Fairbanks Paddlers will hold it’s 2017 Annual Meeting and Potluck Dinner on Friday, November 10 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fairbanks.  All are welcome to attend.

Rather than our traditional guest speaker following the business meeting, we will be celebrating the kick off of the 50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers act.  Jen Reed will share a 15-20 minute presentation about Wild and Scenic Rivers.  Jen works for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the Public Use manager for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She is also the Interagency Wild & Scenic River Coordinating Council Representative and Interagency Visitor Use Management Council Representative.

Following Jennifer’s presentation we will have a “crowd-sourced” slide show celebrating wild rivers. We are asking members or guests to select a maximum of 10 of their best slides or short video clips featuring non-motorized river adventures to share in short mini-shows of 5-10 minutes each. The photos may be from a single trip, or highlight special moments from several rivers.  Ideally we would like to feature Wild and Scenic rivers in Alaska ( see the list below), but imagery from other rivers from around the world are welcome. ( We already have offers of slides from the Charley River and from the Czech Republic. )

If you are willing to share few images and memories, please contact John Schauer at johnjschauer (AT) gmail.com or (907) 457-3962 in advance.  Pictures or videos should be loaded on a USB drive to transfer onto the presenting computer. 

Schedule:

  • 6:30 PM – Doors open and Gear Swap – Bring boating and outdoor gear that needs a new home, or find great deals on gear that is new to you. Club T-shirts and sweatshirts with either Canoe or Kayak logos should also be available for sale in a variety of styles, colors, and sizes. Club stickers with both logos are also available.
  • 7:00 PM – Potluck Dinner – Bring a favorite dish and beverages to share. Cam Leonard will once again provide a roast turkey.. Share a meal with friends and swap tales of your summer paddling adventures
  • 7:30 PM – Brief Business Meeting – Summary of 2017 activities – Nomination and election of new board members.
  • 7:50 PM – Wild and Scenic Rivers Presentation by Jennifer Reed followed by crowd-sourced mini slideshows celebrating wild rivers.

Celebrating Wild and Scenic Rivers

2018 is the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers act. Congress passed this landmark legislation on Oct. 2, 1968, to preserve selected rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations.

Of the approximately 3.6 million miles of streams in the U.S., less than one quarter of one percent – 12,734 miles – are protected by the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. These miles include some of the most primitive and breathtaking landscapes in North America.

The Wild & Scenic Rivers Act safeguards the free-flowing character of rivers by precluding them from being dammed, while allowing for the public to enjoy them. It encourages river management that crosses political boundaries, and promotes public participation to develop goals for protecting streams.

Rivers are designated according to three classifications:

Wild River Areas – Rivers or sections of rivers that are free of impoundments and generally inaccessible except by trail, with watersheds or shorelines essentially primitive and waters unpolluted. These represent vestiges of primitive America.

Scenic River Areas – Rivers or sections that are free of impoundments, with shorelines or watersheds still largely primitive and shorelines largely undeveloped, but accessible in places by roads.

Recreational River Areas – Rivers or sections that are readily accessible by road or railroad, that may have some development along their shorelines, and that may have undergone some impoundment or diversion in the past.

Key Facts:

1. Designation as a Wild & Scenic River does not prohibit development or give the federal government control over private property. Recreation, agricultural practices, residential development and other uses can continue (See detailed FAQs here).

2. Rivers, or sections of rivers that are designated as ‘Wild’, ‘Scenic’, or ‘Recreational’ are protected through voluntary stewardship by landowners and river users, and through regulation and programs of federal, state, local or tribal governments.

3. Not all land within the boundaries of designated rivers is, or will be, publicly owned, and the Act limits how much land the federal government is allowed to acquire from willing sellers.

4. The Act strives to balance dam and other construction at appropriate sections of rivers with permanent protection for some of the country’s most outstanding free-flowing rivers. To accomplish this, it prohibits federal support for actions such as the construction of dams or other in-stream activities that would harm the river’s free-flowing condition, water quality or ‘outstandingly remarkable’ resource values.

5. Designation does not affect existing water rights or the existing jurisdiction of states and the federal government over waters as determined by established principles of law.

Alaskan Wild and Scenic Rivers

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