Idaho Rivers United

On Tour Highlight

On Thursday, May 16, 2024, Idaho Rivers United will be having their 7th annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour Event at the Alpine Playhouse Theater in McCall, Idaho. Attendees can expect to be treated to a curated film program designed to inspire action for our rivers and fisheries while fueling our passions for outdoor recreation!  

They will be hosting a social hour prior to the screening at Salmon River Brewing Co. starting at 3PM. At the festival, they will be selling delicious cookies made by Stacey Cakes bakery and tickets for their raffle which will be drawn after intermission. Their raffle includes a day pass to Little Ski Hill, a NRS Big Water Guide PFD, Pilate sessions for paddlers, and more! 


Idaho is home to 107,651 miles of river, and Idaho Rivers United is the only conservation organization in the state focused exclusively on the health and protections of Idaho’s incredible river resources.  

In addition to stressors such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, poorly managed and inefficient water systems, water quality, and declining aquifers, Idaho’s fast-growing population and increased demand for multi-use landscapes and natural resources is amplifying stressors on its rivers. Idaho Rivers United is keeping Idaho’s rivers healthy and flourishing for generations to come. 

In 1988, Wendy Wilson and friends launched Friends of the Payette, a group dedicated to protecting the Payette River system from dams. Passion for this localized issue stirred the idea for statewide river conservation. In 1989, river advocates from around the state met at a Garden City sandwich shop and at the Christensen ranch in Stanley. There was a strong desire to create an Idaho river conservation group that could represent members across the state. In 1990, future Idaho Rivers United staff and members join Friends of the Payette and Idaho Whitewater Association in a campaign to save the North Fork of the Payette from dams. This marks IRU’s first campaign and the beginning of a long journey of river protection. Later in the year, Idaho Rivers United was incorporated as a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and restoring the state’s rivers. 


Idaho Rivers United takes a comprehensive look at the dynamic forces that impact rivers and fish, including dams, mining, and municipal water use all around the state. They work to help implement sustainable water policy. They initiate local campaigns, teach the public about river conservation, and keep protections intact for future generations through clear communications grounded in science. 

As they continue to fight for the protections and safeguards that the rivers of Idaho deserve, they continue to focus on their primary campaigns; Salmon and steelhead protections and restoration, Wild and Scenic Rivers, Clean Water Policy and Mining Reform, Hydropower Reform, and River Recreation and Public Access. Over the next year and a half, they have several high-priority projects and programs within these categories. 


Lindsey Paynter, Idaho Rivers United Membership & Volunteer Coordinator, says that she “really enjoys working within one of our smaller local communities. Everyone I engage with is very enthusiastic about the film festival and eager to help support the festival and IRU. Personally, every Wild & Scenic film festival, I look forward to hearing everyone debate about their favorite film at intermission and close.”