Damming the Micos, FERC Fun, And More!

892

The Green Room

American Rivers Board Chair Passes Away
Just a few weeks after assuming the helm of the nation’s largest river conservation organization, American Rivers (AR) Board Chairman Tony Lapham passed away while fishing in North Carolina with his son. “Tony was a gentle giant,” says AR President Rebecca Wodder. “Gentle and humble in every way, he was also a giant in his intellect, his curiosity, his compassion, and his enthusiasm for life. We will miss his wisdom, his wry humor, his strong leadership, and his deep commitment to the people and mission of American Rivers.” First joining the Board in 1998, Lapham headed the Litigation and Nominating committees, and chaired his first meeting in October. “He leaves an indelible mark not only on this organization and many others, but on the conservation and rebirth of rivers across this land,” adds Wodder. “The clarity with which he analyzed an issue; the wit with which he defused a tense moment; the joy he felt while paddling or hiking along a stream with his friends and family; the connection he felt with his Virginia farm and the Jordan River that runs through it – all this and much more infused and strengthened American Rivers and made it a more human organization. He inspired and challenged the staff to innovate and never settle for anything but our finest work.”

FERC Fun
More boatin’ might be on the way for Northwest paddlers. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently released a new 50-year hydropower license for the Chelan Hydroelectric Project (P-637). The project is at the outlet of Lake Chelan, a 1,486-foot deep, 55-mile-long natural glacial lake, that drains into the Columbia River through Washington’s Chelan Gorge. For more than 75 years a 3.9 mile section of this gorge was dewatered for most of the year, and no permanent fish habitat existed between the dam and the powerhouse. Info: http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Article/view/articleid/10236/display/full/

Mas or Micos?
Mexican waterfall classic might be slated for dam

If you haven’t boated Mexico’s waterfall-strewn Micos, get there NOW. Word has it that the Gringo huckfest locale might soon be dammed. No more back-crunching, pristine ego drops.
According to Kelly Gossett of New Mexico’s Adobe Whitewater Club, a plan is in the works to build a larger hydro-electric plant on the Micos, which could dry up the popular waterfall run by next year. ‘A hydro plant in this area does not make economic sense,” he writes. “The construction cost of this new plant is estimated to be $5 million, whereas the recreation to this area is now over $7 million per year.” The construction may bring temporary jobs to the area, he adds, but it will also put many local restaurants and adventure travel operations out of business.
“It is my goal to communicate this information with as many kayakers as I can,” he says. “This information will be used to help build our case to preserve the Micos.”
He adds that he has connections with several hydro-electric plant operators in Texas who are also kayakers, who will present their opinion to Mexican politicians and plant managers, as well as a local rancher who would also be affected. “I hope to draw attention to this paddling paradise and spread the word regarding this sensative environmental issue,” he says. “I sincerely hope that future generations of kayakers and other outdoor enthusiasts will be able to enjoy this incredible river.” Info: (505) 803-2201 , kellygossett@comcast.net