The mission of Friends of the White Salmon River is to protect the river and its watershed, and to restore naturally reproducing anadromous fish populations. This Mission, as reflected in FWSR’s history, has largely been achieved through education and advocacy but also through financial support of critical causes and recreation, such as leading hikes. As our efforts are all volunteer, 100% of our dues and donations go toward action and not compensation.
History of the Friends of the White Salmon River
In 1976, the Friends of the White Salmon River formed to prevent the construction of 7 dams near Trout Lake by the Klickitat County PUD. ’Friends’ like Phyllis Clausen believed the dams and accompanying reservoirs would alter the character of the upper valley.
The Friends continued to resist measures violating the Watershed Management Plan and to support habitat restoration issues like Condit Dam removal.
In 1986, the 7.7 river miles between Buck Creek (by Northwestern Lake) and Gilmer Creek (by BZ) were added to the Wild and Scenic River program concurrent with establishment of the Columbia Gorge Scenic Area.
In the 1990’s, Friends members testified at the FERC hearings in support of the removal of Condit Dam, a necessary step for the return of anadromous fish populations. The organization was a signatory to the agreement to remove the Dam.
In 2005, the Upper White Salmon River was designated a Wild and Scenic River. This was another achievement of the Friends, realized after years of work with congressmen and senators. At the ceremony, Congressman Brian Baird commended the Friends of the White Salmon River and its leader, Phyllis Clausen, for their contribution. This upper section includes 20 miles of the White Salmon River and its tributary, Cascade Creek, which are in Gifford Pinchot National Forest.