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American Whitewater is the nation's leading advocate for whitewater rivers. We are nationally recognized for our leadership on Wild and Scenic Rivers, removing dams that no longer serve the public interest, and restoring flows to rivers impacted by hydropower and water supply projects.
Since launching our Colorado Program, we have been actively engaged in negotiating safe public access to rivers for recreational use, such as fishing and boating. We have accomplished new and innovative resolution to conflicts between paddlers and private landowners that are viewed positively by both interests.
We have leveraged our expertise in hydropower and relicensing of dams in several high-level water management efforts across Colorado. We have developed new science-based information on recreational stream flow needs to ensure our recreation economy and river health can be protected into the future.
Our goals for this year are to ensure that water supply and management efforts are transparent, and open to robust public involvement. Our objectives also include improved public understanding of two proposed public trust initiatives that if passed in 2014, would fundamentally re-write water law and jeopardize our cities, farms and river resources.
American Whitewater needs financial support from individual donors for all of our projects in Colorado, with a primary emphasis on our state-wide river access work. Foundations generally do not support river access work, making individual donations and memberships critical for the continuation of a successful program. diversity.
Founded in 1954, American Whitewater is a national non-profit organization with a mission "to conserve and restore America's whitewater resources and to enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely." American Whitewater is a membership organization representing a broad diversity of individual whitewater enthusiasts, river conservationists, and more than 100 local paddling club affiliates across America. The organization is the primary advocate for the preservation and protection of whitewater rivers throughout the United States, and connects the interests of human-powered recreational river users with ecological and science-based data to achieve the goals within its mission.
Executive Director Statement
American Whitewater is the primary advocate for the preservation and protection of whitewater rivers throughout the United States and connects the interests of human-powered recreational river users with ecological and science-based data to restore and protect rivers. Our brand of river stewardship includes a strong regional approach that teams up professional American Whitewater staff with committed volunteers. Together, we work to tackle challenging issues on rivers we all enjoy.
At the heart of our river stewardship program is the understanding that conservation and recreation are mutually dependent. Time spent paddling forms the basis for a conservation ethic that values water in rivers. Paddlers understand that you cannot love what you don't know. It's our love of whitewater that makes us fierce defenders of rivers and their flows. This intimate connection to flowing water has made American Whitewater a force in river stewardship for close to 60 years.
Specifically in Colorado, American Whitewater is heavily engaged in the following active projects:
Upper Colorado River: Working with water agencies to protect flows needed for whitewater recreation and the river's ecology.
Yampa River: Defining and defending streamflows in anticipation of new reservoir proposals and large-scale trans-mountain water pipelines.
Dolores River: A new management plan is in place to help enhance streamflows and we are seeking to establish enforceable commitments that will provide reliable flows for whitewater recreation and the river's ecology.
Gunnison River Basin: Protecting flows and access on river and stream segments throughout Colorado's Gunnison River Basin. These include iconic runs like Oh-Be-Joyful, the Gunnison Gorge, the Black Canyon, the Uncompahgre River and Escalante-Dominguez Canyons.
Board Chair/President Statement
The American Whitewater Colorado River Stewardship Program is a high priority for us. The way water is allocated in Colorado will impact other states and set a future model for water stressed regions. American Whitewater is a leading stakeholder in the management of the outstanding Upper Colorado River. We have worked for the past five years on a precedent setting agreement to protect flows needed for whitewater recreation and the river's ecology.