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  • 03/17/2016 12:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Sara-Mai Conway

    Competition. When we hear that word, we immediately attach an emotional association. Competition. Our gut responds with fear, anxiety, excitement, curiosity, good and/or bad memories, and sometimes all of that. But it's always something. This is why it's important to compete. 

    Every time I race, I learn something about myself, something I never would have stumbled upon had I not put myself in the uncomfortable situation of competition. I learn about my physical limits and the effectiveness of my training plan, but more importantly, I learn about how I think: What are my true fears? Why did I or why didn't I go for a little more? What caused me to break down, or to push beyond? What was I afraid of or excited about pre-race, during the race, afterward? What do I have control over—my thoughts, my physical performance, my preparation? What don't I have control over— my surroundings, my equipment, uh...my thoughts?

    Often, we learn the most when things go wrong. My weakest moments make me the most upset. I would've-could've-should've. I learn and I move on. Yet looking back, it's my strongest moments that I remember the most clearly. Not just the wins, but the wins that forced the biggest fight out of me. That's something that racing has shown me. I like to win, but my favorite “wins” were those situations in which I was asked to beat myself—those moments when I was backed against the wall in the midst of competition and I was asked "that" question, and I was forced to decide: will I or won't I? And I did. 

    And now I'm sorry, you may be a terrific athlete. You may work hard, consistently, powerfully. But if you are working in isolation, you will never be forced to answer that question. And for those of you who opt to “test” yourself on your own, whether it be time trial, for distance, or whatever, you are missing out. And you are fooling yourself.

    Entering a race is not only about the time trial, the distance, or the finish line. It is about the act of racing. It is about learning to prepare, taking risks, learning about who you are, and being honest with yourself when you find out. It is the "spirit" and the "mind" in the trifecta of body-mind-spirit.

    I encourage you all to enter a competition. It doesn't need to be this weekend. But at some point, enter. And then once you do it, I encourage you to do it again someday. Do not do this for the external reward of passing someone else, going faster than someone else, or bringing home a medal. Do it because it is a necessary part of becoming the greatest that you can be. Competition offers necessary lessons toward development of the self. 

    And when development of the self is your goal, it doesn't matter who you pass, who is better than you, or where you place. It will be impossible for you not to achieve.


    Sara-Mai Conway is currently a cycling and yoga instructor, adventure traveler, and all-around competitor living in Austin, Texas. She is the cofounder of Resolute Fitness: Cycling & Yoga, a boutique fitness studio with two locations in the greater Austin area. Find them at ResoluteFitness.com and find Sara-Mai on Instagram @saramaic.

    Looking to complete? Check out the Lyons Outdoor Games, a CW-sponsored event, for recreational-paddler-friendly events June 3-4!

    SUP photo: istock/KaraGrubis


  • 03/17/2016 11:04 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Nik White, CW Instructor 

    As one of the CW instructors, people often ask me what they should work on to become better kayakers. What skills are the most important to learn? Should they take a particular lesson? What do they need to do to be ready for Class III/IV/V whitewater? Unfortunately, most people who ask are disappointed with my answer because it is so simple. Nine times out of ten, the way to get better at kayaking is just to go kayaking more. 

    Once you've had your first "on river lesson" where you learn the basics of communication, swimming, and basic safety, there is no secret skill that you need to learn in a lesson. Having a solid combat roll is not a requirement for anything. And, you don't need a professional instructor to go down the river with you every time in case you swim. Most of what you need to get better at (especially going from class I to II or II to III) you'll pick up with just more time on the water. 

    More time practicing tying boats to your car. More time figuring out how to run shuttle effectively. More time remembering to bring all of your gear. More time in your gear so you know how to adjust it and how to get comfortable in it. More time looking at moving water and feeling how different features affect your boat. More time practicing swimming and self rescuing (and hanging on to your paddle when you swim). More time rescuing your friends. More time paddling in a straight line to quiet your edges. More time stopping after a rapid to make sure everyone is still together and okay. More time bracing. More time practicing catching eddies. More time being calm when you flip upside down so you can relax enough to nail your roll. More time on the water.

