Klamath Dam Removal Update: Drawdown Has Begun (OR/CA)
01/24/2024 - by Evan Stafford
The next big step towards removing the remaining three hydropower dams on the Klamath River has begun. In early January, the Klamath River Renewal Corporation to began draining the three remaining reservoirs of the Lower Klamath Hydroelectric Project and performing other dam removal actions at the J.C. Boyle, Copco 1, and Iron Gate dams straddling the Oregon-California state line. Drawdowns began on January 11 at Iron Gate Dam and will continue over the following few weeks to months. As of January 23, all three dams have been breached and the Klamath is flowing unconstrained by hydropower dams for the first time since 1911. Dam removal activities will be ongoing through 2024. This is the largest dam removal project ever undertaken.
Recreation Gets a Voice in the Colorado River
01/11/2024 - by Kestrel Kunz
Every December, more than one thousand water managers, federal decision makers, and other stakeholders convene in Las Vegas for the Colorado River Water Users Association conference. At the conference, recreation typically has not had a seat at the table despite the fact that every water management decision in the basin implicates river recreation and its fast-growing economy. But this year, American Whitewater’s Southern Rockies Protection Director, Kestrel Kunz, was invited to speak about recreation in the Colorado River Basin. We are confident that river recreation will continue to have a place in these important conversations around the Colorado River Basin and American Whitewater is committed to ensuring the recreation voice has a seat at the table.
If You Purchased or Received a 2024 American Whitewater Calendar Please Read
12/27/2023 - by Evan Stafford
We need to sincerely apologize. We had a misprint in our 2024 calendars and the month of April is off by one day. April fools on us! We truly do sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this causes and we hope you'll still use our 2024 calendar. Here's a link to an easy to print replacement PDF for the days of April, which can be inserted to make sure you have the correct days in your American Whitewater calendar. We sincerely appreciate your support and understanding, as the calendar is a big fundraiser for us and one of our favorite ways to display the beauty of the rivers we work to protect on your behalf.
See What Your Membership Supports! Check Out Our Winter Stewardship Update
12/12/2023 - by Evan Stafford
Take a look at some of the ambitious stewardship goals we hope to accomplish next year in our 2023 Winter Stewardship Update! You should know, we have big plans for 2024. From dam removals, new instream flows in dewatered rivers, and securing new Wild and Scenic designations, to new access sites, influencing National Forest Plans and sharing an updated American Whitewater River Safety Code, we’ll have our work cut out for us. If our past success is any indication we’ll surely rise to the challenge, but we can't do it without your ongoing support to keep our work on track.
American Whitewater Holiday Offer Now Available!
12/04/2023 - by Bethany Overfield
Looking for that special gift for someone or just feeling the need to treat yourself? Our American Whitewater Holiday Offer just went live! You can get a Standard Membership ($35), your choice of a navy or tan AW beanie, and a 2024 calendar (plus shipping) all for $75. Head to our membership form and snag a Holiday Offer today. This is a splendid way to support our Stewardship work at American Whitewater!
2024 American Whitewater Calendar Now Available!
12/02/2023 - by Bethany Overfield
Each year, we collect the best photos from our gracious (and incredibly talented) community and pick out our favorites for our annual calendar. Proceeds from calendar sales support our river stewardship work. It's an awesome fundraiser and a product that we know you'll love! Keep AW close all year long.
Purchase a calendar from our webstore for $25. These make the perfect gift for all the whitewater enthusiasts in your life!
Calendars for those of you who receive them as a membership perk, should land in mailboxes the week of December 11th.
Help us Celebrate our Southern Rockies Program Success!
11/29/2023 - by Kestrel Kunz
As the year comes to an end, we have a lot of successes to celebrate for our rivers in the Southern Rockies region. We could not have accomplished this much without the support from people like you! Thanks for helping us achieve all the below milestones this year. Here are some regional highlights from American Whitewater's three pillars: Protect, restore, & enjoy!
