CONSERVATION & ETHOS

Conservation, Adventure and Great Food

Conservation, stewardship and adventure are the pillars of Boundary Expeditions. We focus on organizing amazing river trips while treating mother nature with the utmost respect.

The Middle Fork of the Salmon river is the most prized wilderness river trip in North America, if not world. At Boundary Expeditions, we take pride in utilizing a leave no trace ethic on the river and ensuring that our practices line up with our ecological values.

The earth is always making more people, but not making more rivers…You and many others will be camping, hiking, bathing and more on the river this summer. With a river corridor as special and pristine as the middle fork it is our job to maintain this through good stewardship of the land. We accomplish this in several ways.

  1. Sourcing eco friendly cleaning products for cleaning coolers and boats, laundry soap for sleeping bags
  2. Recycling trip cardboards, plastics and cans
  3. Solar charging our products whenever possible
  4. Avoiding camping on or near known archaeological sites
  5. Supporting salmon spawning, native fish and water quality on the Salmon River
  6. Using catch and release, single barbless hook policy when fishing

In alignment with our environmental ethos, Boundary also takes pride in our food preparation and quality. We use local and organic foods whenever possible and focus on whole, hearty and healthy foods on the river. You will enjoy gourmet meals prepared with love by our guide chefs. We source our wild salmon from a sustainable outfit in Alaska, our meats come from responsible Montana farmers, organic coffee from a roaster in Montana and fruit and vegetables from within 100 miles of Salmon, ID.

The Middle Fork is a sacred place in so many ways. From the numerous historical and archaeological sites to the hot springs galor to the fly fishing opportunities, when traveling with Boundary you will enjoy all of these places knowing we are do all we can to minimize our ecological footprint.

Archaeology and History

There is great historical significance in the Middle Fork with human history dating back 14,500 years. These are some of the most ancient records in North America. Trekkers on the river will see Native American pictographs and pit house depressions and have a chance to discuss these things with the Forest Service interpretive rangers.

There are many areas on the river where large stone circles, alignments, or stacks can be found that may be the remains of ceremonial lodges or sacred sites from these two tribes. Archeologists have found bone chips, rockshelters, and tools, as well as impressive pictographs. The pictographs are drawn in red oochre, a mud colored iron oxide (otherwise known as rust).

The pictographs should never be touched because oil from human hands will destroy them. Isolated terraces along the river and higher elevation ridge tops may have been used for sacred ceremonies. Please treat these areas with the utmost respect.

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The Shoshone People

The meaning of Shoshone is actually the Valley People. The Shoshone inhabited eastern and central Idaho. They were predominant in the areas around the Snake River. There were two main sub-groups of the Shoshone, the Agaidika, who were also called Salmon-Eaters, and the Tukukika, who were referred to as Sheep-Eaters. These two peoples lived around the Salmon River and either ate salmon or hunted down buffalo, deer, antelope or mountain sheep.

The Shoshone were pushed out of their ancestral lands to the southeastern parts of Idaho in the Fort Hall Indian Reservation.

The Nez Perce People
The Nez Perce are said to have lived in this area for over 10,000 years and had the highest population in the 1800s as compared to other tribes. More than 6,000 of them inhabited various villages. They would migrate depending on availability of food and the season. They ate steelhead and Chinook salmon that could be found in Clear Waters, Snake and Salmon Rivers.

The Nez Perce were moved to a 2,000 square miles Nez Perce reserve stands in north Idaho.

Important dates in modern Middle Fork History

  1. Exploration and fur trade, 1824-1868
  2. Loon Creek mines, 1869-1879
  3. Sheepeater campaign, 1879
  4. Mining expansion including Thunder Mountain, 1880-1906
  5. Forest Service administration, 1906-1930
  6. First rafters brave the middle fork 1930s
  7. Primitive area established, 1931-1964
  8. Wilderness administration, 1964-

Mines were a major draw for white folks, bringing thousands to the otherwise uncharted territory. Prospectors and hermits abounded in the late 1800’s as conflicts with the canyons native people increased.

Frank Church
One of the most influential conservationists and politicians for the Middle Fork was Senator Frank Church. From 1957 to 1981 he was the Democratic Senator representing Idaho. His passion for the environment led to wilderness around the Middle Fork being protected. He was especially pivotal in the Wilderness Acot and sponsoring the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act to ensure that the Middle Fork and seven other rivers were shielded from development activities.

During Church’s last year of his final he was instrumental in the River of No Return Wilderness area, which was created as a home for the Salmon River’s middle and main forks. This wilderness area is the largest region under protection in the United States and comprises of 2,366,757 acres of incredible ecosystems. The River of No Return Wilderness was renamed the The Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness just a month before Church’s death.