CONSERVATION & ETHOS
Conservation, Adventure and Great Food
Conservation, Education and Adventure are the pillars Boundary Expeditions is built upon. We focus on organizing amazing river trips while treating mother nature with the utmost respect.
The Middle Fork of the Salmon river is largely considered the most prized wilderness river trip in North America, if not the 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:
- Sourcing eco friendly cleaning products for washing coolers, boats, and sleeping bags
- Recycling trip cardboards, plastics and cans
- Keeping all soaps and pollutants out of the river
- Avoiding camping on or near known archaeological sites
- Supporting salmon spawning, native fish and water quality on the Salmon River
- Using catch and release, single barbless hook policy when fishing
In alignment with our environmental ethos, Boundary also takes pride in our food sourcing and quality. We use local and organic foods whenever possible with a focus on whole, hearty and healthy foods on the river. You will enjoy gourmet meals prepared with love by our guide chefs. Our wild salmon is sourced from a sustainable outfit in Alaska, our red meats come from responsible Montana ranchers, where possible our vegetables are sourced locally in Idaho, and we start each day with delicious organic coffee roasted in Montana.
The Middle Fork is a sacred place in so many ways. From numerous historical and archaeological sites to natural hot springs to incredible fly fishing waters, when traveling with Boundary you will enjoy all of these places knowing we are doing 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. Visitors to the river corridor will have the amazing opportunity to see Native American pictographs and pit house depressions and often have a chance to chat with Forest Service interpretive rangers.
There are many areas on the river where Native American sacred or ceremonial sites are still denoted by large stone circles or pictographs in a rock shelter. Archeologists have also found arrow heads and tools buried in the earth, and the lucky traveler still stumbles upon one from time to time.
Of course, in keeping with our ethos of leaving no trace, we always leave any archeological findings and are careful not to touch pictographs. Your guides will point out places of sacred or archeological significance. Please treat these areas with the utmost respect.
The meaning of Shoshone is actually the Valley People. The Shoshone predominantly inhabited eastern and central Idaho along the Snake River plains. Inhabiting the more mountainous Salmon River corridors were two main sub-groups of the Shoshone: the Agaidika (Salmon-Eaters), and the Tukudika (Sheep-Eaters). These two peoples largely subsided on salmon, buffalo, deer, antelope or mountain sheep.
Toward the end of the 19th century, the Shoshone were pushed out of their ancestral lands and relocated to the Fort Hall Indian Reservation in south-eastern Idaho.
The Nez Perce People
The Nez Perce are said to have lived in this area for over 10,000 years. During the 1800s, the New Perce had a higher population than any of surrounding tribes, with over 6,000 of them inhabiting semi-nomadic villages. They would migrate depending on availability of food and the season. While steelhead and Chinook salmon were fished from the Clear Water, Snake, and Salmon rivers, camas bulbs were harvested in the spring providing a potato-like starch.
The Nez Perce were moved to the 770,000 acre Nez Perce Reservation in north-central Idaho.
Important dates in modern Middle Fork History
- Exploration and fur trade, 1824-1868
- Loon Creek mines, 1869-1879
- Sheepeater campaign, 1879
- Mining expansion including Thunder Mountain, 1880-1906
- Forest Service administration, 1906-1930
- First rafters brave the middle fork 1930s
- Primitive area established, 1931-1964
- 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, resulting in increased conflicts with the canyons native populations.
From 1957 to 1981 Frank Church served as the Democratic Senator for Idaho. His action-backed passion for the environment played pivotal roles for conservation in Idaho. In 1968, Senator Church penned the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, which today protects the Middle Fork and approximately 800 other miles of Idaho rivers from development activities.
In 1980 he was largely instrumental in the creation of the 2.3 million acre Central Idaho Wilderness Act. Upon his death in 1984, this area was renamed in his honor as the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. It is the largest wilderness area in the contiguous 48 states. The full 100 miles we float carves it’s way through the heart of this wilderness area.