Adopt a River

The Oregon Wild Adopt-a-River program brings Oregonians closer to the waterways they love and builds local constituencies for protection of Wild & Scenic Rivers. The program also collects valuable on-the-ground data from volunteers to scout rivers, photograph, and verify conditions.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Citizens pick a favorite stream included in the River Democracy Act that needs protection. Sometimes individuals adopt an area, but often times a group adopts an area. In both Portland and Ashland, church groups have adopted their local favorite areas.
  2. Adopters are given some guidance on location and what type of information is needed and useful to gather. 
  3. Adopters hike through their area, taking pictures and recording information about the value of the place, the plants and wildlife, the scenery, the hiking trails and other points of interest. They also record threats to the area such as proposed logging and road building, mining, overgrazing or overuse by recreationists.
  4. The information gathered by river adopters helps strengthen support for the River Democracy Act. Additionally, adopters can also help grow support by contacting local officials about the need to protect the area or writing letters to the editor. 

Over the last several years countless Oregonians have adopted proposed Wild & Scenic Rivers across the state to serve as mappers, monitors, and advocates until their areas receive formal protection from Congress. 

To sign up or get more information about the program email: ef (at)