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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.

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Wild and Scenic Rivers Bill for Montana Re-introduced!

06/25/2021 - by Jim Hepburn

Earlier today, Montana Senator Jon Tester re-introduced of the Montana Headwaters Legacy Act, marking another major milestone in the ongoing and momentous journey towards designating many of the state’s most renowned waterways as Wild and Scenic Rivers. The Senator’s office noted that this legislation would be the "most significant Wild and Scenic River designation in the state in nearly 45 years." The MHLA will protect 387 miles on 20 rivers and streams in the Greater Yellowstone and Upper Missouri Headwaters geographies as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The compilation includes a tried and true sampling of the essential Montana paddling experience, containing classic sections of the Yellowstone, Madison, Gallatin, Stillwater, and Boulder, all stacked between the ultra-scenic multi-day section of the Smith and an assortment of rugged and remote wilderness runs on their tributaries.

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Comments Needed - New Flow Management Proposal on the Trinity River (CA)

06/16/2021 - by Theresa Lorejo-Simsiman

American Whitewater has taken the opportunity to gauge impacts of a proposal introduced by the Trinity River Restoration Program (TRRP) known as the Winter Flow Variability Action. This new flow management proposal has the potential to impact summer recreational flows on 23 miles of the Trinity River including the Pigeon Point Run, Big Flat to Hayden Flat and Hayden to Cedar Flat. Overall, the main purpose of the new flow proposal is to help retore the fisheries of the Trinity River which have been severely degraded by dam construction and water diversions by mimicking a natural hydrograph. Based on this, American Whitewater finds merit in the Winter Flow Variability Action and encourages paddlers to weigh in as recreational stakeholders during the public scoping period so that the TRRP can better understand summer boating interests. Specifically, we encourage paddlers to highlight time spent on this section of the Trinity River during the summer and at what flow levels you enjoy measured at the Burnt Ranch Gorge gauge.


Photo of Theresa L. Lorejo-Simsiman on Hell Hole by Serendipty Snapshots  


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Whitewater Wars Tells how the Ocoee and Gauley Were Saved

06/10/2021 - by Charlie Walbridge

From 1980 to 1985 David Brown lead successful battles to secure recreational water releases on both the Ocoee and Gauley Rivers. These great victories are the subject of his new book "Whitewater Wars." Dave was hired by outfitters on both rivers, and his efforts took him from the edge of the river to the halls of congress. On the Gauley a small cadre of private paddlers - Pete Skinner, Mac Thornton, Pope Barrow, Steve Taylor, and Charlie Walbridge - played important roles and later became the nucleus of an American Whitewater board that guided the organization towards it's current position as a national leader in river access and conservation. Dave ran the first Gauleyfest to help build support for protecting the river, and was excited to get 500 attendees! After the Gauley was declared a National Recreation Area the festival was passed over to AW. And the rest is history! It's a great read!

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Mongaup River (NY) Settlement Agreement Expands Boating Opportunities

06/10/2021 - by Robert Nasdor

American Whitewater, reached a Settlement Agreement on the relicensing of three hydropower dams on the Mongaup River that will double scheduled whitewater boating releases below the Rio Dam in Forestburgh, New York. The agreement will expand recreational boating opportunities in the river and on reservoirs, protect instream flows for aquatic habitat, remove Black Brook Dam, protect endangered species, and protect flows on the Wild & Scenic Delaware River. The Settlement Agreement is the culmination of four years of advocacy as part of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) relicensing of the Mongaup River hydroelectric projects. “The Settlement Agreement is a big win for whitewater paddlers, anglers, lake owners, and everyone working to protect the river ecosystem,” according to Bob Nasdor, AW Northeast Stewardship & Legal Director. The Settlement Agreement will assure that the new FERC license for the projects will protect all river uses for the next 50 years. A huge win overall for the river and the community!

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American Whitewater Spring Stewardship Update 2021

06/10/2021 - by Evan Stafford

American Whitewater’s Spring Stewardship Update for 2021is here! We are working hard to protect water quality in our nation's rivers, designate new Wild and Scenic Rivers, restore flows to rivers affected by hydropower dams, promote outdoor recreation for all on our public lands, and protect access to our favorite whitewater rivers – but we can't do it without your help. This stewardship work is possible only through your support, and your financial contribution plays a vital role in our success. Watch our regional stewardship update videos to get a more in depth view of the work you'll be supporting throughout the rest of the year. 

