though, the US Forest Service failed to take any actions to stop its progress.  The result was high profile protests, and now a lawsuit against the Forest Service for failing to act.  

Proposed Dam on Boundary Creek Defeated! (ID)

posted June 20, 2013
by Kevin Colburn
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Earlier today the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) cancelled the permit that  had granted a limited liability corporation exclusive rights to study and pursue de-watering Boundary Creek, located in Northern Idaho.  The proposed hydropower project would have severely impacted over 6 miles of the pristine and biologically vital stream in the wild Selkirk Mountains.  

AW Partners with Dam Safety Researcher

posted June 12, 2013
by Charlie Walbridge
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American Whitewater's Accident Database contains more than 1000 fatal accidents and near misses reported over the last  35 years. We sometimes give qualified water safety researchers access to this material. Our latest research partner is Ed Kern,  a Masters Degree candidate in civil engineering at Brigham Young University in Utah. Click through for more information and a link to his web site.

Montana Dam Proposals to be Withdrawn!

posted June 7, 2013
by Kevin Colburn
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The company that has been seeking permits to build three new hydropower projects in Montana announced today that they are abandoning their proposals - for now.  This is a great relief for the many Montanans that care about the incredible paddling, fishing, and scenery of East Rosebud Creek, West Rosebud Creek, and the Madison River.  

Parks Ask For Comments On Paddling Prohibitions

posted May 29, 2013
by Kevin Colburn
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Earlier this month, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks released their draft plan for managing several new Wild and Scenic Rivers. They dismissed any consideration of allowing paddling on the rivers except where it is currently allowed If you would like to be able to take a canoe, kayak, or pack raft trip down these Wild and Scenic rivers, please consider attending one of two public meetings June 4 and 5, 2013, or submit written comments. 

Lyons Outdoor Games and Burning Can to Support AW

posted May 15, 2013
by Nathan Fey
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Lyons, Colorado - For the second year in a row, Oskar Blues Brewery is hosting the Burning Can Festival at this year Lyons Outdoor Games.  Burning Can, which takes place under the backdrop of Rocky Mountain National Park and the St. Vrain River, is a celebration of good beer, served in a can.  This year, All money raised from Lyons Outdoor Games recycled cans will be donated to American Whitewater. See you there!

Action Alert–Support River Access in Nevada!

posted March 25, 2013
by Megan Hooker
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On Thursday, March 28th, the Nevada Assembly Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on AB 396, which is a bill that will ensure access for recreation on Nevada's lakes and streams. Strong access laws are especially important if you enjoy spending time on rivers, and paddler's voices are important in this process for Nevada. You can participate a number of ways…

Funding for River Access and More–Support LWCF

posted March 12, 2013
by Megan Hooker
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In a bipartisan effort last month, the Senate introduced the Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act of 2013 (S.338). The Land and Water Conservation Fund has supported many projects that provide access and protect important rivers, including the White Salmon (WA), New and Gauley (WV), Illinois (OR) and Snake (ID). If passed, the bill will reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund and support similar projects into the future.

Montana River Stories Website & Contest Launched

posted November 28, 2012
by Kevin Colburn
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American Whitewater helped launch a new website today to celebrate Montana's rivers.  The blog-style site asks people to share a special story that took place on a Montana river.  AW hopes paddlers enjoy the great photos and stories, and take a few minutes to share some of their own.  You might just win some great stuff too... 

See You This Weekend at Feather Fest 2012!

posted September 17, 2012
by Megan Hooker
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The 21st annual Feather River Fest is happening this weekend - September 21-23. Complete with a movie night Friday, races and benefit party on Saturday, and more time to enjoy the river Sunday, this is an event you'll want to be sure to attend!

Middle Fork Salmon Protection Grows Thanks to Federal Funding

posted July 9, 2012
by Kevin Colburn
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The Trust for Public Land last week announced the purchase of a critical 80-acre private property in the heart of the Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness in the Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho. This land will be added to the Frank Church and made available for all to enjoy as unspoiled wilderness, and will help protect the incomparable Middle Fork of the Salmon River.

2012 Most Endangered Rivers Report Released

posted May 15, 2012
by Thomas O'Keefe
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Today, American Rivers released the annual report on America's Most Endangered Rivers. American Whitewater has partnered with American Rivers in past years in identifying threatened rivers, and this year we are working together to highlight threats to the Skykomish River in Washington and the Green River in Utah.