    Unfortunately, for someone just getting into the sport, this can be pretty intimidating. You might not know anyone. You aren't familiar with the rivers or where the put-in and take-out are. You don't have a roll, so you don't want to be embarrassed by swimming and making a stranger pick up your pieces. And after all that, every time you swim you seem to hurt some new part of yourself! 

    Fortunately, CW has a number of opportunities to go out on the river. We've always had cruises where a club member opens up their trip to the club and river weekends where the whole club gets together and camps at a river for the weekend. 

    This year we're also expanding something we piloted last year, the weeknight meet-up. Starting the first Monday in April, there will be an open invitation for anyone of any ability level to come out to Reynolds Landing Park in Littleton on Mondays at 5:30 p.m. There are three class II drops in about a quarter mile that are extremely beginner friendly with a nice trail for walking back up and doing laps. We'll play around until dark, and then those who want to can walk over to the new Breckenridge Brewery, located 200 yards away, for some post boating refreshment.

    The goal is to give people an opportunity to get more time on the water and maybe even found some new boating crews for this season. I hope to see you there in April!

    Nik White started kayaking in 2008 while working as a raft guide on the Youghiogheny ("Yok") River near Pittsburgh, PA. Nik moved to Colorado in 2011 and never looked back. His current favorite run in Colorado is the Poudre Narrows but low water days on the Numbers and the Boulder Garden of Foxton are close behind. 


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  • 02/22/2016 5:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by April Lewandowski, CW Member 

    Josh running one of the Seven Teacups with the group at the bottom. Photo Myles Sanders On January 23, Josh Oberleas’s Facebook post showed a Google Maps image of his upcoming travel itinerary. Only 8,430 kilometers and 113 hours to go. And even then, he’ll only be halfway home.

    Josh Oberleas, his fiancé, and their van, the Fiel Furioso, will begin their journey back to North America in March; they are headed north from the Pucon region in Chile back to Salida, Colorado. While traveling, Josh will be spreading the gospel according to ACA, the American Canoeing Association, teaching South Americans how to be better whitewater kayakers and instructors. Josh is an ACA certified instructor trainer. In fact, several years ago, he taught an instructor-level class here in Colorado.

    Chile is not only a place for Josh, but a season. For the past seven years, he’s been guiding year-round, spending summers in Colorado and then heading to Chile for a South American summer. “I’m not much of a winter person,” he says.

    This past fall, Josh returned to Chile to work for David Hughes’s Pucon Kayak Hostel, which is affiliated with the Patagonia Study Abroad School. A student attending this school could expect a semester schedule to include Principles in Videography Production; Spanish; Advanced Wilderness First Aid; Leadership, Negotiation Skills, and Decision Making; and the “waterfall” course (also known as Expert Whitewater Kayaking for Competition and Instruction).

    The semester didn’t fill, so Josh found himself going from a coach to a guide for class IV/V paddlers. This is quite a change from his summer gig at the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center in Salida. At RMOC, about 80 percent of the guiding is on class II water, teaching people how to get in and out of eddies. These trips are fulfilling because he gets to introduce beginners to the beauty and thrill of Colorado whitewater. The Arkansas River, according to Josh, is the best place to learn in Colorado. Not only is it in the “banana belt,” making it a little warmer than the high mountain rivers, but also, “there are so many sections to fit different skill levels,” he says.

    The Fiel Furioso, which means furiously faithful. Photo Tessie Ortega The rivers in Chile raise the stakes, however. “To take twelve people into an unescapable canyon where the only way to get out is with ropes and having to keep your head straight is really rewarding,” he says. “It’s a different world watching your clients go off waterfalls.”

    Reflecting on this past season in Chile, Josh explains that the guiding also involved instruction. It’s hard to imagine that a class IV/V paddler could use much feedback, but Josh routinely provided video analysis for his clients, helping them see how to boof more efficiently or overcome the deer-in-the-headlights stall when reaching the top of a big drop.

