Paddlers might have noticed that flow releases on the Cheoah River were getting a bit skinny over the past couple years, until the juicy release this September. At the urging of American Whitewater, the dam owner had USGS come out and recalibrate the gage this July, and the results confirmed the dam owner had been under-releasing by approximately 100-150cfs. In our annual planning meeting last week, they committed to adjusting their releases to comply with their federal license, and actually began the new release protocols in September.
American Whitewater, along with Kayak and Canoe Club of New York and Appalachian Mountain Club, have joined with FERC in calling on Eagle Creek Renewable, owner and operator of three hydropower projects on the Mongaup River in New York, to conduct a whitewater boating study on section below the Rio Dam. The Mongaup is a scenic Class II/III river within easy reach of New York City and southern New England. Both whitewater groups and FERC are seeking to determine whether releasing flows into the natural river channel below the Rio Dam would provide new recreational boating opportunity at the Rio Project. The study will determine whether the whitewater boating run can be extended upstream to the Rio Dam. In addition, AW and its partners will be seeking additional whitewater boating release days through the relicensing process.
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.
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!
Immediately downstream of the New River Gorge, a beautiful 5.5-mile section of the New River has been dewatered for generations. Paddlers call this reach the New River Dries, and know it for the huge surf waves that form at high water. The Hawks Nest hydroelectric project removes 10,000cfs from the Dries, leaving only 100cfs except when high flows overwhelm the dam. The relicensing of the dam offers a once-in a lifetime opportunity to restore flows to the New River. American Whitewater filed comments today with federal regulators outlining our vision.
Denny Alsop, a 69-year old canoeist plans to repeat 1988 journey across Massachusetts to raise awareness for the importance of clean water in the northeast.
Vermont has issued draft conditions for the relicensing of the hydropower project on the Green River that would drastically limit naturally occurring boatable flows and eliminates all opportunities for scheduled whitewater boating releases for the next 40-50 years. There is a public hearing at 7 pm on February 16th in Morrisville. This will be an opportunity for you to be heard, for the boaters to be heard. We (the North East boating community) need you to take action via written comments. AW and the Vermont Paddlers Club have filed comments in support of whitewater boating on the Green River. Boaters are encouraged to submit comments to Vermont before the February 19th deadline.
In a partnership between advocacy groups, outfitters, and hydropower utilities, Brookfield Renewable Energy and TransCanada Hydro Northeast announced support for #optoutside, a national campaign started by REI designed to encourage outdoor recreation rather than shopping mall exploration on Black Friday after Thanksgiving. In support of #OptOutside and at the request of American Whitewater, the utilities will provide whitewater flows on the Deerfield below the Fife Brook Dam between 11-1 on November 27th.
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!
Two Savage River recreational whitewater releases are sponsored by the Adventuresport Program at Garrett College in McHenry, MD this year: Sunday, July 5 and Saturday, September 26. Permission to use the take-out over VERSO property for future events depends on paddlers utilizing the shuttle, so please participate in this great service. Come visit the Savage and find out what the excitement is about!
The 21st Deerfield Riverfest will be held on July 11th in Charlemont (MA). The annual event celebrates whitewater boating on the Deerfield River that resulted from the historic settlement agreement signed by AW, FLOW, AMC and others which provides 106 whitewater release days on the Fife Brook section and 32 releases on the Dryway section of the Deerfield River. The festival is AW's biggest fundraiser in the northeast and supports our stewardship work in the region. See you at the Fest!
Northeast boaters are celebrating the end of a long, cold and snowy winter and are making boating plans for the year. Here is the 2015 Northeast Release Schedule
This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of the Deerfield Fest, an annual celebration of boating on the Deerfield River in western Massachusetts. The festival is an opportunity to come together with your paddling friends and listen to live music, check out the festival vendors, and maybe win a boat and other gear at the silent auction.
Paddlers that run the New River Dries (WV) between now and July 31, 2014 are encouraged to fill out a flow study survey after each day on the water. Submitting surveys will add important data to the Extended Whitewater Evaluation Study and will greatly help American Whitewater and others negotiate improved flows for the New River Dries.
