Thanks to all who came out for the Chena River Cleanup on Wednesday! We had a great turnout–I lost count after 12 boats, but I think there were at least 15. The weather was nice, though there was a bit of a headwind. We removed 180 pounds from the river channel and banks. This is a bit lighter than some previous years, though it pretty well filled up my truck. We must have had less waterlogged cardboard and blankets this year. We separated out the relatively clean aluminum into the green bags provided and put it in the aluminum recycle bin at the landfill. Some people separated out plastic and that bag went to the recycling bin at UAF. More trash will inevitably appear as the summer progresses, so we should try to remove whatever we can whenever we paddle that stretch of river.
Our cleanup results have been registered at the National River Cleanup website at americanrivers.org.
Check out our website for a photo (http://www.fairbankspaddlers.org/).
Thanks again to all who came out!
Chena River Cleanup Crew and Results, 2013
Cesar’s Bark Canoe
Film showing & discussion with Randy Brown and Sam Demientieff
Thursday, May 23 from 7-9 pm at the Morris Thompson Center
This film documents Cesar Newashish making a traditional birch bark canoe in Quebec. Cesar, a 67 year old Attikamek of the Manawon Reserve north of Montreal, uses only birch bark, cedar splints, spruce roots and gum, building a canoe solely from the materials that the forest supplies. The film is renowned as a quietly fascinating and meditative display of skill and tradition.The film showing and discussion with Randy Brown and Sam Demientieff will take place Thursday, May 23 from 7–9pm at the Morris Thompson Center in the Theatre.Randy Brown is an experienced birch bark canoe builder and is the instructor for the Folk School’s upcoming Birch Bark Canoe Class starting June 1. Accompanying Randy in the discussion will be Sam Demientieff, an Athabascan gentleman with many years experience on the rivers of Alaska.This event is free and open to the public.
Sponsored by the Folk School.
Wednesday, May 22, 6:00 pm at Graehl Landing
The Paddlers’ annual cleanup of the Chena River through town has been rescheduled for Wednesday, May 22 this year. This will also be the first of the Wednesday evening float trips for the summer. We will meet at Graehl Landing (just upstream from the Wendell Street bridge) at 6:00 p.m., set shuttle to the Pioneer Park landing at Peger Road, and plan on launching from Graehl promptly at 6:30. Once on the water people travel more or less at their own pace, stopping to pick up trash on the riverbanks. Usually, everybody is out of the water by 9:00 or 10:00.
Cleaning up the Chena River is one of the contributions our club makes to the community of Fairbanks, and is also a commitment we have made to the Adopt-a-Stream program of the Tanana Valley Watershed Association. For this activity we are recognized by two nice signs placed by the TVWA near the river at Graehl and Pioneer Park. Our cleanup is also registered with the American Rivers National River Cleanup campaign.
Trash bags will be provided. Participants should bring mud boots, raincoat, gloves, warm clothes, extra clothes, mosquito repellent, drinking water and something to snack on as well as some sort of craft to paddle. Don’t forget your life-jacket!
We will attempt to separate out clean aluminum in separate bags for recycling. We need to take the trash directly to the dump (as opposed to sticking it in dumpsters) so that the Borough can keep track of the volunteer cleanup effort and so that we can report our haul to American Rivers. My truck will be available for stuffing full of trash at the take-out.
For more information contact Alan Batten at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 488-3205.
Cleanup Crew 2012
It is now easier than ever to join the Fairbanks Paddlers and support the club. Participation in club trips requires joining the club and completing the waiver.
With our new online membership form and PayPal integration, you can now complete and submit your membership form online and pay securely with a credit card or your PayPal account.
Regular 1 year memberships are based on the Alaskan paddling season. They are effective from April 1 through March 31, and are not pro-rated. In addition to the one year individual ($10), household ($15), and business ($150) memberships, the club is now offering a lifetime individual membership for $100. If you choose this option, you’ll never have to remember to pay your dues again.
In the past, many members have only remembered to renew their memberships when they participated in a club trip or attended the annual meeting at the end of the season. They had to fill out the paper membership form and write a check or pay cash. You can still download, print, fill out, and mail the traditional PDF Membership Form (711) along with your check, or you can register and pay online.
Now you can go to the “Join” page in the menu, or click “Join Fairbanks Paddlers” in the right sidebar on the front page to renew your membership or join the club and pay your dues.
If you want to check whether you are currently paid up, you can contact membership chair Alan Batten at 488-3205 or alanbattan [at] acsalaska.net.
Spring is here and it is time to start paddling. The Fairbanks Paddlers overnight trip will be Sat. – Sun., May 11-12. The day trip on the Delta-Clearwater will be held on May 12.
