TVA announces offer of water release on Upper Ocoee

The Tennessee Valley Authority has announced its offer to release water on the Upper Ocoee River for 20 days of recreation this year. The offer will likely be accepted by the Ocoee River Outfitters...
Author:
Publish date:

The Tennessee Valley Authority has announced its offer to release water on the Upper Ocoee River for 20 days of recreation this year. The offer will likely be accepted by the Ocoee River Outfitters, and, according to American Whitewater, the decision "represents a milestone in the history of river recreation and its role as a contributor to regional economic development."

"The TVA's recommended outfitter fee -- $4 per customer -- represents a significant reduction in fees for trips on the Upper Ocoee," noted Larry Mashburn, owner of the Ocoee Adventure Center and representative for outfitters and local business owners. "It will enable us to look to a bright future for rafting on this section."

This decision marks a successful cap to American Whitewater's seven-year struggle to secure releases on the Upper Ocoee. The association's effort culminated in a large-scale outreach at the October 2002 Teva National Freestyle Kayaking Championships, held during the last planned releases on the Upper Ocoee River.

As a result of that outreach, concerned citizens signed more than 1,000 letters that were sent to the TVA requesting releases, and comprehensive regional media coverage and a national outcry in the paddlesports and outdoor industry consumer and trade press was launched. Subsequently, the Ocoee Outfitters Association stepped up its lobbying efforts and as a result, Congressman Zach Wamp waded in (sorry, SNEWS couldn't resist) and took a strong leadership role in the effort to support the reinstitution of river releases.

SNEWS View: Twenty releases is a step in the right direction, but a far cry from the 74 free annual releases on the Upper Ocoee River that American Whitewater has called for. AW tells us that the association will be working within the 'Kitchen Cabinet' (a new collaborative between the TVA, Paddlers, Outfitters, the U.S. Forest Service, and local and regional governments), as well as a member of the Public Review Group for TVA's 'Reservoir Operations Study,' to meet that goal in 2004. To find out more, fire off an email to Risa Shimoda at risa@amwhitewater.org

Related

New-Balance920.gif

New Balance SW 920 Water Shoe

Over the past few years, we’ve seen an increasing number of footwear companies wade in with new water shoes, and that has really raised the bar for function and comfort. This season, New Balance joins the scene with the 920, its first performance water shoe. The SW 920 shoe for ...read more

Teva_Sunkosi2.jpg

Teva Sunkosi 2 water shoe

As a concept, water shoes are a fine idea. But we've suffered painful scrapes and blisters from poorly designed amphibious footwear, and frowned over many models that didn't dry as quickly as advertised. But Teva's Sunkosi 2 performed well, and proved to be exceptionally ...read more

Confluence continues to paddle rough water

Confluence Watersports was forced to eliminate 71 positions on April 19, resulting in 69 layoffs. Of the two who were not laid off, one was a company controller who was let go in January and the company has decided not to fill the position. The other, Keith Wallace, was the ...read more

Timberland_RipCurrentTech_shoe.jpg

Timberland Rip Current Tech water shoe

As water shoes have become more popular the last few years, companies have tweaked their designs so that you don’t have to sacrifice comfort to get a truly amphibious shoe. Timberland’s Rip Current Tech is a good example. After wearing these water shoes for a couple of months ...read more