1000 Friends of Oregon was founded by Henry Richmond and Governor Tom McCall in 1974. The previous year, Governor McCall had signed Senate Bill 100 into law, creating Oregon's iconic land use planning system. He and a young attorney named Henry Richmond realized that the fledgling legislation would need a champion—or rather, 1000 champions—in order to truly thrive. Thus, 1000 Friends of Oregon was born, with Henry Richmond at the helm as our first Executive Director. Over the years, the baton of leadership passed first to Robert Liberty (1994), then Bob Stacey (2002), then Jason Miner (2010), then Russ Hoeflich (2017), and now rests with Sam Diaz (2021).
Our mission is 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.
We were originally incorporated as the Oregon Land Use Project, but we've been known as 1000 Friends from the start. It's been our official name since 1985. Then as now, as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we serve the public interest as a watchdog group for the government agencies tasked with managing land use issues, and operate independently of partisan politics.
Each of you might suggest different words, but our goal certainly is the same: a better Oregon.
Since 1974 we have carried forth the great work of Governor Tom McCall to protect Oregon’s unique land use planning program. We take a pragmatic, business-focused approach to mission success using the tools embedded in the 19 statewide land use goals to promote livability in every city and town so that we may effectively protect our working farms, forests, ranches, and vast network of interconnected natural areas. We accomplish this by engaging in community collaboration, education, and outreach in all 36 Oregon counties.