American Whitewater Weighs in on BLM Oil Shale and Tar Sands Plan

posted May 7, 2012
by Nathan Fey
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The Bureau of Land Management is considering the potential for oil shale and tar sands development on 2,431,000 acres of public land in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. This development could threaten the quality of paddling experiences including the multi-day desert floats on Desolation and Grays Canyons of the Green as well as the adventure available for kayaks and packrafts to explore the San Rafael, Muddy and Escalante. American Whitewater partnered with our colleagues in the Outdoor Alliance to highlight the value of these areas for outdoor recreation.

Dam On Sullivan Creek (WA) Closer to Removal

posted April 17, 2012
by Kevin Colburn
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Late last month the State of Washington issued a key permit for the removal of Millpond Dam on Sullivan Creek.  The permit, issued under the Clean Water Act, reflects a 2010 settlement agreement reached between the dam owner, the Forest Service, the State of Washington, American Whitewater, and several other parties.  The permit gives the dam owner up to 2 years to finalize removal plans prior to implementing the removal.

Milner Mile Expected to Run in May (ID)

posted April 9, 2012
by Kevin Colburn
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Idaho Power and Milner Dam Inc. is projecting that flows of 10,000 cfs or greater in the Class V whitewater Milner Gorge Reach (Milner Mile) below Milner Dam on the Snake River are likely to be available during May 2012. Heads up!

Tell the Obama Administration to take Desolation Canyon out of its Crosshairs!

posted April 4, 2012
by Nathan Fey
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Vernal, Utah - On March 16, the Interior Department issued the Gasco natural gas project final environmental impact statement and took one step closer to approving this massive development project which would include 215 new wells in the Green River's Desolation Canyon proposed wilderness.  Fortunately, there is still time for you to weigh in and tell Secretary Salazar to protect Desolation Canyon!  The BLM hasn’t issued its ‘record of decision’ for the Gasco project and can still change its mind about which alternative to adopt. 

Tell Secretary Salazar to protect the Desolation Canyon proposed wilderness!

Glen Canyon Dam - Alternatives Meetings April 5th & 6th

posted March 30, 2012
by Megan Hooker
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The National Park Service and Bureau of Reclamation are currently seeking the public's ideas for the action alternatives that will be considered for the Glen Canyon Dam LTEMP EIS (Long Term Experimental and Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement). The agencies will hold all-day "Alternatives Meetings" on April 5th and 6th in Flagstaff, Arizona.  If you live in the area and have time to attend, we encourage you to do so!  The alternatives selected will have a direct impact on the Colorado River as it flows through the Grand Canyon.  

 

AW releases recreational guide for stream modification projects

posted March 11, 2012
by Kevin Colburn
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AW is pleased to announce the release of our technical stream modification guide offering specific considerations to help projects meet recreational objectives as well as primary engineering or habitat objectives.  This guide is intended to help paddlers advocate for safer stream modification projects that fully support the restoration, protection, and public enjoyment of rivers and streams. 

AW and Partners Fight a Proposed Dam in Northern Idaho

posted February 16, 2012
by Kevin Colburn
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Last week American Whitewater and a group of regional environmental organizations intervened in opposition of a proposed dam and diversion on northern Idaho's Boundary Creek.  The proposed hydropower project would de-water a spectacular and remote whitewater stream, and would impact a stunning array of rare, threatened, and endangered species.

Federal Land Managers Improve Boater Access for Dolores River - CO

posted February 14, 2012
by Nathan Fey
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A big thank-you goes out to the Dolores Public Lands Office in SW Colorado, for coordinating work on the Gypsum Valley boat launch site on the Dolores River.    The Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service's "Service First" program took the lead on this project and coordinated with the Army Corps of Engineers. The project demonstrates a growing partnership between local boaters and federal land managers.

AW and Outdoor Alliance Support Clean Water Act Guidance

posted February 14, 2012
by Kevin Colburn
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Last year the Obama Administration released draft guidance on which streams should be protected by the Clean Water Act.  Today, we joined the American Canoe Association and our other partners in the Outdoor Alliance in reiterating our support for the proposed guidance, and requesting the issuance of final guidance.

Success and Scheduled Flows on the Bear River (ID)

posted February 14, 2012
by Kevin Colburn
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American Whitewater is pleased to announce that we have negotiated a modified flow regime for the Black Canyon of the Bear River in Idaho. Under the new agreement between AW and the other members of the Ecological Coordination Committee that was set up to implement a 2002 hydropower settlement agreement, PacifiCorp will provide nine scheduled pulse flows between April 1 and June 5 each year.

