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AW in the West

The West may be known for its wide open spaces, yet boaters also recognize that many of the continent's mightiest rivers have their headwaters in this region, including the Colorado River and Salmon. Given the strict water law in these states, it's a wonder that the public is left any water to recreate on and the fish any water habitat to breed. Yet, with our focus on conservation and access, we are trying to protect the environment, rivers, and water that the public adores in this majestic landscape.

Federal Land Managers Improve Boater Access for Dolores River - CO

posted February 14, 2012
by Nathan Fey
article photo 1

A big thank-you goes out to the Dolores Public Lands Office in SW Colorado, for coordinating work on the Gypsum Valley boat launch site on the Dolores River.    The Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service's "Service First" program took the lead on this project and coordinated with the Army Corps of Engineers. The project demonstrates a growing partnership between local boaters and federal land managers.

River Access Task Force Submits Recommendations to Colorado Governor

posted February 2, 2011
by Nathan Fey
article photo 1

Colorado - On December 23, Governor Bill Ritter issued a report outlining a series of proposals for resolving disputes between landowners and rafters in Colorado. He also signed an executive order creating the River Access Mediation Commission to provide a way for some of the most contentious conflicts between boaters and property owners to be addressed. The Governor’s River Access Dispute Resolution Task Force was a 17-member group created in July of 2010 to help craft ways to sort out conflicts on Colorado rivers on a stretch-by-stretch basis as those disputes arise.

October Volunteer Of The Month - Presented By Kokatat

posted September 28, 2010
by Nathan Fey
article photo 1

American Whitewater is pleased to recognize Ian Foley as our Volunteer of the Month!

Ian invested an immeasurable amount of personal time and resources in coordinating releases on the North Fork of the South Platte River in Colorado. Ian worked closely with staff at the Denver Water Board to provide an additional 300cfs for the first annual Bailey Festival.


Thanks Ian! In recognition of his efforts, Ian will be receiving a custom OuterCore Long-Sleeve Shirt from Kokatat!

Take Action-Protect Your Right to Float in Colorado!

posted February 11, 2010
by Nathan Fey
article photo 1

Whether you are a Colorado Resident, or someone who travels to Colorado to hit the peak paddling season each year, we need your help to ensure all boaters have safe access on all Colorado rivers.  AW asks that you Contact Colorado's State Legislators and Urge them to Add Private Boaters to the “River Outfitter Bill”.

Draft EIS released for Denver Water's Moffat Collection System

posted November 2, 2009
by Nathan Fey
article photo 1

To meet their projected future water needs, Denver Water proposes to develop 18,000 acre-feet per year of new water from the Upper Colorado River basin.  Denver Water's  prefered project, currently being evaluated by the Army Coprs of Engineers (ACOE), includes raising Gross Reservoir on South Boulder Creek in Boulder County to store an additional 72,000 acre-feet of water from the Fraser River and Upper Colorado basin.

AW is evaluating how severely the project will impact paddling opportunities in the Upper Colorado and Boulder Creek drainages.

For more info, attend one of three public hearings announced by the ACOE.

Comment Period Extended for Regional Watershed Supply Project (CO/WY)

posted August 27, 2009
by Nathan Fey
article photo 1

Public Notice - Regional Watershed Supply Project proposed by Million Conservation Resource Group.

The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers announces the scoping comment period for the Flaming Gorge/Green River Pumpback has been extended to September 28, 2009.

AW Preserving Boating Opportunities on the Upper Colorado River

posted August 25, 2009
by Nathan Fey
article photo 1

By the end of September, the Upper Colorado River Stakeholders Group will submit a local resource management plan alternative for the US BLM's Kremmling and Glenwood Springs Field Offices.  American Whitewater has worked for over two years to represent paddlers in the negotiations, ensuring the plan explicitly protects flows that support a range of outstanding boating opportunities in Gore Canyon, Pumphouse, and Glenwood Canyon. The alternative plan crafted by the group seeks to balance permanent protection for recreational values in the Colorado River; water project yield; flexibility for water managers; and certainty for stakeholders.