American Whitewater offered testimony on several so-called "low-impact hydro" measures before the Vermont House Committee on Fish, Wildlife & Water Resources. In reality, all hydropower has an impact on rivers, and even small hydropower projects can have significant adverse impacts. AW encouraged the Committee to require state agencies to seek out and consider input from stakeholder groups like American Whitewater before deciding whether to support projects.
Great News! Yesterday, Virginia's "Freedom to Float" bill passed the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources. The bill could now move to the full VA Senate for a vote as early as Tuesday of next week (1/28/14). It is more important than ever that every paddler that enjoys Virginia rivers contact state Senators.
American Whitewater and Vermont Paddling Club have filed a Motion to Intervene in hydropower relicensing application filed by Morrisville Water & Light for the Green River dam. We are asking FERC to require the utility to provide 8-10 annual releases on this scenic and challenging run in northern Vermont. While MWL has agreed to provide two scheduled annual releases, we are seeking additional boating opportunities through the relicensing process.
Paddlers from throughout New England converged on Jamaica State Park in southern Vermont last weekend for the annual release on the West River. The annual one day release, held the last weekend in September, is the only remaining scheduled release by the Army Corps of Engineers from the Ball Mountain Dam. Spirits were running high as approximately 800 boaters and an additional 300 commercial rafters enjoyed the warm fall day. In past years when there were two day releases, the number paddlers coming up to the West Fest was double the number who come out for single day release. AW is continuing its efforts to restore releases to the West River.
American Whitewater, with the help of Merrimack Valley Paddlers and local boaters, has completed its effort to acquire, protect and donate property along the Contoocook River. AW has long been involved with the Contoocook and was active in the sucessful effort in 2004 that resulted in the removal of a dam that extended the whitewater section of the river near the takeout. The recent acquisition of land at the put-in will assure that paddlers will continue to have access to the Class III/IV section of the river which is a popular run in southern New Hampsire for paddlers throughout New England.
The University of Connecticut announced selection of Connecticut Water Co. as the preferred option to provide additional water needed for the Storrs campus. This option had been opposed by river watershed organizations at the local, regional, and national levels including American Whitewater. The Farmington River, including the Tariffville Gorge section, site of the annual New England “Triple Crown,” is an important paddling river.
AW has filed comments with FERC in response to proposed study plans for the Connecticut River filed by FirstLight and TransCanada. Based on testimony and comments filed by AW, New England FLOW, AMC and other groups, FERC directed FirstLight and TransCanada to study the potential for whitewater boating at Turners Falls, Bellows Falls, and Sumner Falls along the Connecticut River. AW recently filed comments asking FERC to address certain deficiencies in the proposed studies so that the licensees can more completely assess the potential for whitewater boating and through paddling along the Connecticut River.
The Town of Henniker Board of Selectmen voted to accept the donation of a 10-acre parcel of land on the Contoocook River in New Hampshire. The parcel, which is used by paddlers to access the Class III/IV section of the river, is being purchased by AW in order to permanently protect access to this section of the river.
If you are going to be boating on the Stone Valley section of the Raquette River or watching the whitewater paddlers during the upcoming releases, we’d like you to consider a few small requests:
The long awaited first releases on the Missisquoi River in Sheldon Springs, Vermont, were cancelled due to a lack of rain in the northeast. The releases were scheduled for the first 6 weekend days in May, but we were forced to cancel the first three weekends while we wait for the rivers to rise. So put on your booties and do your best rain dance so we can enjoy this big water Class IV run in the bypass reach of the Sheldon Springs Dam.
Come see American Whitewater at Deerfield Fest in Charlemont, MA on July 13th! Deerfield Fest is one of AW's largest fundraising events and the Northeast's biggest whitewater festival. Plus, for vendors, booths are only $50! You can purchase one right now via our vendor registration form. Prices increase to $100 on July 5th.
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.
