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#OptOutside With American Whitewater This Holiday Season

posted November 8, 2018
by Evan Stafford
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As the holiday season approaches, certain locales whitewater seasons are heating up, while in other regions, temperatures may be cooling and the temptation to cozy up inside and sip some warm cocoa might be starting to become a real threat. At American Whitewater we encourage you to sip that cocoa after you play outside. It just tastes so much better. That’s why day-in and day-out we’re working to provide more whitewater opportunities close to home, and why we are enthusiastically joining our partners at REI and asking you to #optoutside. Check out a few of the places you might find our staff and members out enjoying a day on the water. 


We Need YOU! Support Our Stewardship Work in 2019

posted November 7, 2018
by Evan Stafford
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American Whitewater is set to come out swinging in 2019, protecting rivers and access, restoring flows, and creating new ways to provide the beta you need to get out and paddle, but we can’t do it without your memberships and donations to keep our work on track. American Whitewater is your true bipartisan river recreation and conservation organization working for your interests and creating opportunities for you to spend time on the river. We know that protecting and restoring rivers, and our access to them, creates opportunities to spend time on the river, and we believe that when we spend more time with rivers, we become better stewards of rivers. Take a moment to see what your contribution will support in every whitewater region across the country in our 2018 Winter Update

Support Sustainable Upper Yough (MD) Access Parking!

posted November 6, 2018
by Evan Stafford
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American Whitewater has worked closely with the State of Maryland and the Town of Friendsville to maintain and improve access to the Upper Youghiogheny River since we started maintaining the Sang Run Access in 2001. Now the Town of Friendsville needs our help to finish the hardened part of the parking area. Some people are now parking on grass, which is not a long-term solution. The Town has raised $18,000 towards the work, matched by $2000 from town funds. They would like to raise $8,000 from the paddling community. A single new parking space costs $750. Can you help us? To chip in DONATE to American Whitewater today and put “Upper Yough Access 2018” in the comments box. Every little bit counts!!

Voluntary River Closure Proposed On the Slate River (CO)

posted November 2, 2018
by Kestrel Kunz
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Crested Butte CO - Alleged disruption to a Heron Rookery and concerned private landowners have led to a "Voluntary Closure" of the Slate River from the Gunsight Bridge to the Town of Crested Butte between March 15 and June 21 for the 2019 season. The Slate River between Oh Be Joyful Campground and Skyland Bridge, a 10.5 mile stretch, provides an incredibly scenic and unique flatwater paddling experience in the Gunnison Valley. The Voluntary clsoure is a product of the Slate River Floating Management Plan, created by a Working Group convened by the Town of Crested Butte and the Crested Butte Land Trust. The Working Group was created in direct response to pressure from the local community including conservationists and private landowners adjacent to the river, who are concerned that a recent increase in boating activity is disturbing a Heron Rookery that straddles the Slate River. 

Bonus Flows and American Whitewater Requests Remediation On NF Feather (CA)

posted November 1, 2018
by Evan Stafford
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American Whitewater, along with our partners at California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and Trout Unlimited, are requesting remediation by Union Pacific Railroad of the ongoing and increasingly serious threat to public safety caused by the instability of the Railroad’s retaining wall and adjacent hill slope on the North Fork of the Feather River near Tobin, California. Flows in the 800 cfs range are expected to start on November 5th and stay high until a maintenance project on the Rock Creek and Cresta Dams are complete. Repairs are expected to finish by November 23rd for the Rock Creek Dam and November 30th for the Cresta Dam.

American Whitewater 2018 Holiday Membership Offer!

posted October 31, 2018
by Evan Stafford
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American Whitewater is pleased to announce our 2018 Holiday Membership Offer a one year AW membership paired up with our 2019 AW calendar or AW Silipint Cup. . .and all for just $45! Giving a great gift and supporting your favorite non-profit at the same time. . . great river karma! 

Take Russell Fork Survey on Additional Releases (VA/KY)

posted October 24, 2018
by Kevin Colburn
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This year, the Army Corps of Engineers has added Russell Fork releases on the first two weekends of November as a pilot program, in addition to the standard four October weekends. Additional changes to the release program are under consideration. American Whitewater has worked with local partners to craft a survey to inform the decision-making process and support releases that maximize benefits for paddlers and local businesses. Click through to take the survey. 

Remembering Dangerous Dave Eckardt

posted October 19, 2018
by Nathan Fey
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Aspen, CO - Dave Eckardt, otherwise known as “Dangerous Dave” of Aspen, Colorado passed away earlier this month. A hero in the Colorado kayaking community of the 1980's, Dave is known by many as the co-author of the first kayak "bible" Colorado Rivers and Creeks, and for his dominance at the Gore Canyon Races. Dave will be deeply missed.

