Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association

   Protecting clean water and free-flowing rivers in TN since 1966.

Press Room

  • Friday, May 08, 2020 4:29 PM | James Parnell (Administrator)

    From the President,

    I wanted to update all on how TSRA is proceeding during these uncertain times. On May 1, ACA posted an update on COVID 19 with a statement which included,

    “Based on what we know now, what the CDC recommends, and on the guidance provided by medical professionals, we will continue to cancel or postpone ACA sponsored events such as team trials until at least June 15th. Public health guidelines vary across the country, but there are clear general guidelines we can follow if we choose to paddle.

    • If you’re sick, stay home and contact your doctor for care

    • If you’re exposed to someone with COVID-19, follow your doctor’s guidance on the proper duration for a quarantine

    • Avoid groups of more than ten people

    • Maintain at least six feet of separation between people at all times. That may make shuttle and transportation, rafting, and tandem paddling challenging. Flat water paddling, park and play, and attainments are good options. Walking or bike shuttles are also options

    • Maintain strict hygiene – wash your hands frequently, don’t share food or water containers, and frequently clean surfaces you touch

    • Minimize travel time and distance, and be sure to follow state and local rules for quarantine and isolation if you do travel

    • Paddle well below your skill level to reduce the risk of injury and need for rescue

    • Respect the communities in which we paddle – be sure to not do anything that might stress local healthcare resources. Make sure we’ll be welcome when this crisis resolves”

    The link to the full statement is https://www.americancanoe.org/news/504417/ACA-Update-on-COVID-19--May-1-2020.htm

    Our May, June and July TSRA event organizers are closely following ACA and CDC’s recommendations as well as state and county regulations. Decisions will be made accordingly as to whether or not to hold events so watch our website for any changes to the schedule. Managing risks to adequately protect our instructors, volunteers and students is our number one priority along with consideration of land and river managers in the communities we visit along the way.

    So, until we meet up again, be sure to follow the general guidelines ACA has stated above if you choose to paddle and be respectful of the communities in which you paddle.

    Be safe, be responsible and have fun,


  • Thursday, April 02, 2020 5:00 AM | Kristen West (Administrator)

    TSRA is offering three scholarships, valued at $325 each, to an upcoming Rescue Instructor certification course. To apply for the scholarship, please contact Gary Weatherford at Gary@paddletsra.org no later than Thursday, April 30.

    Instructor candidates who do not want a scholarship can register for the class now; all TSRA members receive a 10% discount on all NOLI instruction by using promo code TSRA at checkout. Additionally, USA Raft is offering a 30% discount on camping/cabins if you tell them you are an instructor candidate in this class when making your reservation.

    None of us know what June has in store for us from a coronavirus perspective, but NOLI has committed that the health, safety and well-being of staff and students are their priority. If the class needs to be cancelled or postponed, NOLI will issue a full refund.

    So, what is this class all about? Do you want to learn how to teach others to be safer on the water while also becoming better prepared to lead a rescue when things don’t go as planned? The ACA River Safety and Rescue Instructor Course (Level 3) will help you get there by training you how to teach recognition and avoidance of common river hazards, execution of self-rescue techniques, and simple rescues of paddlers in distress.

    What makes this class different from a typical Swiftwater Rescue Instructor certification class? Some candidates will perform at a L3 Rescue Instructor level to be able to teach rescue on class II waterways...but some will perform at a L2 Rescue Instructor level to be able to teach rescue on class I waterways. This is, nationally, the first time an ACA rescue instructor course has been held with the opportunity to come out certified to teach rescue to entry level boaters on class I waterways. If your performance in the class merits a whitewater certification to teach on class II, then you can earn up to an L3, but if your goal is to teach recreational and entry level boaters how to be safer, this is a class you don’t want to miss.

    Date: June 18-21, 2020
    Location: Nolichucky Outdoor Learning Institute (NOLI), Erwin, TN
    Instructors: ACA ITE Robin Pope and instructor Scott Fisher

    Course Prerequisites (see the NOLI website for complete details):
    • Age 18+
    • Good overall health and fitness
    • Comfortable in moving waters
    • Proficient in self-rescue skills

    What is this scholarship all about? TSRA is offering three scholarships, valued at $325 each. To apply for the scholarship, please contact Gary Weatherford at Gary@paddletsra.org no later than Thursday, April 30.

