Roar! This Day in History, Thank You’s & Keys to the Candy Store

Posted for Theresa L. Simsiman

On Tuesday November 14, 2006 witnessing history in the making – drained & mentally exhausted the Agencies, NGO’s, PG&E; and SMUD sat across from each other in the Los Angeles room of the Marriot Hotel and agreed in principle to appendices A, B & C of the Agency/NGO’s alternative proposal for the Upper American River Project. Though not likely to make the pages of “This Day in History” those of us following this historic soap opera should never forget the significance of this day! On this day in history, the 30-50 year legacy to restore our American River was officially put into play!

Here is the link to the documents filed & approved with FERC just today!

Who do we have to thank for this epic achievement? The simple answer, there isn’t a SINGLE person we can thank! Rather, there is an entire COMMUNITY of river caring folks we should acknowledge for our private boating interests:

  1. Our State & Federal Agency Representatives who truly waged the battle for our public trust. And while I would love to list all these individuals of great integrity and knowledge – that would take up my alloted 10 MB max. So I will bring to your attention the two individuals who most mattered to our private boater interests. First, the acknowledged general of the battle field – Beth Paulson, Forest Service – Eldorado National Forest. A firecracker who authored the alternative, kept the troops in line/informed and delicately but forcefully negotiated for our public trust throughout the proceedings. And second, the lone ranger of our interests below Chili Bar & Slab – Jim Eicher, Bureau of Land Management – Folsom. Jim literally was placed between a rock and a hard place but stood firm when it came to whitewater flows – never play poker with this man!
  2. FRIENDS OF THE RIVER – serving as ROAR! headquarters I can not begin to express how important this organization is to our river interests! Ron Stork, Steve Evans & Soren Jespersen talk the talk & walk the walk! And because they have invested a lot of their time & resources on the UARP campaign and will continue to do so until the relicensing process is complete – I am making my pitch for folks with extra disposable income to send it their way – Donate to FOR – your dollars will not be wasted (be sure to type ROAR! in the comment line)
  3. Bill Center – American River Recreation Association & Camp Lotus, Nate Rangel – President, California Outdoors, Chris Shutes – California Sportfishing Protection Alliance – despite the fact that our private boating is not their number one priority – these three remained steadfast spokespersons for everyone’s interest and shared their wealth of knowledge for the asking.
  4. Hilde Schweitzer – Private Boater. If one were to ask if one “lone” private boater could make a difference in a hydro relicensing effort you’d need look no further than Hilde. By patiently & tenaciously championing concepts like “year round” flow below Chili Bar, boatable flows on Ice House & boatable flows on the “crown jewel” SFA below Slab Creek – in one fell swoop she provided for the interests of all levels of private boaters class I-IV for no less than the next 30-50 years. There is no doubt this “lone” private boater made a difference.
  5. Dave Steindorf – American Whitewater. With a plenty of other hydro relicensing projects on his plate Dave made the time to attend the negotiations and lend a hand.
  6. Mark Davis, Chuck Siedler, Angela Arthur, Cathy Armstrong & Dan Bacher – in a restaurant full of so many fine chefs, to truly be successful, you need the folks willing to wait the tables and wash the dishes. In the scheme of things I was glad to roll up my sleeves to bus tables with these folks. These are the people who tirelessly attended or called in to ROAR! strategy meetings, consistently brought their smiling faces to the SMUD board meetings, helped write & fax press releases, wrote articles or spoke up for the UARP cause and overall tended to the trench work – not at all “high profile” but oh so important!
  7. Last but not least the SMUD negotiating team – Jim Shetler, Steve Sorey, Scott Flake & Jim Tracy. Led by Jim Shetler these four cut through the red tape and really got to the meat of the matter. Not to mention for 2 weeks they had to literally walk into the lions den. We’ve spent a good amount of time pressuring the folks at SMUD it’s time to sing their praises – SMUD Board website – be sure to mention how grateful we are for the top rate negotiating team!


  • Year round whitewater flows below Chili Bar specified in a detailed flow schedule.
  • Boatable whitewater flow schedule on Ice House for the Spring.
  • Boatable whitewater flow schedule on SFA Slab creek with possible increase in days once we demonstrate use.

It’s been a long haul but well worth it! And if you were one of the folks who attended or spoke at a SMUD board meeting, who emailed your concerns to the board, who passed on ROAR! information, donated to ROAR!, sent encouraging email to keep up the good work, wrote articles or editorials etc – pat yourself on the back you’ve definitely contributed to a legacy that will benefit the Upper American River Project for the next 30-50 years. THANK YOU!

Theresa L. Simsiman, ROAR!