For the day trip: Please contact Al Batten alanbatten[at]acsalaska.net (488-3205) if you plan to participate or if you have questions.
For the overnight: Please contact Cam Leonard at 455-7859 or at canoecam[at]gmail.com. Group size will be limited.
If you are not a current member of Fairbanks Paddlers or need to renew your membership, you can download a membership form from the website, and either send in your completed form and fee ($10 individual or $15 family) or bring these to Al or Cam at the trip. Membership forms will also be available at the put-in.
This is a flat-water trip that moves from the crystal clear Delta Clearwater River onto a slough of the Tanana then a short paddle up a creek to Clearwater Lake and across the lake to the take-out. From the Clearwater State Recreation Site to Clearwater Lake is about 12 miles and takes 4-8 hours depending on the wind direction and water conditions. Occasionally, depending on water level, the initial turn up the creek requires some strategy but there will be many of us there to help if this area creates any obstacle. A map and further river information is available at the parks and rec web site: Alaska State Parks Float Guide. It includes a link to a map.
What to bring:
Canoes and kayaks are the most common boats on this trip; going up the creek with a raft could be challenging. All participants should bring and wear a personal flotation device (life jacket). Migrating ducks, geese and swans commonly make the lake their first stop in the interior, so bring your binoculars. Bring a dry change of clothes in a water proof bag and a variety of layers so you are prepared for the temperature, which can be distinctly cooler or warmer than Fairbanks. Also bring lunch and drinks so you are properly fueled. We will stop for lunch on a gravel bar.
The day trip is an all day affair. We will be on the river about 6 hours.
Here are directions provided by Brad Snow some years ago:
Drive S on Richardson Hwy. from North Pole Badger Road (McDonalds) 72.75 mi to Tanana River Bridge at Big Delta. Continue 6.75mi S on Richardson to L on Jack Warren 4.55mi to L on Tripple H Rd. .75mi to R on Clearwater Lake Rd. .18mi to L into Clearwater Lake public parking.
Retrace to L 1.4mi on Jack Warren to R on Aspen .44mi to LR jog to .58mi on Souhrada Rd. to L 3.2mi on Remington Rd. to L into Clearwater State Rec. Site. Follow the signs to the boat putin.
For geeks (all coordinates in WGS84 format):
Putin: N64 3.445′ W145 26.503′
Takeout: N64 4.926′ W145 35.378′
Clearwater Lake Turnoff from the Tanana River: N64 6.285′ W145 35.201
(These coordinates were taken from DeLorme Topo USA and may be 10-80′ off)
Do you take pride in living near and around the Chena River? Would you like to broaden your knowledge about the Chena River Watershed?
Then sign up and attend the first annual Chena River Watershed Summit!
Where: Carlson Center
When: Wednesday May 1, 2013 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Free trade show and informational booths from 4 pm – 7pm
Early Registration ($15) is now open for the Chena River Watershed Summit. Feel free to share this link with all your friends and family.
COME & LEARN…
About economic and recreational opportunities on the Chena River
About efforts to promote clean water and healthy habitat for Fish & Wildlife
About current and future needs of the Chena River.
There will be sessions from 10am – 4pm, with a free trade show and informational booths from 4pm – 7pm.
Like it on Facebook and share with your friends!
Chena River Watershed Summit on Facebook
June 14 and 15, is the planned Reindeer Hills overnight trip on the Nenana River. We float the section of the Nenana between 18 mile Denali Hwy and the “Windy Bridge” on the Parks Highway a few miles north of Cantwell, starting on Saturday morning, spending the night on the river and taking out late Sunday afternoon.
Here’s a description of the river and the trip: The put-in is on the Denali Highway, about 18 miles east of Cantwell. The river parallels the road for a few miles, then cuts north behind the Reindeer Hills, returning to the take-out on the Parks Highway at “Windy Bridge”. It is a fast-moving, glacial-fed river requiring maneuvering and river reading skills. This section is class 1-2. A set of rapids, perhaps a mile (or three?) long starts near where the river turns away from the Denali Highway. They are straightforward with waves up to two feet high but no large obstacles. However, there are a few large rocks near the waterline lurking near the tail end of the rapidy section so those must be watched for. There are sweepers and strainers as on most interior rivers. It is definitely a step up from the upper Chena, but not as challenging as lower sections of the Nenana. If you are comfortable on the upper Chena and are looking for a little more challenge, this may be the trip for you. It is beautiful, scenery-wise, especially after the river leaves the road and goes into the hills. We camp at one of a couple of places: there’s the Brushkasna Creek site, and there are a couple of islands and a site on river left above Brushkasna Creek that make good campsites too. We should get off the river Sunday afternoon at around 4 or 5 p.m.