    Somewhat jokingly, I ask Josh if the ACA has a progression for running waterfalls, since they happen to have a progression for everything else, from wet exits to rolling. “No, they don’t. That’s probably why we’re doing it here in South America,” he laughs. He then provides me with a simple approach to teaching waterfall running:

    1. Start with a group of motivated paddlers with solid class IV or moving-into-class-V skills.

    2. Take them to the most perfect waterfall setting, the Seven Teacups on the Rio Claro.

    3. And then, run the drops.

    Josh teaching rolling in Chile. Photo credit Tessie OrtegaJosh also shares his bite-sized piece of wisdom when it comes to running waterfalls: “Be active in the air.” He says many paddlers do well setting up for the drop, but “there’s lots you can do in the air to control the boof and control the landing.”  

    “Be active in the air,” means that during the free-fall, one can make physical adjustments to prepare for the next move. For instance, “Right after you take your forward boof stroke, you can lift your knees up toward your chest to flatten the boat to get the good boof.” Or, Josh continues, “If you want to lessen the impact on the landing, you can push your feet down and kind of scoop your boat into the water.”

    Once he started talking about the ins and outs, he had me thinking perhaps there was a chapter in the ACA manual on running waterfalls. “You can actually change edges. If we need to go to the left we land, then it’s a good idea to land off the waterfall on the left edge to carve us to the left,” he says with enthusiasm.

    Through his teaching, Josh has observed that running waterfalls brings paddlers growth and confidence. One student sent him a message on Facebook saying, “I feel really lucky to have spent time on the river with you as I’ve learned so much and have had an incredible time. I’ve seen a huge improvement in my paddling in the past few weeks.”

    The group before running the first drop on the Seven Teacups. Photo Josh OberleasJosh ran his first waterfall on Daisy Creek in 2005 while he was in school at Western State University in Gunnison, Colorado. “I could say I got addicted to it, but the waterfall experience really grew when I first came down to Chile,” he says.

    Josh has been building his waterfall-running confidence for some time. His biggest drop? The seventy-foot waterfall Stout 10 on the Middle Palguin in Chile. However, if you’re looking to complete this run, you’re out of luck. This famous waterfall “collapsed on itself about two years ago,” he says.

    “It was a straightforward pool drop, and I ran it twice with a group of friends. It was impressive to still be in freefall and think about why I hadn’t hit the pool yet,” Josh says.

    I ask Josh where a Coloradoan might find a good starter waterfall. With some hesitation he says, “One of the more straightforward runs for a first waterfall would be Daisy Creek near Crested Butte.“

    With a bit more gusto, he mentions two popular destinations for those seeking better waterfalls than what Colorado has to offer. Some folks head to Vera Cruz, Mexico, for a waterfall tour. “But if you really want the good waterfalls, it’s Chile,” he says with a full endorsement. The classic run is the one he mentioned earlier, the Seven Teacups, a picture-perfect set of the ultimate pool-drop experience. Josh mentions that running big drops and teaching others to run them hasn’t been his sole purpose in Chile. As an ACA instructor trainer, Josh travels around to offer ACA Instructor courses in the country. “South America is where we were in the 70s,” he says. The country has realized that adventure tourism is a key element in their growing economy.

    Lukas Reichelt showing us how it is done on the Upper Palguin. Photo Josh OberleasAlso, there seems to be a need for the ACA mindset. “The original idea of learning to kayak [in South America] was hop in the boat and follow the guy who knows more in front of you. There was just no real structure,” he says. “It’s been good to bring that [structure] and share it.”

    ACA teaches a progression that moves novice paddlers from flatwater to easier whitewater. The rationale, according to Josh, is “You teach people how not to get flipped over before you teach them to roll back up.” The results? “You see a better progression and happier people,” he says.

    There are other effects from getting more people into the sport. People who enjoy rivers begin to love and protect them. “What’s really been nice is that with a lot of growth in kayaking here, a lot of people are seeing what they’re doing to the rivers, that the damming isn’t a good thing, and they are realizing that there can be other ways,” he says.  

     In fact, two major dam projects have been cancelled. “There’s quite a bit of conscious effort here to protect the rivers,” he says.

