Smith River Alliance was incorporated in 1980 as a non-profit organization of conservation, sport fishing, recreation, and civic groups united in their support for sound management of the Smith River as a component of both the National and the California Wild and Scenic Rivers systems.

Over twenty local, regional and statewide organizations were represented at the time of incorporation, including:

  • American Fisheries Society (Humboldt Chapter)
  • American League Anglers
  • Audubon Society
  • Boot and Blister
  • California Committee of Two Million
  • California Native Plant Society
  • California Trout
  • California Wilderness Coalition
  • Defenders of Wildlife
  • Federation of Fly Fishermen
  • Friends of Del Norte
  • Friends of the Earth
  • Friends of the River
  • League of Women Voters of California
  • Marin Conservation League
  • Mendocino Environmental Center
  • Northern California Council of Fly Fishing Clubs
  • Northcoast Flyfishers
  • Planning and Conservation League
  • Sierra Club