Friends of the Columbia Gorge
Friends is the only conservation organization entirely dedicated to protecting, preserving, and stewarding the Gorge. We own over 1,500 acres of land across the Gorge and work with a diverse coalition of people who share a common love for the Gorge.
Bottom Line for Portland
Friends protects the 293,000 acres of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area that millions of Portlanders enjoy annually. Friends educates and offers resources for Portlanders who want to recreate, protect, and enjoy the beauty of the Gorge in a sustainable and safe way to continue to protect the scenic, natural, cultural, and recreational resources. In the past year, it’s become evident that more and more people turn to nature and the outdoors for their physical and mental health. We’re here to protect the Gorge and the Columbia River from irresponsible development and the threats of climate change so people can seek out refuge for their mental wellbeing, regardless of their race, gender identity, or physical ability, and experience the natural wonders of this one-of-a-kind landscape.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Friends recognizes that the Columbia Gorge will be a healthier, more vibrant place when a diverse and inclusive collection of advocates, stewards, and volunteers are at the table. Building off of our legal and advocacy work with our tribal partners, we have launched new efforts to broaden and deepen our public and community engagement work. These steps are reverberating into outreach and programmatic work. Our staff is engaged with a rotating DEIJ committee, regular full staff discussions, and recently completed a weeklong training to create more equity, diversity and inclusion in Friends. Friends is embarking on an effort unlike any in our history: to transform two hidden or unknown Gorge locations from places of exclusion to inclusive, stunning resources for everyone. Including more and varied voices is needed to protect the Gorge. Seeking out those who have not been included in previous conversations shapes an environment where all are afforded equal access. While much of Friends’ recreation efforts in previous years has benefited those who could hike the farthest or climb the highest, this work will engage those whose voices are typically marginalized when it comes to recreation enhancements: those with accessibility issues and those from communities of color.
Thanks to some incredibly generous donors, every donation up to $100,000 will be matched!