Join us on the Upper section of the Green River (class III+) on Sunday, May 5 and/or Saturday, May 25 and become a member of the Paddlers Hemlock Health Action Taskforce (PHHAT).

This collaboration between the Hemlock Restoration Initiative, American Whitewater, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, and MountainTrue’s Green Riverkeeper utilizes experienced whitewater paddlers to treat trees along the Green River.  We use a custom protocol to protect hemlock trees from infestation and death by the woolly adelgid (a non-native, invasive insect), whilst ensuring safety and protection of water quality (see note below). Many of the trees along the Green have already been treated and now are flourishing. This has stabilized native ecosystems supported by hemlocks and enhanced the beauty of the river corridor. Some trees are now due for retreatment as initial treatments were performed in 2017 and are starting to wear off.

The dam operators have scheduled releases in 2024 for PHHAT on May 5 and 25, November 22, and December 2, with 100% flows from 7 AM to 3 PM. If conditions change, we will notify you with a back up plan or alternative dates.

Plan on meeting at the Upper Green put in (Pot Shoals Rd) at 9 AM. We will drop boats and head to the Gallimore lot to set shuttle. Alternatively, you can set your own shuttle but let us know if you are doing that. We will review the treatment protocol at the put-in, in addition to river safety and group coordination on the river. We will scout and set safety for the major rapids on the Upper (Bayless, Wanda, Triple Drop). We aim to be off the river around 4 PM.

To know beforehand:

  • Bring your own river gear and boat! No river gear will be provided. (For special requests we can provide inflatable kayaks.) Dress for the weather and assumption of having to take a dip in chilly water. Please be sure you are qualified to paddle this class III+ very remote run. Participants may be asked to provide evidence of their experience level prior to the trip.
  • Paddlers will be getting out of their boats and climbing up the river bank to reach the base of the trees where they will perform the treatments. Sometimes repeatedly. Terrain varies from flat to moderately steep. Expect to be traversing difficult terrain in paddling gear (we will allow time to remove helmet, life jacket, and spray skirt at each treatment get out spot).
  • Bring plenty of hydration materials and snacks, more than you would for a normal paddling trip. We will be taking extra breaks during the day.
  • Get plenty of rest the day before as these are strenuous days.
  • We will provide all the adelgid-destroying equipment in special drybags to load into our boats. Long sleeves, long pants, shoes and socks, and chemical resistant gloves are required when handling the insecticide. We will provide the gloves.

Pre-registration is required. Please RSVP as soon as possible (but no later than the Wednesday before) by filling out this form. Each paddler needs to fill out the form separately. You can email Thom Green with HRI at info@savehemlocksnc.org with questions. He will also send out updates if plans change.

To learn more about the PHHAT team, visit paddlersforhemlocks.com.

Note: Treatments are based on the rigorous science of using imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid, to control hemlock woolly adelgid. We use a pellet formulation of imidacloprid called CoreTect. Every tree is given a prescribed dose based on tree size using a dosage rate that has been shown to only affect adelgids on that tree. The prescribed dose is inserted into the soil surrounding the tree. Surrounding trees and flowering plants are not affected. Utmost care is exercised to protect the applicators (you).

Bayless Boof rapid (III+) on the Upper Green
PHHAT paddlers on the Upper Green