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Gauley River Access Update

Private boaters will have access to the river for 2005

Chuck Brabec Webmaster

August 17, 2005 -- Summersville, WV

The West Virginia Rivers Coalition and American Whitewater have been notified by the owners of some of the most popular river access sites in the Gauley River National Recreation Area that those areas will again be available for use by private kayakers and canoeists during the upcoming fall whitewater season. This accommodation by the property owners will avert what could have been a chaotic situation for the thousands of private boaters who flock to Fayette and Nicholas Counties each fall for the whitewater season on the Gauley River. Without this cooperative arrangement, river access would have been limited to Summersville Dam, the only publicly owned access site, and the community of Swiss, twenty-six miles downstream.

However- this may not be the case next year. We highly suggest that you continue to express your desire for a "long term" solution to the access issue on the Gauley. Contact these WV Representatives and ask them to help find a solution to this access issue! Both short term and long term. If you are from out of state- then your support is equally as valid- these representatives need to hear from you.

Tell them:

  • Private paddlers love coming to this area and paddling the Gauley River, but without any access many may not come. The Gauley River is a National Park and Recreation Area and important to the local economy.
  • If you paddle the Gauley often, mention how many times a year.
  • If you paddle in a club or large group, mention how many people are in your group on average
  • If you camp or stay at a local motel, eat out, shop- mention that

Thanks so much for your help and support with this issue- keep the pressure on!

(Contact information is below...)

Congressman Nick J. Rahall (HE is the top priority guy to connect with)
Beckley Office:
106 Main St.
Beckley, WV 25801
(304) 252-5000
(304) 252-9803 (Fax)
DC Office:
2307 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3452
(202) 225-9061 (Fax)

Senator Robert Byrd
311 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-4801
Phone: (202) 224-3954
Fax: (202) 228-0002

Senator John D. Rockefeller
Washington Office:
531 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-4802
Phone: (202) 224-6472
Fax: (202) 224-7665

Governor Joe Manchin III
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, E.,
Charleston, WV 25305
Toll-Free: 1-888-438-2731

Southern West Virginia Convention & Visitors Bureau
221 St. George Street; Suite 2
Beckley, WVV 25801
Fax: 304-252-2252

Summersville Chamber of Commerce

Summersville Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB)
Joe Cardullo, Executive Director
Leah Stein, Associate Director
P.O. Box 231
Summersville, WV 26651
Phone: Fax: (304) 872-3722 (304) 872-0506

See the following links for more information about Access to the Gauley: