North West Rafters Association History

NWRA History

The NWRA was founded in March 1982 by a small group of recreational boaters in Portland, Oregon. Their original goals were "education, river safety, river cleanup, and trip planning while still promoting camaraderie among all river users". These goals remain much the same today. In May, 1982 the NWRA started a whitewater festival on the Clackamas River near Portland and it is one of the largest of its kind on the west coast featuring many races for rafts and kayaks, vendor displays and special events to include safety intruction. In 2012 it was fully funded and spun off as a separate entity and continues to this day. At its peak, the club had chapters in several cities around Oregon to include Roseburg which joined the NWRA in 1989 and is the current headquarters. In 2012 the NWRA bylaws were modified to simplify the club and chapters were discontinued. While members come from around the northwest, the club's focus is on southern Oregon.

The NWRA continues to promote safe recreational boating through planned river trips on various rivers. Additionally, the NWRA has sponsored safety classes to include whitewater rescue, first aid and CPR.

Being able to network with other boaters is huge benefit for boaters new to the sport. To facilitate this, monthly meetings are held for both socializing and discussing topics of interest. Members often share hard-to-get river permits with fellow members providing some amazing opportunities to experience rivers ranging from the Grand Canyon in Arizona to the Tatshenshini in Alaska. The club also offers planned river outings sometimes in conjunction with other similar clubs. Some outings may focus on family-friendly easy rivers and others on more difficult rivers.

The NWRA has worked closely with the USFS and BLM on various projects to include:

  • Construction of signs at the major access points along the upper North Umpqua River to provide information for boaters, hikers, fishermen and tourists
  • Brush removal and ramp improvements at the major launch and take-out sites along the upper North Umpqua River
  • Improvement of the official river corridor map for the upper North Umpqua River
  • Provided input into safety concerns along the river regarding log hazards that arise occasionally
  • Provided input into various projects affecting the North Umpqua River such as the Tioga Bridge project and the ramp construction at Boulder Flat and Gravel Bin
  • Provide input on various issues on the Rogue River in southern Oregon

Other projects the NWRA is involved with include:

  • Work with ODOT since 1995 on trash collection along a 7 mile section of Highway 138 between Horseshoe Bend and Gravel Bin
  • Participated in the FERC relicensing committee working with Pacific Power on the system extending upstream from Soda Springs Dam

The NWRA partners with American Whitewater to support their efforts toward improving river conservation, access and safety. We encourage members to learn about issues affecting our waterways and to get involved as they see fit.

Walt Bammann

1993 Sotar Cup Winner
1993 Sotar Cup Winner (Dave)

1994 Rogue Gateway Classic Race
1994 Rogue Gateway Classic Race

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NWRA Women's Whitewater Race Team
NWRA Women's Whitewater Race Team

Down River Dames Racing Team
Down River Dames Racing Team

River Dames
1998 Down River Dames Racing Team

1994 Down River Dames Racing Team
1994 Down River Dames Racing Team

Parade Float
Parade Float

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International Rafting Adventures

International Rafting Advantures