About us


Friends of the Eel River was founded in 1994 when a small group of dedicated Eel River enthusiasts came together to intervene in proceedings of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Thanks to our founder Nadananda and her team, today less water is diverted out of the watershed by the Potter Valley Project, and our community of stewards has grown.

We continue fierce advocacy for the recovery of our Wild & Scenic Eel River, her fisheries, and communities.


Decommission and remove the Potter Valley Project from Eel River headwaters

Scott Dam

One of our long-term goals, the decommissioning and removal of the Potter Valley Project, may soon become a reality. The Potter Valley Project consists of two dams and a diversion tunnel, which artificially connect the Eel River to the Russian River. Project owners Pacific Gas & Electric company will need to apply for a new 50 year license when the current one expires in 2022. The license renewal process has begun, and is our opportunity to make the case for dam removal. Learn more about the Potter Valley Project here.

Ensure thorough environmental review of proposal to rebuild rail through the Eel River Canyon

In 2017 the California Supreme Court will hear our case against the North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA). We are attempting to ensure that complete environmental review is conducted before rail lines through the geologically fragile Eel River canyon are reconstructed. Learn more about the NCRA here, and read our press release about the Supreme Court review here.

Encourage watershed stewardship among residents of the Eel River 

We provide education and resources about California water rights, encouraging watershed residents to register their water rights to help develop a better understanding of how much water our communities need. We also encourage all residents to develop on-site water storage, capture winter flows and rainwater, and to not pump from springs or surface water in the summer. Learn more about how to be a watershed steward here.

Learn about other great work on the Eel River from the Eel River Forum.