Cheoah River (NC)

:stewardship:cheoah_1.jpg American Whitewater began investigating the whitewater potential of the Cheoah River in 1999, and advocated for a controlled whitewater flow study in 2000, which formed the basis of the next 4 years of negotiating for releases, access areas, land protection, etc. Flows on this river were severely impacted by the Tapoco Hydroelectric Project (FERC P-2169). It took thousands of hours attending meetings and writing technical comments, but eventually our efforts were successful. On September 17th, 2005 we celebrated the first recreational release on the river. There will be at leaset 18 releases annually for at least the next 40 years. In addition, new access areas are being built, thousands of acres of critical wildlands are being protected, and a improved base flow is working with the higher flows to restore the river. We more completely outline the benefits of the new license in a web article written when the FERC staff issued their decision.

Throughout the relicensing we worked very closely with Western Carolina Canoe Club, Carolina Canoe Club, other regional clubs, and the outfitters from neighboring rivers. Their efforts were critical to the success of the project.

Now that the relicensing efforts are over, our role has shifted to collaboratively managing the river with the US-Forest Service, and to participating in post-relicensing monitoring. During the first year of releases we assisted with shuttles, management decisions, promotion through the county, public education, and vegetation removal efforts. We have prepared a report analyzing the first year of releases, and will be playing an active role in the long term management of the Cheoah.

The Cheoah is an awesome whitewater run–and an amazing river.

Documents

Advanced Southeast Releases Set for 2017!

posted January 4, 2017
by Kevin Colburn
article photo 2

It is looking like another great year to be a paddler in the Southeast! Over the past two decades American Whitewater has worked with affiliate clubs and partners to negotiate an awesome array of scheduled releases on river reaches previously dewatered by hydropower dams. Enjoy these incredible opportunities, and be safe out there!

Cheoah Volunteer Opportunity July 24 & 25

posted July 20, 2009
by Kevin Colburn
article photo 1

The Southern Appalachian Cooperative Weed Management Partnership will be controlling oriental bittersweet, privet, and multiflora rose on the Cheoah River this Friday, July 24th and Saturday, July 25th.  These aggressive invasive plants are overtaking Virginia spiraea, a federally threatened plant.  If you are interested in joining us, please RSVP by Thursday, July 25th.  Carpooling from Asheville can be arranged.  All tools and equipment will be provided.

Cheoah River Restoration Report Released - Thumbs Up!

posted July 15, 2009
by Kevin Colburn
article photo 1

On June 30, 2009 a report was released that definitively finds that the high flow events that paddlers use on the Cheoah River have no significant biological or stream channel impacts that need to be addressed. American Whitewater is very pleased that the releases on the Cheoah are a good thing for the river, as predicted, and will continue to work to restore the Cheoah River.  


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

Cheaoh River Management

Title Name City
Dave Steindorf Chico CA Details...
Kevin Colburn Missoula MT Details...
Randy Demchak Travelers Rest sc Details...



Documents

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