Friends of the River is nationally recognized as an authority on the adverse impacts of dams on rivers and ecosystems and is the most effective grassroots organization working on behalf of rivers. Friends of the River led successful campaigns for the permanent protection of many outstanding California rivers and streams — including the Kings, Kern, Merced, Tuolumne, upper Klamath, West Walker, East Carson, Sisquoc, and Big Sur Rivers; as well as Sespe Creek and Cache Creek.
Scott Free River Expeditions, Inc. has been recognized by Friends of the River as “An Outstanding Outfitter in the Service of River Conservation”. It is the only commercial river company in California formed with the express purpose of promoting river conservation, and was formed by Scott Underwood, M.D. in 1974. Like many California river lovers, Scott was galvanized into action by participation in the unsuccessful struggle to save the Stanislaus River that resulted in the birth of FOR in 1973. He served on the Board of Directors of Friends of the River for ten years while in training at U.C. Davis and while pursuing a career in Emergency Medicine.
Although Scott Free River Expeditions has never wavered from its original mission, it has expanded and transformed itself over the years. It absorbed Mother Lode River Trips in 1984, formed the Mother Lode River Center in the year 2000 while adding its Outdoor Education Program and Challenge Ropes Course, and then absorbed CBOC Whitewater in 2004. In the process the company has expanded from a capacity of 13 rafters/day to 243 rafters /day, and from the smallest to the second largest permitted outfitter on the South Fork of the American River.
The purpose of this expansion was to allow Mother Lode to better serve its customers while reaching more people with its environmental and river conservation messages. The company has now inspired the writing of over 20,000 letters in support of rivers and participated in all eleven of FOR’s successful river saving efforts. Only FOR itself has generated more letters in support of California’s rivers than Mother Lode. This tradition will continue this season.
Mother Lode enthusiastically supports Friends of the River and urges all its participants to join this excellent organization. FOR is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Donations of all sizes are welcome. They are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.
Visit the Friends of the River website to learn more.