Rogue Life

Robyn Janssen – Rogue Riverkeeper

Robyn Janssen is the Clean Water Campaigner for Rogue Riverkeeper. She was first introduced to the Rogue at eight years old and eleven years later found herself guiding on numerous rivers in Oregon, California, Colorado, and Idaho. Along the way, she graduated from Southern Oregon University with a BS in Art. She now spends her time protecting rivers with her work at Rogue Riverkeeper.

The Interview

What is your connection to the Rogue River?

I’m a local river guide and a river conservationist.

Tell us about your line of work

I’ve been a river guide on the Rogue since 1995 which I still do part time. Now I work full time for Rogue Riverkeeper, a member based non-profit that works to restore and protect clean water and fish for the entire Rogue Basin.

When did you first float the Rogue?

My first raft trip down the Rogue River was when I was 8 years old. I became a river guide at the age of 19 and I’ve been floating the river ever since.

What are the best aspects of the Rogue?

It is accessible, friendly, beautiful and wild.

Favorite place to be on the Rogue?

The Wild & Scenic corridor specifically the Big Windy area.

Is there a “river community” on the Rogue?

Yes. Everyone is out to enjoy the river and their time there so the river community is friendly and familiar, whether you’re a first time boat person or a seasoned veteran. There are always stories to tell, old friends to see or new ones to make.

Has the Rogue River influenced your life?

Um…yes! It made me the person I am today and shaped my life in ways I never thought anything could. I’ve been a river guide on the Rogue for nearly 20 years and that experience has taken me to guide in places like the Middle Fork of the Salmon in Idaho and the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. The Rogue introduced me to a life and career of guiding and that has shaped my life in every possible way.

Describe the personality of the Rogue

Friendly. Playful. Sweet. Familial. Home.

Any good river story that speaks to those traits?

Oh…I have many but overall I think that the Rogue, like any river, invites you in and offers adventure and beauty around every corner. It’s friendly but will always remind you that it is a wild, living, moving thing and will not be conquered or over managed or restricted. It knows where it needs to go and it will always get there.

“Wild rivers are earth’s renegades, defying gravity, dancing to their own tunes, resisting the authority of humans, always chipping away, and eventually always winning.” — (Richard Bangs & Christian Kallen, River Gods)

Final words?

The Rogue is home.

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