    Josh hopes to be back in Salida by July. As he makes the long journey in his white van with his fiancé by his side, he’ll be stopping along the way to share his love of rivers and the good news about the ACA. And if you’re headed to Crested Butte to run Daisy Creek, keep an eye out for Josh on his favorite run in Colorado, Oh Be Joyful.

    April Lewandowski finds one way to get a wintertime boating fix: she watches Grand Canyon paddling videos on her iPad while sitting in her kayak on the living room floor. 

    Photos:

    1. Josh running one of the Seven Teacups with the group at the bottom. Photo: Myles Sanders
    2. The Fiel Furioso, which means furiously faithful. Photo: Tessie Ortega 
    3. Josh teaching rolling in Chile. Photo credit: Tessie Ortega
    4. The group before running the first drop on the Seven Teacups. Photo: Josh Oberleas
    5. Lukas Reichelt showing us how it is done on the Upper Palguin. Photo: Josh Oberleas

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  • 02/20/2016 10:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Kirsten Frickle, CW Member

    I had a few seasons of whitewater under my belt, but broke my shoulder and tore my rotator cuff a year earlier (in a kayaking incident, of course) and had become very timid in my boat. I was hoping to regain some confidence and get more comfortable in class III water.

    I came to training camp loosely acquainted with Laurie Maciag, Elizabeth Austen, and a couple other Boating Betties I had met at one of the clinics in Golden. By the end of the weekend, I met at least 100 new people and made fifteen to twenty wonderful, new friends.

    Friday evening I volunteered to help at the check-in table, which gave me the opportunity to meet almost everyone in attendance. Participants rolled in from early afternoon until the wee hours of the morning. Some people were living it up in cabins, others brought their campers and trailers, and many just pitched a tent.  

    Saturday morning we aligned with our classes, geared up, and got on the water. I registered for the level-up class, which was exactly what I needed. After practicing ferries, peel outs, and eddy turns, we reviewed and self-critiqued our performance, which was captured on video. Later that afternoon, we moved into bigger water and practiced eddy hopping and picking our lines (a few of us also practiced swimming).

    The camaraderie and support were amazing! Several people in our group had trepidation in the beginning, but were crushing it by the end of the day. We all improved our skills and confidence. We were all also very hungry and ate a lot that evening.

    Sunday morning there was a lot of shuffling between classes. I was thinking I was going to take it easy on a class II cruise, but then an impromptu class III Pinnacle to Parkdale run was organized and my classmate Jessie Gunter peer-pressured me into joining, "You came here to step it up a level, so step up" (or something to that effect).

    Training camp was the beginning of a busy boating season. Thanks to all the new friends I made, I was never without a group to paddle with. I went on several of the Colorado Whitewater cruises (Poudre, Rio Grande, Colorado, South Platte, and Blue) and many other trips with my new CW buddies. My husband and I struck out on our own to the Arkansas, Animas, Colorado, Gunnison, Taylor, and Snake (WY). Confidence attained!

    Another highlight of training camp was the raffle. Several generous sponsors donated fabulous prizes (of which I didn't win any, but the money still went to a good cause). And there was food. And cupcakes. But the best part was all the awesome people! I can't wait 'til this year's camp!

    Photos by Kirsten Frickle. 

    Kirsten Frickle is Minnesota transplant and now lives in Fairplay, Colorado. In 2015 she was first-year training camp attendee.

    The 2016 Training Camp takes place May 20-22 in Cotopaxi. Register by March 13 to take advantage of the early bird price of $125. Go tohttp://coloradowhitewater.org/TrainingCampEvents for more information. 


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  • 02/20/2016 10:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Tommy Gram

    A PFD is a crucial piece of gear for everyone who recreates on the river. In the most basic sense, it helps keep us afloat when we become separated from our boat, board, or raft. PFDs not only kept us afloat but also serve as multi-purpose utility devices. Let’s talk about some of the key components to look for when choosing a PFD and how I outfit my own.

