Meet Dave Bassage

New River Gorge Program Coordinator

Dave has been working on, caring for, and playing in rivers all of his life. As a teen he led week long Boy Scout canoe trips in Ontario, then worked his way through college at Morgan’s Canoe Livery. In 1984 Dave moved to West Virginia to become a guide on the New, Gauley, Cheat and Upper Youghiogheny Rivers. After a massive acid mine drainage blowout he founded and served as the first President and then first Executive Director of Friends of the Cheat, a highly successful West Virginia watershed organization that has brought the once dead Cheat River back to supporting a thriving ecosystem. Dave then spent six years working on environmental policy for the state of West Virginia before returning to his whitewater roots managing two successive raft companies on the New and Gauley Rivers. Dave has worked with the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, Friends of New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, America Outdoors, and was one of many who made multiple trips to Washington D.C., to successfully lobby for passage of the Great American Outdoors Act.

Dave has guided and organized expeditions in North and South America and has embarked on almost a dozen 3-week trips down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon in his dory he built just for that purpose. He lives on the banks of the Meadow River near the New River Gorge and paddles year round on those and other streams.

B.A. in Math, Earlham College