Utility Releases Fast-Track Plans for Removing Dams on California’s Eel River
11/17/2023 - by Scott Harding
The removal of two dams blocking Northern California’s Eel River is one step closer to happening. The owner of the dams, PG&E, just released its initial draft plan for dismantling the Scott and Cape Horn dams as early as 2028–a remarkably fast timeline. But PG&E also included a more complex alternate plan meant to satisfy irrigators, which could potentially delay the dam removal. Photo: Scott Dam by Kyle Schwartz.
Georgia Committee Considers Public Rights on Rivers
11/17/2023 - by Kevin Colburn
This fall the newly formed Georgia House Study Committee on Fishing Access to Freshwater Resources sought public input on fishing rights on Georgia's waterways. As the Committee’s efforts come to a close this month, they may or may not recommend that the House of Representatives draft legislation regarding the public’s rights on rivers and streams in Georgia. Any such legislation, if adopted, could limit or confirm paddlers' legal rights to paddle rivers and streams in Georgia. American Whitewater, American Canoe Association, Georgia Canoeing Association, and Georgia River Network recently wrote a letter to the Committee advocating for the long-held public right to paddle. American Whitewater and our partners will be closely following this issue in the weeks and months ahead, including reviewing any report issued by the Committee in the coming month.
Help Protect Utah Mountain Creeks - DEADLINE TODAY!
11/16/2023 - by Kestrel Kunz
We need your help to protect the future of Utah’s creeks and the deadline is TODAY at midnight. The Manti La Sal National Forests have released a draft management plan for a 1.4 million acre landscape without any real protections for rivers and without a single mention of river recreation. The Manti mountains are home to unique Utah creeks, including Cottonwood, Ferron, Huntington and Left Fork Huntington creeks. Take Action Today to Protect These Creeks Using Our Easy Action Form!
A Vision for the Future of the Lower White Salmon River (WA)
11/09/2023 - by Thomas O'Keefe
The Lower White Salmon Coalition, formed in 2016, is releasing its Vision Plan for the approximately five hundred acres of land owned by PacifiCorp along the lower White Salmon River representing the former project lands for the Condit Hydroelectric Project. For whitewater boaters this includes the Lower Gorge from Buck Creek to the Columbia River. “As a signatory to the settlement agreement for removal of Condit Dam, American Whitewater has long supported the restoration and conservation of the White Salmon River that provides critical coldwater habitat and a long paddling season that attracts paddlers from around the world,” said Thomas O’Keefe, the Pacific Northwest Stewardship Director for American Whitewater. “We are pleased to join the broader community in presenting a vision that can guide future opportunities to meet community interests and protect the ecological integrity of the river.”
An Important Milestone on the Klamath – Removal of the Copco 2 Dam Complete!
11/09/2023 - by Thomas O'Keefe
Crews spent October putting the final touches on the removal of the Copco No. 2 Dam on California’s Klamath River, removing the remaining diversion infrastructure, grading the river channel, and performing erosion control. Deconstruction of the dam structure was completed in September. This work prepares the river canyon for consistent river flows, something which the river canyon below the dam hasn’t seen in 98 years. Restored flows in this reach will provide new whitewater boating opportunities on a section of river that has been dewatered and inaccessible to the public. Only a handful of boaters have ever been able to experience this run. American Whitewater secured the removal of nearly 1,000 trees below Copco No. 2 as a part of the official dam removal project process. They were removed by helicopter in September in collaboration with area Tribes and without their removal would have created a significant hazard for river runners.
2023 BOARD OF DIRECTORS ELECTION - CURRENT MEMBERS PLEASE VOTE NOW!
11/09/2023 - by Evan Stafford
Each year American Whitewater's membership ratifies Board of Director members to serve three-year terms. These candidates volunteer to serve on the American Whitewater Board. Current American Whitewater members can cast their votes through Midnight Pacific Time, December 15th, 2023. American Whitewater has three Director Nominees to fill three open seats in this election, and you may vote for up to three candidates on the slate. The ballot for our Board of Directors election is placed online here.