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August 2016

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Swan River Releases Bigfork,MT runs 07/04/07 - 08/31/16
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Bear River Releases Oneida,ID runs 05/03/08 - 05/08/16
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Dolores River Releases Delores,CO runs 04/01/08 - 06/30/08
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CKS PaddleFest Buena Vista,CO runs 05/27/16 - 05/29/16
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Associated News

2010 Gore Canyon Race
August 17, 2010

Associated Projects

  • Bear River Restoration (ID)
    Hydropower relicensing on the Bear River offered an opportunity to restore aquatic resources and recreational opportunities on this river.
  • Boundary Creek (ID)
    AW lead the charge to stop a dam and diversion project from being built on Northern Idaho's stunning and remote Boundary Creek.
  • Clean Water Act
    American Whitewater's advocacy to protect water quality.
  • Colorado River Access (CO)
    The decades old debate over public use of waterways in Colorado continues, and AW is working to protect the rights of all paddlers to enjoy Colorado's Rivers.
  • Colorado SWSI (CO)
    Colorado's Statewide Water Supply Initiative may very well determine the fate of Colorado's whitewater rivers by dictating how much water can be removed from rivers to serve a growing population.
  • Conservation System
    The National Landscape Conservation System represents the crown jewels of BLM lands and rivers.
  • Dolores River (CO)
    American Whitewater is working to conserve and restore a dynamic, healthy Dolores River by leveraging recreational water needs to enhance and support in-stream flows.
  • Grand Canyon
    American Whitewater has long worked on the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River. From fighting dam proposal decades ago, to advocating for equitable access in the recent development of a new management
  • Green River (WY/UT/CO)
    A private firm in Colorado has identified the Green River in Wyoming as a potential source of new water supplies for Colorado's growing East Slope. The proposal to divert more than 250,000 acre-feet o
  • Lower Salmon River (ID)
    The Lower Salmon River offers a wonderful multi-day river trip managed by the BLM, yet us under-protected compared to most other multi-day destinations. AW has worked with the BLM on recreational man
  • Milltown Dam Removal (MT)
    AW participated in this landmark dam removal process throughout the FERC process.
  • Milner Whitewater (ID)
    AW supports the efforts of local paddlers who have advocated for whitewater recreation on the Milner Mile.
  • Montana Headwaters
    The Montana Headwaters Campaign is a creative grassroots approach to conserving some of Montana's and the continents most incredible rivers. American Whitewater is one of the champions of this issue,
  • Say Thanks for Designating Browns Canyon
    Stub description
  • Snake Headwaters (WY)
    American Whitewater joined a coalition of partners to designate the Snake Headwaters as Wild and Scenic.
  • Swan River, Bigfork Hydro (MT)
    AW negotiated scheduled recreational releases, flow information, public access, and land protection as part of a new hydro license on the Swan River in Montana.
  • Upper Colorado River (CO)
    American Whitewater is working with various stakeholders to develop a resource management plan for the BLM, as an alternative to "Wild and Scenic River" management.
  • Virgin River (UT)
    AW advocates for paddling opportunities and stewardship of the Virgin River.
  • West Rosebud (MT)
    AW is working with Beartooth Paddlers on the relicensing of the Mystic Lake Hydroelectric Project on West Rosebud Creek
  • Windy Gap Firming Project (CO)
    American Whitewater is working to protect outstanding paddling opportunities in Colorado, and a healthy Colorado River system from future water development.
  • Yampa River (CO)
    AW is working to preserve the free-flowing character of the Yampa River, while multiple interests set their sights on the Yampa as a new source for clean, high quality water supplies for Oil and Gas d
  • Yellowstone and Grand Teton
    AW has advocated for opportunities to experience the incredible rivers of Yellowstone National and Grand Teton National Parks through paddling.