Help AW Maintain Good Access on the Upper Yough
Memorial Day Weekend is coming up, and Deep Creek Hydro on Maryland's famous Upper Youghiogheny River will release on Sunday, May 26th, and Monday, May 27th from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM. This marvelous stretch of expert-level whitewater draws hundreds of paddlers from all over the country. American Whitewater has worked closely with the Town of Friendsville and the State of Maryland to make river access hassle-free. Please remember that we are guests of the town of Friendsville. Use the paddler parking lot off Maple Street; do not park or take out on Water Street or Morris Street without permission from local residents. Be discrete; use the change house to get ready for the river. Remember that public drinking and rowdy behavior is not appreciated by nearby residents. Upstream, the Sang Run Access is owned by the State of Maryland and has been maintained by American Whitewater volunteers for almost 20 years. Please leave a donation in the fee box. $3 for a single use or $20 per season pays for the porta potty, gravel, and other expenses. The water has been running high for the past few weeks. Be careful and be safe!
Final Slate River Floating Management Plan Released (CO)
Crested Butte, CO - Increased user conflict on the Slate River has led to a Floating Management Plan that proposes a "voluntary no-float period" between March 15 and July 15 this season. Since our last news post in November, the Slate River Floating Management Plan has been updated and revised for the 2019 season. An open house will be held at The Depot in Crested Butte on Thursday, May 16 and it is critical that paddlers from the local community attend and engage in the conversation. (Photo courtesy of the Crested Butte Land Trust)
Effort to Protect the Rogue Continues (OR)
At the end of last Congress, the House and Senate negotiated a public lands package that ultimately resulted in 256 new miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers for Oregon when the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act was signed into law on March 12th, 2019. While rivers like the Molalla and several tributaries of the Rogue were designated Wild and Scenic, the lands surrounding the immediate river corridor were left unprotected. With a commitment to finish the job, and building on the successful effort to move these initiatives out of committee with bipartisan support last Congress, Senator Wyden was joined by Senator Merkley in introducing the Oregon Recreation Enhancement Act (S. 1262) on May 1st, 2019. The bill is scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on May 14th, 2019.
Senator Murray & Representative Kilmer Reintroduce Wild Olympics Bill (WA)
Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA-06) reintroduced the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (S. 1382 and H.R. 2642) to permanently protect more than 126,500 acres of Olympic National Forest as wilderness and 19 rivers and their major tributaries, a total of 464 river miles, as Wild and Scenic Rivers. Designed through extensive community input to protect ancient forests, clean water and salmon streams as well as enhance outdoor recreation, the legislation would set aside the first new wilderness on Olympic National Forest in nearly three decades and the first-ever protected wild and scenic rivers on the Olympic Peninsula.
Positive Outlook for Lower Dolores Flows This Spring!
The Dolores Water Conservation District recently put out their updated spill prediction based on the Colorado River Basin Forecast Center's May 1st inflow forecast. In addition to a positive forecast indicating a likely 3-4 week spill of boatable flows beginning before Memorial Day, low and middle elevation snowpack has raised McPhee water levels at approximately a foot per day. This lower elevation snow and May storm cycle have also helped in keeping fields wet and pushing back the start of irrigation season. One more benefit of the healthy low elevation snowpack was the flows downstream of McPhee reached boatable levels for over a week. Many regional boaters were out enjoying these natural flows and levels even reached 2,000 cfs for a period!
Animas River Days Coming Up June 1!
Durango, CO - June is fast approaching and Animas River Days is not to be missed. On June 1, the Animas River in Durango, CO will be filled with kayakers, rafters, SUP boarders, and spectators celebrating healthy and safe rivers. Be sure to put this event on your calendar for fun and whitewater this summer! Check out the Event Schedule and don't forget to pre-register if you are planning on competing in any of the many events. Pre-registration ends on May 29th at midnight and athletes who pre-register get a FREE 6-pack from Ska Brewing and a $5 discount. Don't miss the Parade Viewing Party at Santa Rita Park that starts at 6pm after the events. We'll see you there! Come check out American Whitewater's booth at Animas River Days and learn about our projects in the area.
AW Journal - The May/June Issue Online Now!
The May/June issue of the AW Journal is available in our online "Library". This issue includes 'A Grand Revisitation to Powell's Wild West' along with much more. Read the issue online now or download your copy.
Land and Water Conservation Fund Secures Access to Upper Colorado River
A bill to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was introduced last month by Colorado Senator Cory Gardener and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and cosponsored by Colorado Senator Michael Bennett. If passed the bill would provide $900M annually for projects protecting natural, cultural and historic resources. Existing funding from the LWCF recently enabled the transfer of two important river access points on the Upper Colorado River. The State Bridge and Two Bridges parcels were owned by Eagle County and had been improved - boat ramps, parking, restroom/changing facilities - by the Eagle County Open Space program with coordination and management support from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This land transfer will protect public access at these locations in perpetuity.