ACTION ALERT: Grand Canyon: Glen Canyon Dam Comments Due Jan 31!

posted January 27, 2012
by Megan Hooker
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Your voice is needed to help protect and restore the beaches, habitat, and cultural resources on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. For the first time since 1996, federal resource agencies are considering the future operations of Glen Canyon Dam, which will impact flows on the Colorado. Your comments can help shape the alternatives that will be considered in an upcoming Environmental Impact Statement for the operation of the dam. If you love the Grand Canyon, have been lucky enough to do a trip on the Colorado, or hope to experience it one day, your comments are important! They are due Tuesday, January 31st!

Colorado River Flows – Round II! Kremmling Comments due January 17th.

posted January 13, 2012
by Megan Hooker
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In addition to seeking comments on the management of lands within the Colorado River Valley Field Office, the BLM is also seeking comments on their management of lands within the Kremmling Field Office, which includes the Upper Colorado and other rivers important to whitewater recreation. This draft Resource Management Plan is also a hefty one, and American Whitewater has distilled this one down too, focusing on the issues that are important to you. You can read our dRMP guide and get tips on how to provide meaningful and substantive comments here. The future flows of the Colorado River depend on it!

It's Permit Season

posted January 6, 2012
by Thomas O'Keefe
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It's now time to start thinking about multi-day trips for this spring and there are several great opportunities on Western Rivers. Many of these rivers require you to fill out a lottery application and deadlines are coming up. Check out our database of permits and start planning that trip.

Shape the Future of Flows in the Colorado River - Comments due January 17th!

posted January 5, 2012
by Megan Hooker
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The BLM is seeking comments on their management of lands within the Colorado River Valley Field Office, which includes the Upper Colorado and other rivers important to whitewater recreation. The draft Resource Management Plan is hefty, but American Whitewater has distilled it down to the issues that are important to you. You can read our dRMP guide and get tips on how to provide meaningful and substantive comments here. The future flows of the Colorado River depend on it!

AW Seeks Stream Protection in Idaho Panhandle

posted December 21, 2011
by Kevin Colburn
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American Whitewater recently prepared a report on the streams of the Idaho Panhandle that are eligible for Wild and Scenic designation based at least in part on their regionally or nationally significant recreational values. We have asked the Forest Service to find each of these streams eligible for Wild and Scenic designation and thus grant them interim protection.

Report Highlights Bear River Restoration (ID)

posted November 15, 2011
by Kevin Colburn
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The recently finalized report on a pulse flow program on the Black Canyon of the Bear River, located in Southeastern Idaho highlights the role that new water releases are playing in the restoration of the river reach. The report documents positive effects on instream habitat and aquatic insect populations.  American Whitewater is now actively working with other stakeholders to finalize a flow program on the Bear for decades to come. 

Little Potlatch Dam Permit Withdrawn

posted November 10, 2011
by Kevin Colburn
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Earlier today the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission accepted the surrender of a preliminary permit that could have led to a new hydropower project on Idaho's Little Potlatch Creek. The proposed pump-storage project would have included a dam exceeding 200 feet tall on Little Potlatch Creek. The Little Potlatch will remain free-flowing! 

Help Shape the Future of the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam

posted November 8, 2011
by Megan Hooker
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The Bureau of Reclamation and National Park Service are gearing up to do some long-term planning for the operation of Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River and they are seeking your input. This is the first time that the operation of Glen Canyon Dam has been evaluated in 15 years. Through the process, the agencies wil evaluate how to operate the dam in a way that is protective of the environmental, cultural and recreational values of the Colorado River while also meeting water supply obligations and providing hydropower. The process will shape dam operations and flows on the Colorado River for the next 15 to 20 years.  Learn more about the process, public scoping meetings and how to comment here! 

AW Needs Your Input On Western River Flows!

posted October 25, 2011
by Nathan Fey
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Colorado River Basin - American Whitewater is asking for paddler input on flows and recreation quality for rivers across the Southwestern United States. We are gathering this information to help define recreational flow-needs, and to inform the US Bureau of Reclamations' Colorado River Basin Supply and Demand Study. Whether you live in Boston, San Francisco, or Jensen, UT, your input will help AW protect healthy rivers - TAKE OUR SURVEY TODAY!