Our Focus: Protecting Productive Landscapes, Fostering Great Communities
"Heroes are not giant statues framed against a red sky. They are people who say, 'This is my community and it's my responsibility to make it better.'"
- Tom McCall, former Republican Governor and co-founder of 1000 Friends of Oregon
Working with Oregonians to enhance our quality of life by building livable urban and rural communities, protecting family farms and forests, and conserving natural areas.
The passage of Senate Bill 100, which created our innovative land use planning system, was one of Oregon's great bipartisan political achievements.
As historic as that effort was, Governor Tom McCall understood that, to be successful, Oregon needed a citizen watchdog group to ensure that local decisions reflected the voices of Oregonians and not those of special interests.
So Governor McCall, along with a young lawyer named Henry Richmond, created 1000 Friends of Oregon. Citizens had a new champion to fight for them.
Since 1975, 1000 Friends of Oregon has defended productive Oregon landscapes and the families they support, while promoting the qualities community, economy and environment that have made Oregon such a special place to live.
If you've ever picked fruits or vegetables on Sauvie Island or in the Hood River Valley, experienced the unspoiled majesty of Smith Rock or the dunes at Cannon Beach, or enjoyed one of Oregon's world famous wines, then you've personally experienced the benefits that land use planning has brought to Oregon. If not for land use planning, many of Oregon's most productive and beautiful rural areas would be overrun by sprawl.
Or if you've ever enjoyed a day walking and shopping in a thriving downtown or business district in any of Oregon's communities--from Eugene and Portland to Bend, La Grande and Ashland--you've seen what the land use system can do for our cities and towns, too.
1000 Friends has been there every step of the way. We've been doing it for 37 years and we'll be at it for at least 37 more. No other organization does what we do for Oregon.
Despite the success we have had, there is so much more to do. Oregon must continue to be a leader in "getting it right", striking a balance of productivity, livability and beauty. That's our vision for Oregon, and it drives our work every day. We're continuing to work for Cool Communities that provide better housing and transportation options, for a land use system that continues supporting healthy rural economies, and for a new generation of land use leaders to carry the legacy of Tom McCall forward into the new century.
We are inspired by the everyday heroes that make their communities better for our children and grandchildren. Whether they were born here or came from elsewhere, Oregonians have a unique connection to the landscape and a desire to protect it. Click here to learn more about the Oregon Stories of some of our supporters from around the state.
One thing we've found throughout the years and across the state is that, as Oregonians, what unites us is greater than what divides us. If you agree, please join us and support our work.