Western Rivers Conservancy


Mission Statement

Western Rivers Conservancy’s motto is, “Sometimes to save a river, you have to buy it.” Of course, you can’t actually buy a river, but you can buy the land along it—and that’s exactly what Western Rivers Conservancy (WRC) has been doing for over 30 years.
Western Rivers Conservancy’s mission to acquire outstanding riverlands along our finest rivers and streams to permanently conserve fish and wildlife habitat, and create public access for anglers, hikers, boaters, wildlife watchers, swimmers, paddlers and everyone else who cherishes rivers and the great outdoors. Over the last 30 years, WRC has protected 367 river miles on 171 rivers and streams, and conserved 170,000 acres in nine western states.


In every corner of the American West a stream cries out for protection, because it is habitat for endangered fish and wildlife, because it is the scenic centerpiece of a community, or because it is a favorite haunt of boaters, anglers and hikers. Western Rivers Conservancy answers those calls for help with one of the strongest tools for river protection: land acquisition.
By acquiring riverlands in the right places at the right times, we’ve created permanent sanctuaries for fish and wildlife on streams like the Bear River in Utah, California’s Smith River and the Skagit River in Washington. We’ve created extensive conservation/recreation corridors along the Hoh River and Oregon’s Sandy River. In Colorado, we opened new access to a vast public wilderness through purchase of a ranch on the Yampa River. We prevented gravel mining on the banks of the Gunnison and created Oregon’s second largest state park by purchasing 16,000 acres and 16 river miles along the John Day River. Through our largest acquisition ever, we are now creating a 47,000-acre salmon sanctuary and Tribal forest preserve on the lower Klamath River in California.
When it comes to conserving rivers, land acquisition is direct, tangible and effective. Because of this, we’ve been at it for over 30 years. We still firmly believe that sometimes to save a river, you have to buy it.

Program Details

Western Rivers Conservancy seeks out riverlands with high conservation values, focusing on properties that allow for a meaningful, long-term impact through land acquisition. It negotiates with willing sellers—including corporations, families and utilities—to gain control of those lands for the sake of conservation. Using creative funding strategies, it transfers those lands to public or private stewards for long-term conservation management.
Primary Issue
71 SW Oak Street
Portland, OR 97204
United States
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