In response to calls by American Whitewater, New England FLOW and the Appalachian Mountain Club, FERC today ordered FirstLight and TransCanada to study the potential for whitewater boating on the Connecticut River at Turner's Falls and Bellows Falls. The companies are seeking to relicense their projects at the Wilder, Bellows Falls, and Vernon dams in New Hampshire and Vermont, and at the Northfield Pumping Station and Turner’s Falls Dam in Massachusetts.
American Whitewater and the Vermont Paddlers Club today filed comments with FERC calling on Morrisville Power & Light (MWL) to schedule releases on the Green River in Vermont. In their comments filed today with FERC, AW & VPC called on the MWL to provide five weekend 2-day releases from the dam in order to provide additional paddling opportunities.
Yesterday a landmark stream recreation bill for the commonwealth of Virginia was reported out of subcommittee and will now go to the full Senate for a vote. The vote could come as early as next week, and supportive paddlers are encouraged to call their Senators as soon as possible. This is the closest the public has come to gaining clarity on our rights to float down Virginia's rivers in a very long time.
American Whitewater, along with New England FLOW and the Appalacian Mountain Club, filed comments and provided testimony this week at FERC scoping meetings held in New Hampshire and Massachusetts to discuss the five dam relicensing proposals filed by TransCanada and FirstLight for hydroelectric projects on the Connecticut River.
American Whitewater has filed comments opposing the further diversion of water from the Farmington river in Connecticut by the Metropolitan District Commission. The Commission is proposing to divert up to 5 million gpd in order to supply the water needs of the University of Connecticut. The proposed diversion would reduce river flows and potentially affect paddling opportunities at Tarrifville, a valuable whitewater resource.
The lack of clarity regarding the rights of residents and visitors to paddle Virginia's certain rivers and streams has long been an unnecessary source of conflict. Virginians are now ready to change that by clarifying that in Virginia people have the widely supported right to float down rivers. Thanks to this grassroots effort, a new stream access bill has recently been introduced in the state legislature that needs your support.
AW is pleased to announce that Bob Nasdor has accepted our offer to become American Whitewater’s Northeast Stewardship Director. Bob is based out of Massachusetts and has been an avid paddler of the rivers of the Northeast for the past 10 years. Bob brings a wealth of experience to the position from his 20-year career as a public interest attorney.
Earlier this week, Free Flow Power willingly surrendered permits that had granted them exporation and development rights associated with two proposed new dams on New York's Black River. These dams, if built, would have inundated 4.8 miles of the Black River that is currently free flowing. The surrender of these permits is good news for the Black River.
American Whitewater is initiating an open hiring process for a half-time regional stewardship position. The Northeast Stewardship Director will represent American Whitewater in strategically selected regional river conservation and access issues. Qualified individuals are encouraged to apply.
The National Park Service (NPS) has released for public comment a Study Report of Wild and Scenic River designation of Connecticut's lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook. Your comments filed before the October 17 deadline will help secure lasting protection for these rivers.
A memorial service was held on September 29 to celebrate the life of Alan Panebacker. AW Executive Director, Mark Singleton delivered the following comments at the memorial.
Vermont Paddlers Club have stepped up to help out with a low key, paddler driven river clean-up on the West River this weekend. Bring your own bags and gloves if possible, and dispose of all trash in the State Park dumpsters after your run or at your convenience.
Alan Panebaker, American Whitewater Northeast Stewardship Director, of Montpelier, Vt., passed away on Sept. 19, 2012, while paddling the Pemigewasset River (NH). A celebration of Alan’s life will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, at Eagle Park on Lincoln Road in Bristol, VT. A reception will follow the gathering.
This year the Connecticut River Watershed Council's Source to Sea Cleanup coincides with the September 29 West River release in Vermont.
American Whitewater is trying to organize a handful of volunteers to pick up any trash on the West.
“Don’t call this a festival,” New York legend whitewater legend Chris Koll said of the original Beaver River Rendezvous in 1998.