    First, look at function. For paddle sports, a slimmer profile, type III PFD designed for active movement is recommended. With training and practice on appropriate use, many whitewater paddlers use a type V rescue PFD. The rescue PFD is essentially a type III with a sewn-in quick-release harness that can be used in a rescue situation. There are a lot of different rescue PFDs out there, make sure to get one that is lower bulk and intended for paddle sports.

    Insuring your PFD has adequate flotation is also important. All PFDs have a flotation rating in pounds. As a PFD ages, it loses floatation. Consider replacing your PFD every five years.

    Another important factor when choosing a PFD is fit and color. An appropriate fit is essential for comfort and safety. Your local paddle sports shop will help you find the best model for your needs as well as fine-tune the proper fit. A poor-fitting PFD can be uncomfortable and may not function properly. Also, make sure to choose a bright color that is easy to spot. Color can aid in rescue situations by making you more visible. Remember, a PFD not only keeps us afloat, it also serves as a multi-purpose utility device.

    Accessorizing your PFD allows you to keep all necessary items for rescue and comfort within your grasp at all times. Consider what you want to carry in your PFD and the storage you may need for these things. In my opinion, the bigger the pocket(s) the better. When deciding what to store in you PFD, categorize your items into two categories: rescue and personal comfort.

    For rescue, think about what you might need in a moment’s grasp? What should you not waste time getting out of the dry bag? If you are separated from your boat and have to retrieve it or hike out, are there items you need?

    Here is a list of the rescue/emergency items I carry:

    • Whistle
    • Knife
    • Basic lightweight pin kit
    • CPR mask and gloves
    • Light source
    • High-calorie snack

    For comfort think about the things you often use. Some examples of comfort items include:

    • Sunscreen
    • Lip balm
    • Nose plugs
    • Ear plugs
    • Helmet liner

    What you keep in you PFD may vary depending on the length or difficulty of your run as well as personal preferences. Whatever you keep in your PFD, make sure it is highly functional and that suits your needs for comfort and an emergency situation. Enjoy your time on the water and be safe out there.

    Tommy Gram is an instructor trainer for the American Canoe Association (ACA) and teaches whitewater kayaking and swiftwater rescue in the Arkansas River Valley. Check out his upcoming courses at www.whitewaterattainment.com. He is also the instructor for Colorado Whitewater’s swiftwater rescue clinic in March. See the event calendar for more information: http://coloradowhitewater.org/Events.


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  • 01/26/2016 10:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Larry Zuk inducted into the FIBArk White Water Hall of Fame in 2013 By Jodi Lee

    With a passion for water and adventure, Larry Zuk left his mark on the history of canoeing and kayaking. In fact, he was one of the founding members of Colorado Whitewater. Larry died in Colorado on December 11, 2015, at the age of 92.

    As a youth, Larry was active in Boy Scouts and was a counselor at summer camps in Maine, where he gained his life-long interests of canoeing, falconry, and Indian lore. He and his family members were early and active members of the American Canoe Association (ACA) and attended ACA’s Sugar Island Camp in Canada starting in the 1920s. The entire family raced as canoe paddlers and sailors, and won many trophies. Larry’s father, Thomas Zuk, was commodore of the ACA in 1957, and Larry Zuk was commodore of the ACA in 1976. 

    After college and serving in the Navy during WWII, Larry moved to Colorado in 1949 to fly and hunt with falcons, even donating one of his falcons to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. In the early 1950s, he met a group of boaters who ran whitewater in kayaks and canoes. He started the Colorado Whitewater Association in 1954 and served as the organization’s first president. He also founded ACA’s Rocky Mountain Division and was a member of the Board of the International Canoe Federation, which invited European kayak and canoe racers to American whitewater for the first time. He was a pioneer racer, instructor, and boat designer. In fact, he made 64 wooden kayaks and canoes in his garage with the help from CWWA members.

    1961 Larry Zuk on the South Platte RiverLarry moved in 1970 to Concord, Massachusetts, for his career. At that time, he returned to sailing, designing and racing canoes, and designed the ACA Class sail and rig, which has been adopted as the standard in the United States and in Finland, and he made the plans available to anyone wishing to build it worldwide. Larry also wrote a book, A Century of Canoeing in the ACA, which is still available for sale here. Larry’s original canoes have been donated to the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, New York.

