Midwest Chapter

Paddling the river

North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan

The River Management Society (RMS) is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to support professionals who study, protect, and manage North America's rivers. RMS’ membership includes federal, state, and other agency employees, educators, and technical experts from non-profit and private organizations who understand the critical role rivers play in the lives of our neighbors and our nation. RMS provides members a unique forum for sharing information about the appropriate use and management of river resources between organizational ‘silos.’ 

RMS-Midwest is one of seven regional chapters in the United States. The Midwest Chapter meets on or near rivers and at events such as the recent Minnesota Water Trails Tourism Summit to discuss regional river management issues.These meetings often result in the development of lasting partnerships. Join RMS today to help the Midwest Chapter advance best practices in river protection and recreation development. 

Midwest Chapter Officers

Chapter Officers are volunteers from the Midwestern States who organize activities, represent the nation's midsection in national discussions and support an active chapter membership. They have been elected to serve (or appointed to fill vacancies) for terms noted. Learn about chapter governance by reviewing the RMS Midwest Chapter Bylaws

Any professional RMS member is eligible to run for office. Candidates should be willing to take an active role and be knowledgeable of the Chapter Officer Roles. Contact any Midwest Chapter officer to become involved in local or national RMS activities. 

Meet your Midwest Chapter Officers!

Ed Fite

President – Ed Fite


I  served as the Administrator for the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission (OSRC) from September 1983 to June 30, 2016, when the Oklahoma State Legislature consolidated the OSRC into the Grand River Dam Authority.  I continue to pursue my passion for rivers and water as GRDA’s Water Quality Manager beyond the Illinois River, Barren Fork Creek, and Flint Creek (along with monitoring the Big Lee Creek, Little Lee Creek, and the Upper Mountain Fork River) to include the Neosho, Spring and Elk Rivers, with their tributaries, along with Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees and Markham Ferry Reservoir. I partner regularly with federal/state/tribal/local agencies, communities, businesses, and individuals to educate, promote the enjoyment of, and mitigate impacts on these rivers and reservoirs. I’m proud to have been a key participant in the successful defense of water quality and scenic rivers in the 1992 U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Oklahoma vs. Arkansas/USEPA case, which effectively affirmed that downstream states’ water quality standards must be maintained and protected by upstream states.

I am a certified swift water rescue technician instructor and federally-accredited floodplain manager, and known for advocating to those who will lend an ear, “Please take pause daily to pick up two pieces of trash and properly dispose or recycle the materials… the synergy of our efforts will help preserve and protect our state’s aquatic and terrestrial environments.”


Ed Sherman

Vice President – Ed Sherman


I have held a deep appreciation of rivers and lakes since learning to paddle as a boy on the lakes of Northern Wisconsin.  Serenity and solace that can only be offered by being on a lake or river have remained a constant fixture in my life as I have traveled and lived across the country.  I have found incredible peace by spending time on the water and a break from everyday life that can only be offered by a river's sights and sounds.

After earning my bachelor’s degree in Recreation from the University of Southern Illinois, Carbondale, I have taken numerous positions with the Forest Service which most recently led me to Southeast Missouri where I serve as the Zone Recreation Manager of Mark Twain National Forest. The Current, Eleven Point, Jacks Fork, and Black Rivers are all within an hour’s drive of my home and feel fortunate to be surrounded by such wonderful recreational opportunities.

I have learned and expanded my knowledge of river management because of the River Management Society and would like to give back by serving on the Midwest Chapter’s board. I offer my passion and willingness to engage the public in this role and hope to spread my passion for rivers to others.


Bobbie Jo Roshone

Secretary – Bobbie Jo Roshone


I grew up on the Eleven Point, Current, and Jacks Fork Rivers in southern Missouri. A lifetime river lover led to my first post-high school summer job working for Ozark National Scenic Riverways (NPS) as a park guide. After seven summers and a degree in history, I decided to branch out to other rivers in the National Park Service. In 2014, Niobrara National Scenic River in Valentine, Nebraska offered me a position as seasonal Park Ranger (I). After a winter internship with the Fish and Wildlife Service in Kentucky, I found myself back in Valentine, and in 2016 was offered the permanent Park Ranger (I) position at Niobrara. I met my husband in Valentine and we now have a 17 month-old toddler that likes to play in the river with Mom.

RMS Journals with a Midwest Focus

The Summer 2021 edition of the RMS Journal was focused on the Midwest. Learn more about the journal and read the most recent issue here. To read all of our back issues online, become a member of RMS! All editions of the newsletter are archived and are available along with other Society publications on the members-only side of our website.

Midwest Chapter Resources

Chainsawing on WaterThe Midwest Chapter of RMS is committed to sharing river best management practices (BMPs) and resources. Below are links to some examples.

An Economic Argument for Water Trails

Reconnecting Rivers: Natural Channel Design in Dam Removals and Fish Passage

Restore Your Shore: Protect Water Quality and Habitat

Stormwater and Shoreline Best Management Practices for Public Water Accesses

Chainsaw Use on Water (contact Erik Wrede at [email protected] or 651-259-5624 for the manual)

Water trails toolkit: Practical guidelines and templates for planning, site design, signage, and construction in the state of Iowa


Past Chapter Trips

2017 Midwest Chapter Trip - August 25-27

Join the Midwest Chapter on the Lower Wisconsin River Friday, August 25 through Sunday, August 27 from Mazomanie to Spring Green, a ten mile float. The Wisconsin is a slow, meandering river with plenty of sandy beaches and sandbars. It is perfect for beginners or families with children that want a relaxing ride without having prior canoe knowledge or skill. The river is about 4-5 feet deep on average; however, there are spots that are much deeper and also some spots that are much shallower. Because Federal law requires a minimum amount of water for ecosystem health, the river will always be runnable.

Boats - Bring your own canoe or kayak!  Boats will be available at Blackwater Canoe Rental for those who would like to rent, as well.
Friday camping (for non-local paddlers):  Prairie du Sac Campground, roughly $25 for two adults. Please call 608-643-6848 to reserve a spot.
Saturday camping: on a sand bar, somewhere!

The modest fee will support RMS Midwest Chapter activities.

Contact Katie Kassender or Molly MacGregor for additional information. 

2016 Chapter Trip -  Lower St. Louis River

Launched from Perch Lake Access to launch at 8, paddled around the estuary and view wild rice restoration; enjoyed lunch at the access point. This trip was organized by St. Louis River Alliance.

2014 Midwest Highlights

The Minnesota State Water Trails Tourism Summit, a two day event in St. Cloud, Minnesota, brought together over 140 community representatives and paddling enthusiasts from across the country. At the summit, 75 attendees paddled the Beaver Islands area of the Mississippi River, a state designated Wild and Scenic stretch of the river south of the dam in St. Cloud. Other attendees visited St. Cloud State University's Outdoor Endeavors program and Clear Waters Outfitting Company to learn more about the economic impacts of paddle sports. The summit was the first of its kind in the nation, bringing together tourism and outdoor recreation interests to build communities’ capacity to promote paddle sports.

2013 Midwest Highlights

In May, 2013 RMS visited the Midwest Chapter to attend events related to the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Minnesota's Water Trails program and a trip through Class II+ rapids on the Minnesota River, newly rediscovered in the wake of removing a hydropower dam on the Minnesota River in Granite Falls. The June, 2013 Granite Falls Chamber of Commerce Newsletter showcases some of the weekend's activities.  Thanks go to RMS' host Erik Wrede and member John Helland for connecting us to many individuals who are seeking new ways towns and cities can turn to their rivers as the lever and stage upon which to build strong futures.