The three-day event has stayed true to that mantra, despite the popular “Beaverfest” dubbing, the event lacks any sort of commercial qualities. Just great whitewater.
For decades, West Canada Creek from Middleville to Herkimer, N.Y., proved a reliable beginner/intermediate run with consistent water released from Hinckley Reservoir upstream. After a number of high water events a play spot formed near the end of the run above Kast Bridge.
The public review and comment period for the draft Chesapeake Bay Watershed Public Access Plan has been extended until September 14, 2012. The plan was developed in response to an Executive Order signed by President Obama, and aims to increase public access to the Bay and tributaries by adding 300 new public access sites by 2025.
American Whitewater is working with local outfitters to ensure a utility does not shut off access to one of the Northeast's most popular beginner/intermediate rivers.
Releases for the weekend of Aug. 4, 2012, on New York's Salmon River and the Canada Falls section of the Penobscot in Maine have been cancelled as a result of low water this summer.
American Whitewater and the Kayak and Canoe Club of New York filed a motion to intervene in a proceeding with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on July 24 to protect our interests as a utility tries to increase its power output on a dam on the Mongaup River in New York.
A decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to abandon efforts to restore Atlantic salmon to the Connecticut River basin could change the game for whitewater releases on the West River in Vermont.
The Mayor and Town Council of Friendsville, Maryland recently sent AW an open letter of thanks in response to an outpouring of donations and support for their development of a new public take-out for the Upper Youghiogheny River in their Town. AW helped collect donations from the paddling community, and we are pleased to pass this thank-you on to the many paddlers that contributed to this cause - your donations were greatly appreciated!
American Whitewater is pleased to announce the hiring of Alan Panebaker as our new Northeast Stewardship Director. In this position Alan will oversee American Whitewater’s regional stewardship projects including playing various roles in dam releases, state and federal policy affecting rivers, public land management, and community recreation planning.
New York State Electric and Gas opened their gate to the Ausable River on May 25, 2012, and will continue to provide access through October 31, 2012. Public access to this natural wonder is the direct result of a decade advocacy by American Whitewater and Adirondack Mountain Club.
American Whitewater is pleased to announce that we are initiating an open hiring process for a new regional stewardship position. The Northeast Stewardship Director will represent American Whitewater in strategically selected regional river conservation and access issues. Qualified individuals are encouraged to apply.
Come see American Whitewater at Deerfield Fest in Charlemont, MA on July 30th! Deerfield Fest is one of AW's largest fundraising events and the Northeast's biggest whitewater festival. Plus, for vendors, booths are only $50! You can purchase one right now via our vendor registration form. Prices increase to $100 on June 22nd.
American Whitewater is pleased to announce that we are launching a new Northeast Regional Stewardship Program. The creation of the new program is made possible by a generous $50,000 gift, given in memory of Boyce Greer. This move marks the next step in AW's regional stewardship model, in which regionally based staff assist the paddling community with local river conservation and access issues.
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.
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.
Earlier this week American Whitewater appealed a decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to foreclose possible recreational releases on the Saranac River that was based on bad science, an inadequate review, and procedural problems. It is our hope that our appeal will confirm the need to rely on the best available science to make rational and transparent decisions - that ultimately protect rivers and their enjoyment.
American Whitewater recently joined regional paddling and conservation partners in seeking additional class III paddling opportunities on Vermont's Little and West rivers. The requests were formal filings made to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
River enthusiasts in Virginia, including American Whitewater, are circulating the below petition to raise support for legislation clarifying that paddling is fully supported by the State of Virginia. Join us by signing this petition!
Unhappy with a plan to protect 1 million acres of land along the Grand Canyon from new uranium mining, congressmen recently introduced a rider to an appropriations bill that would prevent these protections. Tell Congress that opening the Grand Canyon to new uranium mining would be a huge mistake!
The power company's gate will be unlocked this Saturday on the Ausable River, granting access to the Ausable Chasm, and will remain open until the end of October. Currently flows in the Ausable Chasm are far above the recommended range, and AW has been made aware that new wood has washed into the river, possibly creating hazards or passage issues.
