Growing up, I used to play in the woods near the river with my friends. My parents would always tell me if I got lost to “follow the river” home. As an avid fly-fisherman, kayaker, and outdoorsman I have heeded those words and always followed the river. I was drawn to RATS because in the modern political and economic climate rivers and wildlife face grave threats and the message of following the river has rarely been more important for conservation. I am excited to foster community and learn more about how I can contribute to California river conservation. As a college professor and writer, one of my goals is to share Friends of the River’s mission with as many people as possible, inspiring them to not only follow the river but protect them as well.