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Sale of SDS Lumber Company Complete (WA)

11/19/2021 - by Thomas O'Keefe

This week three entities with strong Northwest ties and deep expertise in timberlands, forest conservation, and mill operations have acquired portions of SDS Lumber Company and SDS Co, LLC. The sale was finalized on November 17. Of particular interest to the whitewater paddling community are the lands acquired by The Conservation Fund, through an affiliate, representing over 35,000 acres of the SDS timberlands, including important oak habitat, river frontage, and municipal drinking water sources. These lands include key parcels along the Green Truss run that will remain forested and maintain the wild character of this place. The traditional put-in for the Green Truss run and take-out for the Farmlands run are also part of the lands acquired by The Conservation Fund.

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Rule That Gutted State Authority To Protect Rivers Below Dams Overturned!

10/15/2021 - by Evan Stafford

Late in the evening on Thursday, October 21, a coalition of advocates, including American Whitewater won a significant victory for clean water when a federal district court vacated a Clean Water Act rule put in place by the previous administration. Today’s order from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California restores state and Tribal authority to ensure federally permitted activities, including hydroelectric dams, affecting rivers and lakes comply fully with state and tribal laws protecting clean water. Section 401 of the Clean Water Act gives states the authority to condition hydropower projects licenses on their ability to protect the clean water in the rivers below them, including through restored instream flows, and the vacated rule had undermined that authority. In Washington state and California in particular, the 401 regulations are what have allowed American Whitewater to restore the flows below dams that provide whitewater opportunities and ecological restoration to streams below federally licensed hydropower projects. 

Read the press release HERE from the Western Environmental Law Center, the group who represented our coalition in our challenge to the rule.

Read the court order HERE vacating the EPA Clean Water Act rule.

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Tallulah Gorge Releases Return! (GA)

10/15/2021 - by Kevin Colburn

Tallulah Gorege releases are back! Following over a year in which releases were cancelled because of dam safety issues that required repairs to water release gates and because of Covid, releases will kick off again on the first three weekends in November. American Whitewater negotiated these releases back in the mid-nineties and they quickly became a centerpiece of Southeastern paddling. We are happy to share some updates on Tallulah Gorge releases, and advice on how to visit the river responsibly.

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Gauley Fest Membership Drive and Online Auction Ends September 28!

09/23/2021 - by Evan Stafford

Gauley Fest annually provides our community with an opportunity to reflect on this much-loved stretch of whitewater, as well as the important stewardship work that American Whitewater has, and continues to do in the region. In honor of Gauley Fest, and in an effort to raise funds for our stewardship work across the country that this festival normally provides, we have the put together an incredible online whitewater auction and it's happening right now => 2021 Gauley Fest Online Auction. Go check it out and bid on some fantastic gear from our amazing Partners (huge thanks to all our Industry Partners!!!). Gauley Fest is also traditionally our largest membership drive of the year. If you usually renew your membership at the Gauley, please use this opportunity to renew again today! Plus, folks who JOIN OR RENEW before September 30th, 2021 will be entered to win a Custom Dagger Kayaks Rewind. Write “Gauley” in the membership form comments to be entered!

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Take Action! Truckee River (CA) Access Blocked By New Landowner

09/16/2021 - by Theresa Simsiman

Truckee River access is threatened by a landowner on the Nevada County Hirschdale Road. This take-out is used by paddlers who put-in at Boca and float the family friendly section of the Truckee River, taking out before the harder rapids appear. In 2019, a landowner purchased the property around Hirschdale Road and the spur road historically used to get to the river. In the years since, the landowner has been busy on Hirschdale Road posting no parking signs, erecting gates and dumping large rock debris which block parking along the County Road and access to the spur road. American Whitewater needs your help to restore this Truckee River access! Join us at a Listening Session in Truckee hosted by Nevada County Supervisor, Hardy Bullock, from District 5. The Listening Session will take place on September 23, 2021 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at Tahoe Forest Church, 10315 Hirschdale Road, Truckee, CA 96161. If you cannot attend please send your comments to Supervisor Bullock using our easy-action form

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Deerfield Fest Membership Drive and Silent Auction!