We could easily have some rain on the trip and the nights can be quite chilly, sometimes even freezing. The river water is extremely cold. A drysuit and fleece layering would be nice; rain gear and extra clothes are a must. I’ll bring the club tarp which will provide some shelter for cooking if it rains. Participants should be current members of the club. I’ll have membership forms on hand for those who need them.
Food: Everyone should bring their own lunches. I’ll bring some sort of breakfast for Sunday. We’ll try to coordinate dinner for Saturday night. Maybe we can all bring a little something to share.
Participants should be current members of the club. Membership forms will be available for those who need them.
For more information contact Dana Thomas (dlthomas [at] alaska.edu), Nick Dallman (nicholas.dallman [at] alaska.gov) or Alan Batten (alanbatten [at] acsalaska.net or 488-3205).
All paddlers interested in this trip to either email or call Alan (488-3205) by Thursday evening, June 13 (please include a telephone number in your email).
In February 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) aprroved 44 of the 58 study plans proposed by the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) for the massive Susitna-Watana Hydro Project. Approval of an additional 14 study plans was delayed because they lacked sufficient detail. FERC recently approved these 14 study plans, allowing the studies to be conducted this summer.
The proposed dam would be located at Mile 184 of the Susitna River in Watana Canyon, upstream of Devil’s Canyon and the community of Talkeetna. The 735-foot high dam would create a reservoir about 42 miles long and up to 2 miles wide ( averaging about 1 mile wide ).
The studies are planned to take place over the next two years, with a licensing application planned for 2015. Once the AEA has applied for licensing. an Environmental Impact Statement will need to be prepared. There will be many opportunities for public input in the study and permitting process.
The board of Fairbanks Paddlers has discussed the project at several meetings. At this time, our we encourage members to stay informed about the proposed dam project and to become involved in the public input process.
The Alaska Energy Authority has a website detailing the project at http://www.susitna-watanahydro.org . Included on the site is a schedule of the Technical Working Group meetings.
Interactive GIS maps of the project area can be viewed at http://www.dmlwmaps.dnr.alaska.gov/Watana/
A March 2013 New York Times Article, “Dam Proposal Presents Twin Conundrums in Alaska“, highlights some of the issues related to the Susitna-Watana Dam Project. ( The article was re-published in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner.)
Several groups have publicly opposed the project, including the following:
Paddlers on the Susitna River, August 2012
Pack the Pool!
Monday night kayak pool practice sessions resume once again at Hamme Pool this coming Monday, March 18, from 7 to 9 pm. We encourage all boaters to thoroughly clean the birch leaves and vole nests out of their boats and show up for this event to emphasize to the Borough how important these pool sessions are to paddlers in the Interior. This is an excellent opportunity for paddlers to develop paddling and self-rescue skills in a safe, warm environment. With Interior rivers frozen from mid-October through mid-May, these skills are extremely important to boaters who venture onto icy, high water river runs that always occur after break-up.
We hope to convince the Borough to reinstate the full winter schedule of pool sessions starting in January of next year. One of the reasons given for cutting the number of sessions this year was the relatively low turnout for pool sessions in January of 2012 (one of the coldest Januaries on record). We want to have a big turnout this coming Monday to be able to argue for a full season of pool sessions next year. For more info on the Hamme pool policy see the previous post and Tim Mowry’s News-Miner article.
Remember to do a thorough job of cleaning out your boats before bringing them to the pool! This is very important. The last thing we want to do is cause any problem with the pool filtration system. There will be kayak polo games at the end of each session. The pool sessions continue every Monday evening through May 20th. Cost for adults is $5 per session or $45 for a 10-visit card. Discounts are available for youth (12-17), children (4-11) and seniors (>=60).
Pack the Pool!
- Paddling on Beaver Creek
Comments on BLM’s Eastern Interior plan due April 11th, 2013
This is BLM’s long-range plan for the Eastern Interior, including the recently published supplement which considers management alternatives allowing mining leases in the White Mountains National Recreation Area. Note that the White Mountains NRA is immediately upstream from and adjacent to the Beaver Creek National Wild and Scenic River. Public hearings on the Plan and Supplement are over, but comments can still be made up until April 11th. For more information see the BLM website.
There are three ways to make comments:
1) Through the interactive documents on the BLM website. The top two documents on this page (those with an “html” option in the “available formats” column) are the ones that can be used interactively to make comments. These are the original Eastern Interior Plan and the recent White Mountains Supplement. Instructions for making comments are in two pdf files with links about one screen down from the top.
2) By emailing comments to EasternInterior@blm.gov.
3) By mailing comments to BLM Eastern Interior Field Office, Attention: Eastern Interior Draft RMP/EIS, Bureau of Land Management, 1150 University Avenue, Fairbanks, AK 99709.
For more background info, see below.
Continue reading BLM Eastern Interior Plan