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Legal Assistance

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Pro Bono Legal Assistance is one of the highest value contributions we receive. We are the leading organization in the country protecting the public interests of those who use our nation’s public waterways for recreation, but our work would not be possible without the significant pro bono support we receive, effective partnerships with other organizations, and enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers.


River Navigability
In 2000 American Whitewater published our River Navgability Report, that includes an overview of navigability law in all 50 states. Recent court decisions and new laws require that we update our reports and we are seeking assistance in this effort.

Liability at Hydroprojects
In 1993 American Whitewater published a comprehensive overview of liability at FERC-licensed hydropower projects. We have a need to update this report given new case law, legislation, and rulings from FERC.


Center for Justice
The Center for Justice is a member of the Hydropower Reform Coalition provided legal assistance on the Cowlitz Falls Project in 2005. (project summary)

Earth Justice
Earth Justice has represented American Whitewater and other parties in a challenge to implementation of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Leiter & Cramer PLLC
Adam Cramer represents American Whitewater and the other members of the Outdoor Alliance on federal issues related to human-powered recreation.

Patton Boggs LLP
Patton Boggs represents American Whitewater in our challenge to management of the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River. (project summary)

Alston and Bird
Alson and Bird represents American Whitewater in our challenge to management of the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River. (project summary)

David Mears, Vermont Law School
In 2006 David Mears authored our amicus brief in SD Warren vs. Maine, a challenge to the Clean Water Act before the US Supreme Court. Through our role in the Hydropower Reform Coalition, several other parties joined this brief and it was quoted in the Court’s 9-0 opinion upholding the Clean Water Act. (project summary)

Tom Quarles
Tom Quarles represented American Whitewater in a challenge to agency conditions for fish passage on the Merrimack River in New Hampshire. Setting national precedent and raising the bar of public participation, we were the first non-profit organization to be represented in one of these challenges that are new with the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Richard Roos-Collins, National Hertitage Institute
NHI has represented American Whitewater for many years, with a focus on national policy issues and specific projects in the Western US. NHI serves as a fellow steering committee member of the Hydropower Reform Coalition.

The contacts below include staff and volunteers working on this project. Make sure you are logged in if you wish to join the group.

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