Based in Sacramento, Friends of the River is widely recognized as the voice for California’s rivers. FOR was founded in 1973 during the struggle to save the Stanislaus River from being destroyed by the construction of New Melones Dam. Through this campaign, FOR became a statewide river conservation group dedicated to preserving, protecting, and restoring California's rivers and their watersheds. Today, FOR has five full-time staff, two contractors, a cadre of volunteers and an active membership.
FOR has a long list of accomplishments that includes permanently protecting more than 2,000 river miles as Wild & Scenic rivers, repeatedly defeating federal legislation to build Auburn dam on the American River, and convincing Congress to authorize an environmentally protective flood control project for Sacramento in 2003. FOR achieves these goals through public outreach, grassroots organizing, and expert advocacy to influence public policy. FOR also supports a vibrant volunteer rafting program which connects hundreds of people to rivers, and introduces inner city youth to boating.