Lifetime Achievement Awards Presented at Clackamas Festival

River Runners for Wilderness with North West Rafters Association were pleased to present John Garren and Mary Alice Thompson the lifetime achievement "River Patron and River Matron" awards at the 25th annual Upper Clackamas White Water Festival on Saturday May 17, 2008.
The couple's has championed the public's ownership of rivers, and fair access to them, for over 35 years. In 1973, at a public meeting regarding the Rogue River Management Plan, they first lobbied for "Fair River Access" in opposition to the split allocation of limited river use that favored commercial outfitters and guides over the do-it-yourself boating public. The 81 year old Garren has also been a long time champion of non-allocated "Freedom of Choice" access models for the distribution of river trip permits.
In addition to Fair River Access, Garren and Thompson's philosophy has been labeled "Wilderness Public Rights", "Freedom of Choice" and "Common Pool", but the goal has always been the same, according to Garren. "The managers of our public rivers have the responsibility to protect them and regulate use in a way that distributes recreational access fairly among all river users."
"John and Mary Ann have been tireless champions for fair access and river preservation for longer than many boaters have been alive" noted Tom Martin of River Runners for Wilderness, "and are well deserving of our appreciation."
In recent years, the couple has participated in river management hearings in Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Washington and Oregon, as protected wild and scenic rivers' managers developed or revised management plans.
Author of "Oregon River Tours", "Idaho River Tours" and the "John Day River", Garren has been writing river guides since 1976.
The awards included two $500 cash awards and trophy paddles. Al Ainsworth of the North West Rafters Association and Tom Martin of River Runners for Wilderness presented the awards at the Upper Clackamas Festival held near Estacada, Oregon.