As part of our work to protect and promote access to public waterways, American Whitewater is pursuing a bill in the Washington State legislature to require an evaluation of providing public access for state highway projects that include construction of a bridge across a navigable waterway. Our hearing on Wednesday (2/25) went well and the bill passed unanimously out of committee. If you are a resident of Washington State, you can help by reaching out to your Senator and asking them to support this bill when it goes to the full Senate.
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.
Canoe & Kayak magazine has compiled a list of ten classic paddling runs around the globe that are critically endangered. With input from American Whitewater, Colorado's Yampa River makes the list for the threats it's world-class whitewater and wilderness paddling faces from dams, diversions or other development projects.
On February 19th, President Obama will use his authority under the US Antiquities Act to protect over 20,000 acres of public lands surrounding Colorado’s Browns Canyon of the Arkansas River. American Whitewater has actively worked to protect Browns Canyon since we hosted the Colorado Roundtable in Buena Vista back in 2006, and we are celebrating the result of all the partnerships and work that has gone into this campaign. Join American Whitewater and community leaders in thanking President Obama for designating the Browns Canyon National Monument!
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.
Last week the State of South Carolina issued the final permit that Duke Energy needed before the federal government could issue them a new license for operating their dams. With a new license now expected sometime this year, paddlers can start gearing up for some big changes in the Catawba Watershed including new conservation opportunities, access areas, water releases, and stream gages.
Connecticut boaters have a great opportunity to protect the Lower Farmington River and
Salmon Brook. One of the best tools for protecting our rivers from harmful dams and diversions is
the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. American Whitewater is working with our partners in Connecticut
to designate sections of these rivers as Wild and Scenic, including the Tariffville
We need paddler's voices to make this a reality. Please join us in supporting efforts to enact federal legislation that will permanently protect these rivers for future generations.
Over the last few years, American Whitewater worked with the paddling community to raise $25,000 to go towards a take-out parking lot in the town of Friendsville, Maryland. This "seed money" was leveraged to attract over $200,000 in grants for the town to complete the take-out facility. American Whitewater has learned that Jess Whittemore was re-elected to the Friendsville, Maryland Town Council. Thanks to Jess's leadership the town partnered with the whitewater community to welcome hundreds of river runners to the area for summer releases on the Upper Youghiogheny River.
This week, the annual State of the Rockies Report was released by Colorado College. The report describes conservation attitudes in the West, with a focus on public lands. What is striking in this years report, is that the concerns over low levels of water in our rivers, and inadequate water supplies, are viewed as an extremely serious problem - even more serious than the economy and unemployment.
Right around the corner, National Paddling Film Festival will be held on February 20-21 in Frankfort, KY at the Buffalo Trace Distillery. NPFF has helped to raise the quality of paddle sport entertainment by providing recognition of talent along with important and useful feedback for the artists who make the show a possibility.
Lyons, Colorado - American Whitewater is pleased to recognize Matt Booth as our February 2015 Volunteer of the Month! Matt has dedicated countless hours to growing Lyons Outdoor Games and rebuilding local communities after the Colorado floods of 2013.
Our river stewardship efforts are supported by your membership. American Whitewater is pleased to announce the availability of our 2015 Member Rewards for major donors.
We are pleased to share the 2015 schedule of Class IV and V scheduled dam releases for Western North Carolina and North Georgia. American Whitewater and our partners negotiated these releases over the past two decades, and the result is 34 days of outstanding paddling opportunities for advanced paddlers on the Cheoah, Tallulah, Upper Nantahala, and West Fork of the Tuckasegee.
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.
Earlier this month American Whitewater and the National Park Service's Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program (RTCA) hosted a series of meetings and site visits in the Harper's Ferry, WV area. We met with roughly 35 interested groups and individuals, including 18 leaders from the paddling community, and visited over 20 river access sites. The meetings kicked off a collaborative effort to create and implement a river access Plan for the Harper's Ferry area, and were highly successful.
The legislative session is underway in Washington State and earlier this week we were shocked to learn of a bill that would severely limit access to the state's rivers and shorelines. Specifically the bill would prohibit water access on small parcels of public land that do not provide formal parking.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Yuba/Bear and Drum Spaulding projects in Northern California. Our review of this 1000 page documents says that it spells good things for boaters.
In the final days of the 113th Congress, several river conservation measures have been passed designating significant new Wilderness Areas and Wild and Scenic Rivers in areas vitally important to the paddling community.