    In 2012 he moved back to Colorado, where he continued to sort his collection of ACA papers and wrote his whitewater memoirs, which will be published posthumously. Larry was inducted into the ACA Paddlesport Hall of Fame in 2012 and received the lifetime achievement award, the Legend of Paddling Award. He was also inducted into the FIBArk White Water Hall of Fame in 2013, “In honor of their pioneering & community!”

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    “He has prepared, inspired, and empowered paddlers everywhere.”
    –American Canoe Association

    Larry’s ashes will be spread in the spring of 2016 in the Arkansas River in Colorado, where he won his first whitewater slalom national championship.

    Read more about the historical impact Larry Zuk had on Colorado Whitewater.

  • 01/25/2016 10:46 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Jessie Gunter CW ‘14

    The Scenic JondachiRecently I had the opportunity to travel to Ecuador for a week of paddling with the company Small World Adventures. Luckily, while I was at the National Paddling Film Festival in Frankfort, Kentucky, last February, I became very competitive with another bidder at a silent auction and impulsively bought the trip on a grad student budget (because financial planning is for…adults? Adultier adults?). My next task was to convince my partner, Trip, that he too should throw caution to the wind and set sail for Ecuador, which wasn’t too difficult. As the trip grew nearer, my friend Hilde in Virginia also decided to join, and we were the three best friends that anybody could have.

    Cresting a big wave on the JatanyacuOnce we arrived in Quito, we were greeted by a van full of friendly guides and two other East Coast paddlers. We headed gleefully into the jungle on a narrow and very windy road over the beautiful Papallacta Pass to Small World’s lodge in Borja, stopping only to check out rivers several thousand feet below us in the valley (“That totally looks manageable. Are we paddling that?” Guide: “That’s some super stout class V…”) and to vomit (just kidding, but I came close). At the lodge, we selected and outfitted our boats, geared up, and headed out for a half day of paddling on a class III section of the Rio Quijos. I made sure to start the trip off strong by paddling straight into a hole I was supposed to avoid and swimming the first rapid, approximately fifteen seconds after putting in. We had a fun, albeit blood-pressure-spiking, afternoon getting our river-legs back and remembering how to kayak.

    Nancy with a sweet boof on the CosangaOn the second day we headed to the Cosanga to truly dive into the instruction component of the trip, which was aptly named “Intro to Creeking.” We practiced rock splats and boofs, sometimes stopping to lap certain sections. 

    On the third day we traveled to Tena to enjoy some warm rivers. We had a big mileage day on one of the main tributaries of the Amazon River, the Jatanyacu, which means “big water.” This class III gem was incredibly fun, and my cheeks hurt by the end of the day from grinning as I rode huge wave trains and surfed everything I could catch.

    We had lots of help getting our boats ready for the Upper Mis.If I had to pick, I’d say day four was my favorite. We had another long and epic day, this time on the Lower Jondachi and then the Hollin after the two rivers converged. The remote location, clear water, and steep canyon walls decorated with abundant waterfalls and plant life made for quite a scenic run. The Jondachi is more of a low volume creek with some exciting rapids that often bring you right up against the walls (and sometimes maybe slamming into them and flipping), but it takes on more of a big water feel after the confluence with the Hollin.

    For days five and six, we headed to the Upper Misahualli (class III+/IV) near Tena for some technical creeking. The Upper Mis was a great place for creeking instruction, and by day six I felt (relatively) smoother and more confident while constantly making quick moves to navigate around boulders of unusual size (B.O.U.S.). 

    Our trip happened to coincide with New Year’s Eve, which was a blast in Tena. We joined most of the town for a huge street party, where ample beer was chugged, effigies were burned, fireworks were thrown at gringos, and we danced to live music until we dropped.

    The last day of the trip was a half-day paddle on a different section of the Quijos. Trip, Hilde, and I bid farewell to our fellow trip “custies” (as raft guides say when referring to customers), Billy and Nancy, and to our amazing guides, Jason, Libby, and Gynner, and wondered how soon was too soon to Facebook friend them. We went on to backpack around Ecuador for another week doing slightly less shoulder-intensive activities such as riding bikes, hiking, and eating ice cream. 