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Tonic of Wild – Pacific Northwest Stewardship Event Wrap-Up

06/09/2021 - by Evan Stafford

On May 26th, 2021, we had an opportunity to gather the Pacific Northwest boating community online to celebrate American Whitewater’s river stewardship work in the region and build support for AW. Memberships and community support are essential to our organization and over the past year we’ve really had to get creative with ways to continue to engage paddlers in support of our mission. We’ve seen an incredible response and the Tonic of Wild event was a huge success. Thanks to all our sponsors, presenters and viewers! We signed up a ton of new members and raised a significant amount of funds towards our river stewardship program – a true testament to the community and big night for AW. If you weren't able to attend you can watch a recap of the night here. 

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New Mexico Access Update

06/08/2021 - by Hattie Johnson

In March of 2020, we updated our membership on a case our affiliate club, Adobe Whitewater Club of New Mexico, brought to the New Mexico Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the State Game Commission’s power to grant private landowners non-navigable certificates. At every level, the privatizing of streams and rivers in New Mexico has skirted due process, benefitted rich and largely out-of-state landowners, and is illegal.

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Moose/Beaver/Raquette (NY) 2021 Release Schedule

06/01/2021 - by Robert Nasdor

The General has coordiated with the hydropower dam operators to schedule the 2021 releases for the Moose, Beaver and Raquette. Looks to be a great year of paddling in the Adirondacks as we begin the dam relicensings this year for 21 dams on the Black, Beaver, and Moose rivers. 

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Mokelumne (CA) 2021 Scheduled Recreational Releases

05/27/2021 - by Theresa Lorejo-Simsiman

Annually, in accordance with the negotiated 2001 License Order and Settlement Agreement for the Mokelumne River Hydropower Project, American Whitewater coordinates recreational releases with Pacific Gas & Electric, the Ecological Resource Committee including the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. These annual releases are determined by the water year type which is predicated on the forecasted inflow into the downstream Pardee Reservoir. This year’s water year type is Critically Dry which allows for recreational flows on Tiger Creek and Electra in May & June.

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Fordyce Creek (CA) Spring Boating Opportunity

05/27/2021 - by Theresa Lorejo-Simsiman

Pacific Gas and Electric reached out to American Whitewater with an opportunity for boating flows on Fordyce Creek. We took the chance to respond to PG&E and communicate preferred paddling flows.

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Tonic of Wild – Online Event to Highlight Pacific Northwest Stewardship Issues

05/26/2021 - by Evan Stafford

On May 26th, American Whitewater will be hosting a special night of speakers, film showings, games, prize drawings and more to raise awareness for river stewardship issues in the Pacific Northwest. A Tonic of Wild will take place at 7pm Pacific Time and will feature a special presentation on the Wild Olympics legislation from professional kayaker and photographer Chris Korbulic. You do not want to miss this. As a fundraiser for this event we're running an online auction with framed prints from the Olympic Peninsula from Chris Korbulic, framed prints of an awesome map of the Peninsula and tons of other great items from Kokatat, Hala Gear, Werner Paddles, AIRE, Immersion Research, Sierra Nevada, and American Whitewater shwag and pin kits too, so get your bids in now and bid often and early! You will also be entered to win some other great gear just by attending the event and you can join or renew your membership and type 'Tonic of Wild' in the Additional Comments field to be entered to win a Pyranha Ozone kayak size of choice in our membership drawing! Sign up for the event here and support river stewardship! 

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Senators Merkley and Wyden Push to Expand Smith River National Recreation Area

05/07/2021 - by Thomas O'Keefe

Senators Merkley and Wyden introduced legislation this week to expand the Smith River National Recreation Area into Oregon. In 1990, Congress enacted legislation to establish the Smith River National Recreation Area (NRA) to protect the watershed, but the boundary of the NRA stopped at the Oregon border, leaving the North Fork of the Smith River and its tributaries unprotected. The whitewater community knows how special the North Fork of the Smith River is for its unparalleled water quality and exceptional opportunities for whitewater boating. The NRA expansion by 58,000 acres would permanently withdraw the land from new mining claims, helping to protect this sensitive area from proposed nickel strip mines, and protect 74 miles of scenic rivers, including Baldface Creek, Chrome Creek, and nearby streams. In addition, the legislation would task the U.S. Forest Service with updating the recreation plan to reflect the new additions to the National Recreation Area, and produce a special study of streams, fens, wetlands, and potentially unstable and vulnerable aquatic habitat areas.

Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!