Be advised that due to current river flow and weather conditions on the Hoosic River there will be no whitewater release at the Schaghticoke Dam this Saturday, April 23. Per the established protocols, the release is now postponed one-week until April 30 from 1-4 PM, once again river flow conditions permitting (i.e., allowing for the desired 900 - 1,600 cfs release)
The paddling community is rallying to support a proposed 20-year federal moratorium on new uranium mining claims around Grand Canyon National Park, citing unacceptable risk to the recreational, environmental, and aesthetic values. Read more to learn how to submit a comment of your own.
We now have an updated map of all the Nation's Wild and Scenic Rivers available as a Google Earth layer that complements the data from our National Whitewater River Inventory that is also available in Google Earth.
The Obama Administration issued a report on America's Great Outdoors earlier today that lists river recreation as among the top ten priorities of a new federal action plan for reconnecting people with nature through human-powered outdoor recreation. The report summarizes the results of listening sessions held around the country last summer and fall as the Obama administration sought public input on its action plan for America's Great Outdoors initiative. The report reflects the robust participation of the whitewater paddling community for heeding the call and standing up at the listening sessions to be the voice of rivers
A new challenge to paddlers' well established right to navigate rivers and streams in New York has recently emerged. Landowners have filed charges against the editor of a news magazine who wrote about floating through their property. The state is backing paddlers' rights, but not in the courtroom.
Follow Roy McPure as he walks you through his vision for damming whitewater rivers to generate a little electricity and make money. Support for small or "run-of-river" dams is seeing an increase as people explore new ways of making money with old ways of making electricity in an era of climate change related tax incentives.
This festival has become a benefit for Gabriel Dailey, who is suffering from kidney failure. During the festival the Bottom Moose will be releasing Saturday and Sunday May 14, 15 the Black River will be releasing Friday-Sunday May 13, 14, 15.
This week American Whitewater, New England Flow and the Vermont Paddlers Club are filing a detailed written request for studies relating to a proposed hydropower project on the popular West River. The requested studies would provide critical insight into the effects of the proposed project on recreation, hydrology, and Atlantic salmon.
American Whitewater is pleased to announce a new employment opportunity with our
organization. The AW Stewardship Assistant is a part-time position based in
California. Resumes will be accepted through January 7, 2011.
Act today to secure historic funding for river and trail access! This week congress will consider fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund through offshore drilling revenues. This fund is the best resource available for purchasing new river access and conservation easements, and has been underfunded in the past. Please Act Today.
Efforts by the Ausable Chasm Company to discourage legal public enjoyment of the Ausable River through intimidation have not thus far resulted in the State of New York filing any trespassing charges against paddlers. The State generally supports recreational use of its navigable rivers like the Ausable. Paddlers wanting to paddle the river are encouraged to read this article before their trip and make their own decision on whether or not to paddle.
If you live in the Northeast, chances are you've been to Deerfield Fest lots of times without even realizing how much work goes into putting it on. Every year we're short on volunteers, we need your help to put on this critical AW fundraiser! If you are interested in volunteering for the Deerfield River Fest, head on over to the Deerfield Fest Volunteer Page for full details and sign up.
The Northeast's most popular whitewater festival, Deerfield Fest, is happening this July 31st in the town of Charlemont, MA. It's American Whitewater's biggest event and fundraiser in the Northeast. If you're a vendor interested in being a part of Deerfield Fest head over to the vendor page to register.
Last weekend marked a major success for the paddling community: federally mandated river access at the power company lands at the put in for the Ausable Chasm. Unfortunately, in a surprize move the Ausable Chasm Company, which owns the land in the river corridor, had police onsite to write trespassing tickets for several paddlers.American Whitewater is seeking legal assistance regarding this matter. If you are an attorney in the State of New York and are interested in this issue, please promptly contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG), under an order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), plans to open New York's Ausable Chasm to paddlers on Friday, June 18th, 2010. American Whitewater would like to thank our volunteer Jared Hogle for all his assistance on this project. In addition, it is likely that more paddlers sent FERC comments on this issue than on any other FERC project in the Country. Congratulations to all of you, and we wish you many great runs on the Ausable!
