Friends Facts

Friends of the Columbia Gorge has more than 5,500 passionate members, a board of directors of 16 and a staff of 17. Low staff turnover and an average tenure of over seven years have enabled the organization to maintain a steady adherence to our mission and effective use of resources. Board and staff work together to create and update consecutive three-year strategic plans that guide our work. Since 1980, the organization has had steady, strong growth, increasing its net assets to $12 million. Today, Friends has offices in Portland and Hood River, OR, and Washougal, WA.

Individual donations account for nearly 60 percent of our annual operating revenue. The balance comes from foundation grants, business support, investments and miscellaneous income. See our Annual Reports to learn more. 

A $2.5 million endowment, managed by a reputable investment firm, provides long-term sustainability. Friends' finances are audited annually and overseen by our finance committee composed of highly qualified volunteers. 

Since our founding in 1980:
  • We have helped secure passage of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act to create comprehensive and consistent Gorge protection across six counties and two states.
  • We have helped bring more than 40,000 acres of scenic, recreation, and culturally significant land into public ownership
  • We have reviewed more that 5,000 development applications in the Gorge ensuring they meet the requirements of the National Scenic Area Act.
  • We have educated the public about the Gorge with more than 100 free hikes annually since 2000.
  • Our land trust has permanently protected nearly 1,000 acres of land, including two properties that host public hiking trails.
  • We have stopped inappropriate housing development, stood up to a massive casino project, secured closure of a coal-fired power plant, removed a salmon-killing dam, and built the historic Cape Horn overlook and trail.