09/11/2021 - by Evan Stafford

Deerfield Fest traditionally provides our community with an opportunity to reflect on this much-loved stretch of whitewater, as well as the important stewardship work that American Whitewater has, and continues to do in the northeast. If you normally renew your membership at Deerfield Fest, please renew again today! Folks who Join or Renew will be entered to win a Kokatat Om Drytop ($549 value!). Write “Deerfield” in the membership form comments to be entered! For folks who renewed in June through the present, you’ll be automatically entered to win based on if you live in a Northeastern state. In an effort to raise more funds for our Stewardship work in the northeast, we also have a super stout 2021 Deerfield Online Auction that just went live. Go check it out and bid on some fantastic gear from our amazing Partners (huge thanks to all our Industry Partners!!!). Auction ends on Wednesday, September 15th at 8 p.m. EST.

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Phil Kast: Volunteer of the Month, Presented by Kokatat

09/07/2021 - by Kevin Colburn

We are pleased to recognize Phil Kast as American Whitewater's Volunteer of the Month, presented by Kokatat! Phil recently stepped up to improve the American Whitewater iOS App, to help us deliver the rich trip-planning information in our National Whitewater Inventory to your Apple mobile device. He's already made quite a few significant improvements to the App, and more are in the works. As Volunteer of the Month, Kokatat will be hooking up Phil with some world class gear, and we hope you'll extend Phil a hearty thank you when you see him on the river. Thanks Phil! 

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09/03/2021 - by Theresa Lorejo-Simsiman

American Whitewater has confirmed with Pacific Gas & Electric that recreational releases will take place on Pit 5 for September 11th and 12th (10am to 4pm at 1200 cfs). PG&E will open restrooms at both the Madesi put-in and the James B. Black take-out. However, in an effort to protect resources and align with the forest closure order for all California USFS National Forests, PG&E will not open Madesi for overnight camping. Obviously, with the current wildfire season no open fires, stoves or grills will be allowed.

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Court Restores Pre-2020 Clean Water Act Protections

08/31/2021 - by Kevin Colburn

Yesterday, in a big win for rivers, a US District Court in Arizona tossed out a 2020 federal rule that had dramatically reduced the number of waterways covered under the Clean Water Act. The court decision wiped the 2020 rule off the books because the rule was based on significant errors and posed a serious risk of harm to the public and the environment. Effective immediately, the more protective 1988 rule governing the Clean Water Act is back in place. The administration is currently working on a new rule, and paddlers are encouraged to learn more and send in comments by September 3rd supporting broad protections for rivers, and all those who live and recreate downstream. 

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Deerfield Fest Evening at Berkshire East Canceled

08/30/2021 - by Bob Nasdor

Paddling Friends & AW Supporters. We have made the difficult decision to cancel the Deerfield Fest evening at Berkshire East scheduled for September 11 and put all of our attention to on-water activities. The good news is that there will be a lot to enjoy at the Deerfield River that weekend. Safety is core to American Whitewater’s mission, both on and around the river and in the communities where we paddle and this decision was made with the AW's mission as guidance. 

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Recreational Release Update for the Feather and Pit River Watersheds (CA)

08/30/2021 - by Theresa Lorejo-Simsiman

American Whitewater breaks the bad news and good news for scheduled California releases on the Feather and Pit River Watershed. 

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Gauley Season 2021 - An Open Letter to Boaters from NPS

08/27/2021 - by Mark Singleton

American Whitewater received the following open letter to boaters from the rangers and staff of the Gauley River National Recreation Area. This letter will keep you up to date on important management actions of the National Park Service on the Gauley River for the 2021 season.

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Dixie Fire Forces Cancellation of Feather Festival Races (CA)

08/15/2021 - by Theresa Lorejo-Simsiman

Our annual Feather River Festival has always served as a venue to celebrate the decades of work American Whitewater has done in the watershed. So it is with great regret that American Whitewater has made the decision to cancel the 2021 September Feather River Races that were scheduled to take place in lieu of the festival. 


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New Mexico Game Commission Votes to Reject 5 Stream Privatization Applications

08/13/2021 - by Hattie Johnson

In a meeting at the State Capitol in Santa Fe yesterday morning, the New Mexico Game Commission voted unanimously to reject 5 pending applications for non-navigable water status – a certification which has resulted in closing off whitewater segments to boating with concertina wire fences and dangerous diversions since its inception in 2017.

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Submit Your Best Photos for the 2022 AW Calendar by August 20th

08/11/2021 - by Evan Stafford

Submit your best photos for American Whitewater's annual calendar!