    Jessie Gunter

    Jessie Gunter stays in shape in the off-season by playing in a competitive adult dodgeball league in Boulder.




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  • 01/15/2016 8:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    SALIDA, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Forest Service are seeking public input on the management plan revision for recreation use along the Arkansas River. The Arkansas River Headwaters Area Management Plan provides a framework for managing numerous and often conflicting recreation activities along the 152-mile river corridor. The public scoping period started on Jan. 11 and ends on Feb. 12, 2016.

    The Arkansas River is the most commercially rafted river in the United States, drawing nearly 240,000 (1) commercial boaters and resulting in an economic impact of more than $60 million (2). The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area is also popular for camping, wildlife watching, gold panning and numerous other river-related recreation activities, including its Gold Medal Trout Fishery.   

    “It is important for the public to engage in the Arkansas River Headwaters Area Management Plan because it provides a long-term framework for recreation decisions on the river,” said Rob White, CPW Park Manager. “Many of the complex natural resource issues we deal with have long-term consequences. This planning effort enables the AHRA partnership to develop a lasting framework for recreation management decisions.”

    CPW, BLM, and USFS are inviting the public to a series of meetings to help guide the AHRA partnership as they develop the AHRA Management Plan. The open-house meetings will run from 5:45 p.m. – 8 p.m. and will feature an introduction at 6 p.m.  The meetings will also feature a focus-group style station to help the AHRA partnership understand why you value current recreation opportunities on the river. The meeting schedule is:

    • Buena Vista (Jan. 25, 5:45-8 p.m., Buena Vista Community Center, 715 E. Main St.)
    • Canon City (Jan. 26, 5:45-8 p.m., Harrison Elementary/Middle School, 920 Field St.)
    • Colorado Springs (Jan. 27, 5:45-8 p.m., CPW Southeast Regional Office, 4255 Sinton Rd.)
    • Denver (Jan. 28, 5:45-8 p.m., REI Flagship Store, 1416 Platte St.) 
    Based on public comments received during the scoping period, the AHRA partnership will develop a series of alternatives, which will be available for public review. Once those alternatives are revised based on public feedback, a draft environmental assessment will be published for public input (estimated Fall 2016). A final plan is expected to be signed in early 2017.

    The current AHRA Management Plan can be found here: http://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/ArkansasHeadwatersRecreationArea/Pages/publications.aspx

    For more information please contact AHRA at 719-539-7289 or to submit a comment visit the AHRA website at: http://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/ArkansasHeadwatersRecreationArea/Pages/default.aspx

    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment -- including your personal identifying information -- may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    ###

    The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area is recognized as one of the nation's most popular locations for whitewater rafting and kayaking on the Arkansas River - the most commercially rafted river in the United States - and is noted for its world class fishery. The area is collaboratively managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. AHRA consists of 45 recreation sites including 6 camping areas, 26 boat ramps and 18 developed facilities. The 152-mile long corridor sees roughly 800,000 visitors annually.

    1 – Colorado Parks and Wildlife – Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area 2014 Annual Report: http://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/ArkansasHeadwatersRecreationArea/Documents/2014EOY5_21_15.pdf 

    2 – Colorado River Outfitters Association – Commercial River Use in the State of Colorado 2014 Year End Report: http://www.croa.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/2014-Commercial-Rafting-Use-Report.pdf 

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  • 11/16/2015 5:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Well it's about time, right?! We finally revamped the website so it will be mobile-friendly and easier to navigate. Now you don't have to read that teeny-tiny font on your smartphone... the entire site will format properly to your device whether that's a desktop, tablet, or smartphone.

    We'll also be using our news feed and forums section more in the future and the latest updates will be conveniently displayed on the home page. 

    We're always looking to improve the CW website so our members and future members will find the information they're looking for. If you have any feedback, suggestions, or comments, please feel free to post them. 

Colorado Whitewater is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  455 Sherman Street, Suite 300 Denver, CO 80203

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