AW Weighs In On Teton River Dam Relicensing (ID)

posted October 15, 2018
by Kevin Colburn
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This week American Whitewater kicked off our involvement with the relicensing of Felt Dam on the Teton River, near Tetonia, Idaho. The process will take several years and will result in a new 30-50 year license for this hydropower project, which bisects a Class V reach and a Class III(IV) reach of the Teton River. 

Opportunity for Input on Middle Fork Snoqualmie Planning Effort (WA)

posted September 28, 2018
by Thomas O'Keefe
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The U.S. Forest Service has recently initiated a process to develop a Comprehensive River Management Plan for the 27 miles of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River and the entirety of the Pratt River that were designated Wild and Scenic in 2014. Paddlers are encourage to provide input online and/or attend the planning workshops planned for October 11th.

AW Wins Court Battle Protecting Green River (VT) Boating

posted September 21, 2018
by Robert Nasdor
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The Vermont Superior Court sided with American Whitewater in a long-running dispute with the state over whitewater boating on the Green River in Morrisville. The Court overturned state restrictions that would have eliminated any meaningful opportunity for boaters to enjoy this extraordinary river and required scheduled releases in a ground breaking decision.

AW Comments on Colorado Nat'l Forest Wilderness Process

posted September 5, 2018
by Kestrel Kunz
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Today, September 5, marked the close of the public review process for the DRAFT Wilderness Evaluation Report. The Evaluation Phase is the second step of 4 different steps required in the assessment of lands that may be suitable for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS). American Whitewater thoroughly reviewed the DRAFT Wilderness Evaluation Report and submitted our comments to the Forest Service on September 4, 2018. Overall, we found that key paddling reaches throughout the GMUG area were greatly under-represented in the Polygon narratives and thus weren't acknowledged as contributing factors to the Polygon's respective Wilderness Ratings. We let the Forest Service know this, highlighting specific paddling reaches that should be added to each Polygon and which Polygons we believe should have a higher Wilderness Rating based on the high-quality recreation opportunities that each area has to offer. 

Please stay tuned as we continue to report on the GMUG Land Management Revision Process and in the meantime you can learn more about the GMUG here. (Photo of Josh King by Nick Spitzer)

2018 Letter To Gauley Boaters From The NPS (WV)

posted August 21, 2018
by Mark Singleton
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American Whitewater received the following open letter to boaters from the rangers and staff of the Gauley River National Recreation Area. This letter will keep you up to date on important management actions of the National Park Service on the Gauley River. Enjoy your paddling season on this classic whitewater river. As in past years, American Whitewater has leased the field above Masons Branch, also known as the Legg field, for overflow parking.

American Whitewater Announces Endowment

posted July 30, 2018
by Mark Singleton
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American Whitewater is pleased to announce the creation of an endowment to promote safety education and outreach. The endowment will support “promoting  whitewater safety, responsible on-river behavior, safety education and outreach, and maintenance of the American Whitewater Safety Code and Whitewater Accident Database.’ Anyone wishing to add to the fund can simply make a donation to American Whitewater here and include safety education in the comment field of the donation.

Ohiopyle State Park Updates River Regulations

posted March 30, 2018
by Charlie Walbridge
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This past fall American Whitewater met with Ohiopyle State Park managers to discuss possible updates to their whitewater paddling regulations. The first topic was to change the rules governing raft sizes at different water levels to recognize the capabilities of self-bailing rafts. Shorter self-bailing boats will now be allowed to run the river at high water. Some small changes to the regulations will make Ohiopyle Falls more accessible to paddlers. A change in the way the gauge is interpreted should make the falls "legal" on more days. Although whitewater paddlers are only one part of the vast public that visits the park, every effort was made to accommodate them while avoiding user conflicts and safety hazards. Special thanks goes to Ken Bisbee, Ohiopyle State Park Operations Manager and John Hallas, a former Ohiopyle State Park Operations Manager who is now Director of State Parks. Click here to read the updated Ohiopyle River Regulations:

2018 Advanced Southeast Release Schedule Set!

posted January 7, 2018
by Kevin Colburn
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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. Each year we are part of a process to schedule these releases in an integrated manner that aims to maximize their recreational value. Check out the outstanding line up for 2018. 

Update: House Passes Hydropower Legislation

posted November 16, 2017
by Megan Hooker
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On November 8th, 2017, the House passed H.R. 3043, the “Hydropower Policy Modernization Act.” H.R. 3043 undermines the current hydropower licensing process, which is a key tool for protecting and restoring rivers impacted by privately and municipally owned and operated dams. The bill moves to the Senate next.

 You can help by reaching out to your Senators and encouraging them to stand up for rivers as they consider hydropower legislation.

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