Crystal River Community Meets to Discuss River Protection
11/09/2023 - by Hattie Johnson
On October 26th, community members of the Crystal River Valley convened at Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale to learn about a suite of approaches that would provide protections to the river. This was the second of two public meetings hosted by the Crystal Wild and Scenic and Other Alternatives Feasibility Steering Committee who have been meeting monthly since this past April. The group is chaired by Pitkin and Gunnison counties, Town of Marble, and the Colorado River Water Conservation District with the express purpose of hearing from diverse stakeholders as to what they hope to see for the future of the Crystal River.
National Forest Rivers to Receive Protections in Colorado
11/09/2023 - by Kestrel Kunz
On the western slope of Colorado, twenty-two new rivers are poised to receive administrative protections under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. American Whitewater has been advocating for river protections on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests (GMUG) for nearly a decade and we are closing in on the finish line. While there is a lot to celebrate in the revised Forest Plan, this week, American Whitewater filed formal objections to the plan. We asked the Forest Service to acknowledge and protect the boating opportunities on Daisy Creek and the Slate River, calling them out for not considering the robust information American Whitewater and our members have provided on how special these rivers are. We also asked the Forest to implement stronger management measures on eligible rivers.
It’s Time to Support River Access in Colorado!
11/09/2023 - by Kestrel Kunz
Colorado Gives Day is happening now through December 5! Donate today to have your dollars go even further in supporting American Whitewater’s river access work in Colorado. American Whitewater works with landowners and managers, paddlers, law enforcement, and lawmakers to improve Colorado's river access laws and the ongoing threats to public safety. Colorado is the only state in the west that has yet to determine the extent of the public's rights to float and recreate on streams running through private property. American Whitewater is committed to finding long-term solutions for river access in Colorado and this program will support that work. Thank you for supporting our River Access Program in Colorado!
Urge Congress to Repair the Clean Water Act
10/25/2023 - by Kevin Colburn
You might want to tighten those nose clips and buy some earplugs: earlier this year the Supreme Court ruled on a long running legal dispute about which streams and wetlands the Clean Water Act actually protects from pollution – and it's not good. Their decision, which ignored even the most basic science, stripped protections for an estimated 50% of streams and 70% of wetlands that had been protected since the 1970s. Congress is considering a bill, the Clean Water Act of 2023, that would reverse this ruling and solidify a science based definition for which streams and wetlands are protected under the Act, ensuring that the original intent of the law is preserved. Urge your Congresspeople to support this new legislation by using our easy-action form today!
American Whitewater Appeals FERC Dam Removal Refusal
10/25/2023 - by Robert Nasdor
American Whitewater filed a legal appeal of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC’s) decision to allow the owner of a failed hydropower project on the Salmon Falls RIver, which forms the Maine and New Hampshire border, to abandon its deadbeat dams. The appeal, filed in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, argues that dam removal is in the public interest because leaving the dams in the river blocks fish passage and recreation, and also violates the Clean Water Act.
Paddlers' Opinions Sought on Catawba River's Great Falls (SC)
10/17/2023 - by Kevin Colburn
American Whitewater and our partners are seeking paddlers' input on how you used the Great Falls of the Catawba River (SC) in 2023, how you plan to visit the area next year, and what your impressions of the run are. We'll be meeting with Duke Energy and other partners like Catawba Riverkeeper in a few weeks to discuss lessons-learned from this year and to plan next year. Your input matters, and will help us maximize the recreational benefits of the Great Falls for years to come. To inform our planning meeting we've put together a survey for Great Falls paddlers. Let us know what you think! Take the survey here within the next week or so: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TZCYHWQ
Crystal Wild and Scenic Feasibility Community Summit Oct 26th
10/11/2023 - by Hattie Johnson
American Whitewater is excited about the upcoming Crystal River Wild and Scenic and Alternatives Community Summit taking place October 26th, from 5:00 to 8:30 pm in Carbondale at the Roaring Fork High School Auditorium (2270 CO-133, Carbondale, CO 81623). We hope you will join us in learning about and providing feedback on all the potential options for protecting the upper Crystal River that the Steering Committee has identified. Food will be provided along with an interactive agenda. Save the date!