About us


Friends of the Eel River works for the recovery of the Wild and Scenic Eel River, its fisheries, and communities.

Our Work

In 1994 a small group of dedicated Eel River enthusiasts came together to intervene in proceedings of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). This was the start of Friends of the Eel River and our journey to save the Eel River’s struggling salmon and steelhead.

This is truly a critical time for the Eel River. We have the opportunity to remove the two dams and out of basin diversion on the upper mainstem Eel. Efforts to develop a more ecologically viable cannabis industry and remedy the threats that a crumbling freight rail poses to the Eel River canyon are also at important junctures. Despite the stressors and uncertainties of climate change, scientists generally agree that the Eel River holds perhaps the West’s greatest promise for salmonid recovery – IF local populations can survive the next few years.

Click here to learn about current programs.

Some of our staff and allies after a great day defending the Eel River at the California Supreme Court
Some of our staff and allies after a great day defending the Eel River at the California Supreme Court


Scott Greacen
Conservation Director, scott(at)eelriver.org
Scott Greacen joined Friends of the Eel River as our North Coast Director in 2010 and served as Executive Director from 2012 to 2017. Scott worked at EPIC (the Environmental Protection Information Center) from 2003 to 2010, ultimately serving as Executive Director. Mr. Greacen is a member of the California bar and a cum laude graduate of Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Ore., the best environmental law program in the U.S. His undergraduate degree is from Reed College, another Portland school with a disproportionate number of alumni active in environmental advocacy.

Alicia Hamann
Executive Director, alicia(at)eelriver.org
Alicia Hamann grew up in the Pacific Northwest and spent most of her youth exploring the mountains, forests, and rivers of the greater Portland area. Alicia moved to Northern California in 2006 where she earned a BA in Anthropology with a minor in Business Administration from Humboldt State University. She was drawn to Humboldt County by the vast wilderness and unique communities. Alicia has been Administrative Director for Friends of the Eel River since 2013 and was promoted to Interim Executive Director in July 2019. She is proud to serve as a board member for several local nonprofit organizations including The Same Old People and the Northcoast Environmental Center.

David Keller
Bay Area Director, dkeller(at)eelriver.org
David has over 35 years experience in successful strategic planning, policy development and implementation within complex political and social settings. His work has involved water, watershed and public trust resources, land use and infill development, the protection and restoration of watersheds and fisheries, water and waste water privatization, flood management, beach restoration, and water and energy efficiency. He holds a BA in Psychology and Sociology,cum laude, from the City College of New York, and did his graduate studies in Social Psychology at the University of Michigan.

David joined Friends of the Eel River as Bay Area Director in 2002 after serving as a Petaluma City Council member for four years. David founded the Petaluma River Council and serves as board chair for Sonoma County Conservation Action. He is also a manufacturer of specialized, award-winning woodworking tools since 1976, and for years was a professional furniture maker and carpenter.

Ula Varley
Administrative Manager, ula(at)eelriver.org
Ula Varley grew up in Humboldt County on the Klamath River and has been an explorer and appreciator of the local and surrounding environment throughout her life. Ula attended University of California at Santa Barbara until 2018 where she earned a BA with a double major in Cultural Anthropology and German and completed research in Ethnobotany. In 2019 Ula returned to Humboldt County and was hired as Administrative Manager for Friends of the Eel River in November.