Step Into Adventure, Give Something For Rivers With Discount KEEN SHoes
KEEN has been a longtime supporter of our river stewardship work and if you need a new pair of KEENs now is the time to get them - use the code AMERICANWHITEWATER in the KEEN online store to receive $10 off and KEEN will kick $10 our way to continue our stewardship work for rivers. It's a win win and your feet will thank you!
Spring Stewardship Update 2019!
The Spring Stewardship Update for 2019 is here! This spring American Whitewater is working to protect water quality in our nation's rivers, designate new Wild and Scenic Rivers, restore flows to rivers affected by hydropower dams, promote outdoor recreation on our public lands, and protect access to our favorite whitewater rivers - we're getting it done in 2019, but we can't do it without your help. This stewardship work is possible only through your support, and your financial contribution plays a vital role in our success.
Dolores River (CO) 2019 Spill Forecast Update
Dolores Water Conservation District put out their most recent predictions on April 23rd. More can be found on their website. We are expecting an updated forecast on May 6th and will be meeting with them on May 9th to begin discussions on how the recreational boating releases can align with other ecological goals. American Whitewater has developed a wide range of guidelines on how a spill can meet both recreation goals and goals to improve aquatic species and riparian health.
Play Hard & Leave Only Paddle Strokes
The rivers are rising and warming up, and if you are like us your calendar is filling up with river trips scattered around your region and beyond. One of the many cool things about paddling is how we can traverse natural landscapes without even leaving a footprint. While our paddle strokes disappear when their tiny whirlpools collapse, it’s still a good time of year to reflect on how we can be the best possible visitors to the special places we visit. Here are some tips and resources.
MAY VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH PRESENTED BY KOKATAT
For the month of May we celebrate a volunteer who exemplifies a solid stewardship ethic by leaving rivers in better shape than he found them. One of the first to step up to help with a river access project or river cleanup, Jerry Griffin is our May Volunteer of The Month.
Limited Edition AW Keep Rivers Flowing Tees and Hoodies!
Colorado Policy Strategist Job Opening
American Whitewater is hiring a Policy Strategist for the Colorado Stewardship Program. The Colorado Policy Strategist role is a grant term limited position. The location of the position may vary within the state of Colorado, but in-person meetings along the front range are expected to be frequent. Work would be primarily done from a home office. The policy strategist reports to American Whitewater’s Southern Rockies Stewardship Director, and benefits from significant support and collaboration with AW staff, board members, and active regional volunteers.
New Mexico Governor Lujan Grisham Vetoes Gila Diversion Funding
In her campaign, newly elected Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham laid out a plan to end work on the Gila River Diversion Project. This past Friday she took great strides towards that promise by vetoing $1.698M in New Mexico Unit funding requested by the Interstate Stream Commission for Gila diversion planning and design.
NEW WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS SIGNED INTO LAW WITH PUBLIC LANDS PACKAGE!
With the President's signature today, 621 miles of new Wild and Scenic Rivers have been established through the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (Public Law 116-9). With strong bipartisan support, this legislation passed the House by a vote of 363-62 on February 26th. It passed the Senate by a vote of 92-8 on February 12th. Please reach out to your lawmakers in both the House and Senate to thank them for following through on this commitment, and we make it super easy through our easy action templated forms. A personalized touch will make sure your representatives read your thank you and the forms only take a moment to update with an individualized comment about why protecting wild rivers and the recreation opportunities they provide is important to you.
Help Protect Crested Butte Area Rivers and Creeks under Wild and Scenic Act
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests (GMUG) are conducting a Wild and Scenic River Eligibility Evaluation as part of the current Forest Plan Revision process. While the Forest Service is mandated to conduct an Eligibility Study as part of the Plan Revision process, this opportunity only happens every 15-20 years and we need to ensure that the Study is comprehensive and robust. We need YOU to share your love and knowledge of these rivers with the Forest Service! We've put together an easy-to-use tool for you to submit comments here. Please consider personalizing your comments and take the time to review the Forest Service's Story Map of the Eligibility Evaluation.
Clackamas River flow information survey
As a part of Portland General Electric’s (PGE) license for its hydroelectric project along the Clackamas River, PGE follows a Recreation Resource Management Plan that directs the Company towards recreation projects along the Clackamas. PGE is currently seeking feedback from the whitewater community on the flow resources along the Upper Clackamas River through a short 8 question online survey.
Join American Whitewater On The Wild And Scenic Rogue River (OR) In 2019
For the past few years, the staff of America Whitewater has joined with a number of our members to participate in a four-day float trip on the Rogue River in southern Oregon. This trip has been a great opportunity to connect with members in ways that build a lasting understanding of the role of recreation in fostering a stewardship ethic. As one of the original eight Wild and Scenic Rivers in the country, the Rogue is an outstanding classroom for American Whitewater’s river stewardship program.