When: The deadline is August 20th, 2021.

How: Via our online submission form. Images must be submitted as high-resolution files (suitable for printing up to 10", at least 1MB) for inclusion in the calendar, without monetary compensation. Maximum 10 photo entries per person.

Who: Any and all photographers, from professionals to complete novices. Have you taken a photo before? Then you're ready.

Why: First, you'll get a free copy of the calendar if your photo is chosen. Secondly, you'll know you helped support AW's river stewardship projects as we sell these calendars as a fundraiser. Third, fame. 

What: High resolution photos (>1MB) featuring rivers from within the United States. Images that feature rivers with current, past or future American Whitewater projects, and images that represent a diversity in paddlers, season, craft type, river trip length, river difficulty, and/or geography, will be given the highest consideration, but all compelling photos will be considered.

Thank you!

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Gore Race 2021!

08/08/2021 - by Hattie Johnson

Every August we gather on the banks of the Colorado River for a chance to see our friends from across the region, share about the stewardship work we’ve been dedicated to all year, celebrate late season flows and go fast through one of the most impressive river canyons in the region. While things are still getting back to normal, our event is going to look different again this year while still achieving all of those goals. We will be hosting the Gore Race as well as a (very short) virtual event with a race wrap up, membership prize drawing, and stewardship news. There will be no festival or camping this year. 

The 32nd annual Gore Race is on August 28th. Click here to sign up to race. ONLINE REGISTRATION ONLY. There will be no onsite or last minute registrations accepted. Online registration closes at 6pm on August 27th. As a part of your entry fee, you will receive an AW membership, t-shirt, race bib, and race insurance and user fees. If you are an existing member and aren’t up for a renewal, $25 of your entry fee will be included as a donation (thank you!). You’ll also be entered into a drawing for some rad prizes! The overall race winner will get a Verus Gladiator thanks to our sponsor 4 Corners Riversports!

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Whitewater Boating in the Chelan Gorge Returns (WA)

07/30/2021 - by Thomas O'Keefe

A whitewater boating opportunity will once again be available on the Chelan Gorge this September 18th and 19th and registration is open on the PUD website. Chelan PUD, the owner and operator of the hydroelectric project has expressed ongoing concerns with slope instability in Reach 2, the 0.75 mile reach immediately upstream of Entrance Exam and the start of the class V whitewater. Chelan PUD suspended the the whitewater boating event in 2018 and again in 2020 due to observed significant increased slope instability and consequent potential sloughing of earth and rock material within Reach 2 of the Chelan River. After meeting with American Whitewater, Chelan PUD determined that they could provide a weekend of whitewater boating this year. We are pleased to be able to work collaboratively with Chelan PUD to provide this opportunity again and ask that everyone who participates makes good conservative decisions.

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Update on American Whitewater Events For 2021

07/20/2021 - by Evan Stafford

It’s been a tricky spring to plan events for American Whitewater but we are super excited to get back out on the water with you and to see you in person at a river in your region! All of our events will have a different flavor this year, but most importantly there will be water in the rivers and there will be paddlers enjoying themselves. Read on for the most current information on the Deerfield Fest, Gore Fest, Feather Fest, and Gauley Fest. 


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American Whitewater/Asian Pacific Islander Mental Health Day on the River

07/13/2021 - by Theresa Lorejo-Simsiman

Earlier in the year, American Whitewater Southern Rockies Stewardship Director, Hattie Johnson, reached out to check on my well-being in the wake of anti-Asian hate crimes. She wanted to help the community in any way she could and offered a trip on the river as a venue for healing.  It wasn’t long before our conversation turned into a plan for an American Whitewater/Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Mental Health Day on the river. It would be a day of connecting hearts and minds to our shared values of the outdoors and the rivers that run through them. 

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Annual Report 2020 – Team Work Made the Dream Work Last Year

07/13/2021 - by Evan Stafford

American Whitewater is an organization committed to benefitting rivers and river enthusiasts. Despite numerous challenges, we continued and strengthened our legacy of efficiency and success last year. Eighty-seven cents of every dollar we see goes directly to our stewardship work, and in 2020 we succeeded in turning that work into favorable outcomes on projects across the country. For a concise and graphic look at the work we accomplished together in 2020, check out our Annual Report.

Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!