Many paddlers are contacting AW about the Ausable Chasm, which was supposed to be opened to paddling for Memorial Day weekend based on a whitewater recreation plan filed in November 2009. All FERC needs to do is publish a simple letter accepting the plan, yet for the past six months they have failed to do so. With the Class IV+ Ausable at a perfect boating flow for the Holiday weekend, we regretfully report that the gate remains locked.
KCCNY’s traditional Annual Esopus Slalom is being enlarged and enhanced by the addition of a diverse array of other activities for whitewater paddlers, creating the Esopus Whitewater FunFest! This expanded event is designed to engage whitewater paddlers with a wide variety of interests and abilities.
Hanover, NH, March 4, 2010 Ledyard Canoe Club of Dartmouth College is hosting its second annual river festival the weekend of April 16th-18th. The festival will take place in New Hampshire's Upper Valley with competitions on the Wells River as well as the Connecticut and Mascoma rivers. In addition to the 7th annual Wells River Rumble race, competitions will include a kayak rodeo, a triathlon, and the longest consecutively held whitewater slalom race in the country. There will be festival party on Saturday evening at the DOC House on Dartmouth College's campus in Hanover NH. Everyone is invited to come and enjoy live music, a kayaking movie premiere, food and beer, raffles, and prize giveaways.
The annual Hoosic River Whitewater Release into the Schaghticoke Gorge will be on Wednesday, April 21, 2008 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM. American Whitewater and Adirondack Mountain Club negotiated these releases through a multi-year dam relicensing process. The Hoosic has something for everyone: an impressive Class V upper section featuring a 30 foot falls, and a fun Class III lower section featuring numerous play waves and holes.
The Army Corps of Engineers announced today that they will be releasing 1500-1800cfs all weekend (March 26-28). Read the full article for details, and as always, be safe out there.
American Whitewater is pleased to recognize Jared Hogle as our Volunteer of the Month for December, 2009. Jared was and remains the leading local advocate for access to New York's Ausable Chasm and other regional rivers. In recognition of his efforts Jason will be receiving an OuterCore Long-Sleeve Shirt from Kokatat!
A private hydropower company has proposed to install hydropower generation facilities in two Army Corps of Engineers Dams on the West River (VT), including Ball Mountain Dam which provides releases into the popular whitewater section of the West. The Company, Blue Heron Hydro (BHH) is hosting a public meeting and site visit to discuss their proposal. Paddlers interested in the effects that the hydropower installation may have on the West River are encouraged to attend the meeting and site visit.
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is currently investigating opportunities for restoring natural functions to the Connecticut River Watershed in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. TNC's efforts are focused on reconnecting rivers and streams, restoring floodplain forests, and managing flows for people and nature. AW is working with TNC, and we are hopeful that this process will benefit several whitewater rivers and their enjoyment.
Come see American Whitewater at this year's Deerfield Fest July 25th in Charlemont, MA.
After 15 years, Deerfield Fest keeps gettting better! The fest will have no shortage of things to do and will feature vendors, food, boats, a silent auction, plus - and most importantly - the chance to begin or renew an AW membership! Not to mention all the proceeds of the event go towards funding American Whitewater's river stewardship.
There will be a release from Ball Mountain Dam on the West River this weekend to manage reservoir levels. Ramping will start late Friday (6/26/2009) afternoon. Flows are expected to be 1500 cfs all day Saturday and most of Sunday (definitely in the morning).
Today, American Whitewater filed a formal challenge of a May 1, 2009 decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to prohibit public boating access to New York’s Ausable River for 7 months of the year, while allowing access the other 5 months. Securing 5 months each year of public river access to this incomparable river - after decades of no access whatsoever - is certainly a major success for American Whitewater and the paddling community. While we are challenging the unfounded 7-month annual closure, we would like to thank the many paddlers and organizations that wrote FERC in favor of public access to the Ausable River over the past several years.
