Rural System, Inc.
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The River Runners

This is an organization of people with paid memberships. They all have great curiosity about and love of the Powell, Clinch, New, James, and Jackson and seek new ways to enjoy it but also to protect and improve it. It's activities (none of which are political or advocacy; leaving that to individual members):

Perhaps its greatest challenge will be to sustain a database and information system about the waters of the region ... for many uses.

Exerpts from a recent note from Rebecca R. Wodder, President of American Rivers, suggesting contacts and some types of activities and concerns:

There may be attacks on the Clean Water Act. A proposed rulemaking could significantly weaken the Act's protections for wetlands, tributaries and seasonal streams.

We at American Rivers want you to know that we will work with you, and other members of the river and watershed movement, to fend off a rollback of this law that has protected rivers in our communities for the last 30 years. The rollback of the Clean Water Act has been initiated in the White House, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

It may benefit land developers, agribusiness, and coal mining interests. Up to 60 percent of our rivers, streams, and wetlands -- any body of water that is not "navigable" could lose protection under the Act. River systems may become more vulnerable to pollution and harmful alterations of all kinds. Water quality will further decline. And the watchdogs in Congress will be able to do little about it without strong and sustained activism by you and tens of thousands of others on the front lines of water protection. The majority of Americans still rank clean water and protection of native wildlife (which depends on healthy rivers) among their most important values.

Our biggest challenge will be proving that even minor changes in a law as fundamental as the Clean Water Act can have huge consequences for local communities, and nationwide.

As co-chair of both the Clean Water Network and the Corps Reform Network, and facilitator of the River Agenda initiative, we at American Rivers are preparing ourselves more than ever to tell your stories, show pictures, and bring home the local impacts -- congressional district by congressional district -- of any proposals that would harm rivers and fresh water. Renew your American Rivers membership.

If you have a compelling story about how the Clean Water Act has helped your local river, and what its rollback could do in your community, drop a line to American Rivers' Outreach Director Matt Sicchio at

The Crescent Crew

The Crescent Crew is a part of this group and may become independent of it later. Its members study watershed of the county and delivers maps and analyses for the developing changes therein.

It has a voluntary membership that promotes an alternative form of watershed analysis. These people get out on the land, use GPS to make surveys and record data, and attempt to develop and maintain a precise disinterested, third-party data base about the watersheds. It tends to advocate an alternative analysis to river function, the Crescent approach.

It works locally but with contacts with the Conservation Management Institute at Virginia Tech and with D. Gottfried of Sawanee University, Tennessee.

A specialized interest is to develop means to identify map units and their changes to which the several performance measures of the streams of the county are most sensitive.

Memberships include a news letter, access to specialized maps and annual conference in the vicinity. Sponsorship will be sought. Development costs are estimated at $20,000.This is a break-even activity with membership fees covering costs. Maps and items developed (e.g., CDs with software and images) will be sold by The Products Group.

Estimates Development costs are $200,000. Net annual gains after 7 years:

Perhaps you will share ideas with me
about some of the topic(s) above at

Maybe we can work together
... for the good of us all
... for a long time.

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