    Scholarship Requirements and Additional Considerations:

    • Each year that your ACA Rescue Instructor certification lasts (which is four years), scholarship recipients must be available and agree to help TSRA by teaching one TSRA Rescue for Rec Boaters two-day course and then also supporting either a TSRA Whitewater Basic River Rescue or TSRA Swiftwater Rescue course.
    • Applicant must be a current TSRA and ACA member prior to being awarded a scholarship.
    • Food, lodging and transportation are the responsibility of each instructor candidate.
    • Upon certification, instructors will be responsible for $35 annual SEIC dues.
    • Certified instructors will need current CPR and First Aid certification, but this can be completed after the ACA certification is earned.
    • TSRA plans to offer future CPR/First Aid training for a nominal fee. Date(s) are to be determined.
  • Wednesday, April 01, 2020 8:07 PM | James Parnell (Administrator)

    In an era of Covid-19 — not to mention the anxiety that comes from lay offs, home schooling, and generally being cooped up at home — what are the things we need to consider as we think about our paddling adventures these days?

    ACA Tennessee gathered regional paddling thought leaders on April 1 for an informal conversation appropriate for **all levels** of paddling enthusiasts! Watch the recorded event on Facebook.

    Andrea White, ACA Tennessee State Director
    Hunter Branstetter, ACA Tennessee Deputy Director
    Jessie Beckett, TSRA Vice President
    Scott Fisher, NOLI
    and special guest, Robin Pope, Chairman of the ACA Board

  • Tuesday, March 17, 2020 9:24 PM | Kristen West (Administrator)

    TSRA has decided to postpone Rendezvous this year, originally scheduled for April 1-5. Yep, you read that right: postpone. We’re hoping not to cancel the event completely but delay it until the fall. We have no details to share with you just yet, but we are researching possible dates, locations (possibly in the Ocoee/Hiwassee area) and plans for a fall Rendezvous. So hang onto your river booty for a later silent auction.

    We’ve been in touch with our amazing hosts at Camp Nakanawa, and they agree this is the right decision. We hope to descend upon them next spring at Rendezvous 2021.

    So what to do with all those days off you requested April 1-5? Let’s paddle anyway. If you’re not already on TSRA Paddler Chat on Facebook, now is the time to join. There will very likely be some informal (not officially organized by TSRA, so the risk is your own) trips you can join. Plan to do shuttle from the back of a pickup truck, though, in the spirit of social distancing.

    Now a word about refunds: If you’re already registered, we will offer you a 100% refund. However, because Rendezvous is TSRA’s biggest fundraiser and this delay will significantly zap our operating budget, we are throwing out a few other options, should you feel inclined to support TSRA anyway. Click here to see those options and let us know.

  • Wednesday, February 26, 2020 6:51 AM | James Parnell (Administrator)

    Every time you lead a trip at Rendezvous you will be entered into a raffle.The prize is a free weekend at David's cabin. pretty awesome place perched on a cliff on the Cumberland Plateau. Contact David for requirements and more details. 

    Check this out for more Rendezvous information.

  • Thursday, January 02, 2020 8:00 AM | James Parnell (Administrator)
  • Friday, October 11, 2019 5:49 PM | Kristen West (Administrator)

    Three TSRA-trained kayakers were on the Toccoa River in Georgia at just the right time to help a wader stranded in high water after a dam release. Thank you to Tom Christensen, Michael King and Ellen Omohundro for sharing this success story. And thank you to the instructors and paddlers who help TSRA spread the culture of safety on the water. Read the full story: Toccoa Rescue Sept 2019.pdf.

  • Monday, August 26, 2019 6:01 PM | Kristen West (Administrator)

    In this program Mark interviews TSRA President Gary Weatherford. We learn a little bit about the history of the Scenic Rivers Act, and a lot about the various programs and activities of TSRA.

    Listen to the podcast here.

  • Thursday, January 03, 2019 6:23 PM | Kristen West (Administrator)

    To: Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission

    Regarding: Proposed Commercial Paddlecraft Regulations

    On behalf of private boaters and citizens across the state, the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association would like to submit public comment to the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission about the proposed regulations for commercial operations of non-motorized watercraft. The Appalachian Paddling Enthusiasts from upper east Tennessee and the Tennessee Valley Canoe Club from Chattanooga have also signed on to these comments.

    First, we are very appreciative that TWRA opened up the process to include input from various stakeholders in the community. We believe it is a much better proposal as a result of the collaboration. Our further comments are intended to continue this effort to encourage development of good public policy for Tennessee's waterways, citizens and businesses.

    1. Commercial Launch fees seem excessive. . .

    Read the entire letter here: TSRA APEs TVCC Public Comments Regarding Commercial Paddlecraft Regulations.pdf

  • Friday, April 27, 2018 6:16 PM | Kristen West (Administrator)

    We, the undersigned organizations representing hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans, write to strongly encourage you to veto SB686/HB571, the “Primacy and Reclamation Act of Tennessee.” This legislation weakens oversight of coal mining in our state and threatens the health and safety of our communities, water resources, and the environment...

    Read the entire letter: Primacy and Reclamation Act of Tennessee April 2018.pdf

Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, #58-1746179.

P.O. Box 159041 Nashville, Tennessee 37215-9041

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