It is time once again for the Whitewater Release at Brookfield's Schaghticoke Development on the Hoosic River (Schaghticoke, NY). This year the release will be on the next saturday that sufficient flows occur. American Whitewater negotiated these releases, and we hope that paddlers enjoy them.
By this time many paddlers are well aware that there will be no spring scheduled whitewater release on Vermont’s West River for the first time in decades. AW and our partner groups in New England have been unsuccessful in securing these releases, after significant efforts were made over the past several months (and years). The Army Corps of Engineers decided to release the water on April 1 without alerting the paddling community of this significant change. We will continue to work with the Corps and the other agencies involved to improve communications and reach a more mutually agreeable release schedule for next spring.
Last week Senator Feingold (D-WI) reintroduced the Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA), S. 787. This legislation will maintain the basic protection for rivers that we all appreciate and likely take for granted through restoring the reach of the Clean Water Act to headwater streams. We would like to thank Senator Feingold for looking out for one of our most basic human needs - clean water. Please call your Senator in the next week and voice your support.
American Whitewater has joined the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in their Green Power Partnership. AW has purchased enough renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Clean Currents, a leading supplier of wind energy credits, to offset energy usage in our national office.
Today, President Obama signed the Omnibus Public Lands Bill into law. This action officially designates 86 new Wild and Scenic Rivers and protects well over 350,000 acres of public lands. American Whitewater actively participated in the development of several of the individual Wilderness and Wild and Scenic River proposals that were part of the Omnibus Bill. We also advocated for the passage of the Omnibus Bill. This is truly a great day for rivers and wild places.
Paddling representatives were
shocked this week to receive a letter from Richard Carlson of the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE)
stating that the spring release on the Vermont’s popular West River would be made during
the week rather than on a weekend as has been the practice for decades. This news follows an ACOE decision last fall to move the release earlier into
the spring when the state park that provides access is closed. We ask that West River
paddlers take action on this issue.
Our nation's leaders are
currently considering the passage of a large economic stimulus package designed to put people to
work and stimulate the economy. All current versions of the package include significant
funding for construction and restoration projects on federal lands. American Whitewater has joined forces with other members of the Outdoor Alliance
to compile a list of infrastructure projects that are important to the active outdoor recreation
community. Please offer your suggestions through our easy online
Yesterday the US Senate passed a bill that, if also passed by the House of Representatives, will protect millions of acres of public land and designate dozens of rivers as Wild and Scenic. The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (S. 22) is a collection of bipartisan and locally developed land and river protection bills that have been in the works for years. Swift passage in the House is expected, and President Obama may sign the bill into law as early as Tuesday.
Despite overnight temperatures dipping into the 20’s this year’s Moosefest was a great time as always. Plus, unlike some years, there was no need to dig through snow to get to your gear in the morning as skies were clear and the sun shinning for most of the weekend.
This weekend (Oct. 18th), come renew or start your membership with American Whitewater in Old Forge, NY at the ever-popular Moosefest. Stop by the membership table and show your love and support for your favorite whitewater non-profit. Plus meet pro paddler and Team Dagger member Corey Volt and AW's Jeff Paine who will both be manning the table.
The USGS announced today that a number of their streamgages are threatened by loss of funding. The gages, located in New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland are scheduled to be turned off on the last day of September of this year unless cost-share funding can be found.
A report released yesterday by American Whitewater finds that the flows mandated for the Saranac River's High Falls Gorge will likely fail to restore basic ecological functions to the river. The report critiques the mandated flows using an analytical tool developed by the Nature Conservancy that compares human caused changes in certain aspects of flows that are ecologically important.
Earlier this month, the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) sent a letter asking the New York Department
of Environmental Conservation to prohibit boating on the Mongaup River, except on scheduled
boating release days. It is extremely unlikely that the DEC would take such an
action, but AW and KCCNY will be responding just in case.