New York State Electric and Gas has blocked access to the Ausable River downstream of their Rainbow Falls project for many years. AW worked through the dam relicensing process for at least 6 years to force the power company to allow public access. Every step has been a challenge. Even though fedreal law requires dam owners to allow public access and portage, the dam owner consistently refused to agree to public access.
When FERC initially analyzed the situation they agreed with us that access was possible, legal, and a benefit to the public - yet recommended against access. AW cried foul and convinced FERC to order access in their final order. The license required the previously thwarted flow study to be completed which it was in 2005.
Paddlers found a spectacular and truly unique class IV river set in a deep and narrow chasm. Portage and scouting at river level was easy, and most paddlers wanted to do laps. A wide range of flows were found to provide boating opportunities, including levels frequently and naturally present in the summer and fall.
As of late summer 2006, we are awaiting the LONG overdue flow study report, and will likely have to again advocate for access to the FERC in response to the study. We should have access in the spring of 2007 at the latest.
It has been a long road, but we are close to our destination on this one.
You can view a low water video(under 300cfs) to wet your appetite.
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.
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!
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!
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.
The contacts below include staff and volunteers working on this project. Make sure you are logged in if you wish to join the group.
|Kevin Colburn||Missoula MT||Details...|
Rosebud and Ausable Flow Studies Are On!
July 6, 2005
Ausable Chasm Open Flow Study Planned
May 31, 2005
AW Calls Foul on Ausable Chasm
March 14, 2007
Ausable Study Finally Released (NY)
April 11, 2007
More Ausable Flow Study Dates Coming Up
September 8, 2005
Paddlers Alert – Ausable River, New York Comments due to FERC March 7th
February 14, 2002
Last Chance for Ausable Access for 40 Years
June 29, 2007
2007 Top Ten Stewarship Issues: Update
November 7, 2007
FERC Supports Paddling On Ausable! (NY)
April 10, 2008
Jared Hogle Named AW Volunteer of the Month Presented by Kokatat
December 1, 2009
FERC Lets Northeast Paddlers Down
May 28, 2010
Ausable River to Open June 18, 2010!
June 14, 2010
Ausable Chasm Company Resists Public Access
June 21, 2010
Ausable River Access Update
July 20, 2010
Ausable River to Open - Wood Hazards Likely (NY)
May 27, 2011
Ausable River Access Open for 2012
June 5, 2012