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Green Page

Bearpaw River Expeditions, LLC is an Earth friendly company. Being a company that hosts high adventure river trips in some of the most pristine wilderness and expansive National Forests in the United States, we believe in preserving and conserving the natural settings and environment that make our trips so unique. We view the Lochsa River and its surrounding area as being our "backyard". It is a wild backyard that is filled with wild animals such as bear, moose, elk, eagles, deer, cougar, and wolves - to name a few. The river itself is the watery home of West-bank Cutthroat trout and Steelhead Salmon - to name just a few. It is a place that we love and care about.

It is only fitting that we, a company that operates within this wilderness wonderland, function in such a way as to do no harm to our forests and rivers. It is also our responsibility as "stewards" of the Lochsa River to care for and improve its natural setting whenever possible. This can be as easy as picking up trash and other man-made debris when we find it. At Bearpaw, our efforts begin with picking up trash and go from there...

Bearpaw River Expedition's guides, drivers, and staff put our stewardship into action. For example, during the later part of the 2003 rafting season, when the water levels were low and revealing much of the riverbank and pools, we were able to remove most of the debris from a truck that had accidentally rolled into the river during the Spring flood and had been torn apart by the high-water current. We pulled most of the truck debris from the river and riverbank and carried it to the roadside where the US Forest Service then hauled it away. That twisted metal and automotive garbage obviously did not belong in the river; it was an eyesore to all who saw it. That is why we took action to remove it.

Garbage does not belong in the river - and it does not belong on the side of the road either. That is why Bearpaw River Expeditions has adopted two separate sections of Highway through the State operated "Adopt-a-Highway" program. We have adopted a section of the Montana Highway that leads to the Lochsa from Missoula, MT and also a section of the highway near where we begin our Lochsa River trips in Idaho. We believe that natural, pristine beauty is a large part of what makes this area so remarkable and are working to keep anything from diminishing that.

When you come to do a trip with us, you will observe that our guides recycle whatever possible of the materials used to host our river trips. This is to say that plastic containers, cardboard boxes, glass bottles, and tin cans used to hold food items are recycled (or re-used if appropriate). We do something special with aluminum cans... We recycle the cans and get a small cash payback. The money from the cans goes into a special, slowly growing account that will eventually be used to host a party for our guests and staff! It may be a long while before the account matures into a suitable amount for such an event but at least we have something else to look forward to! Our recycling program is not limited to the river. We also have an office-recycling program.

Our office-recycling program, in addition to all of the items included in our river-recycling program, includes office paper, magazines, newspaper publications, printer cartridges, and batteries. The simple fact is that we recycle everything that can be recycled at our local, Missoula, Montana recycling center.

Something that goes hand-in-hand with recycling our byproducts is purchasing and using items that are packaged and composed of recycled ingredients. This is recycling "on the front end". For example, all notes, statements, and transactions that we make with our customers are done on recycled paper. Our brochures are printed on it. The "acknowledgement of risk" forms are on recycled paper… Wherever possible we try to use recycled items. Hopefully somewhere down the line, the demand for "new" paper products will be slightly reduced and we will keep more of the trees in our Clearwater and Nez Perce Forests.

Beside the internal efforts that we make to be Earth friendly and to be a "green" company, we love to transact business with other companies who behave and believe in many of the same things that we do. One such company is Working Assets. Working Assets provides us with long distance telephone service and they also donate 1% of their gross revenue to an array of non-profit groups. Since 1985 this amount has totaled over 38 million dollars and has contributed to the operational support of such nonprofits as American Rivers, The Sierra Club, and Wilderness Watch. Like Bearpaw, Working Assets also prints all of their statements and transactions with their customers on recycled paper. Working assets is a company that we feel glad to transact business with.

We are currently looking for local food producers who can provide us with fresh, local, and natural, foods for our trips. Whenever possible we will obtain and consume these natural and local foods on our trips.

Bearpaw River Expeditions, LLC also supports and works with advocacy groups like Idaho River United and the Clark Fork Coalition. Both of these groups have mission statements that direct them to the protection and restoration of our rivers, watersheds, fish, and wildlife.

Idaho Rivers United is based out of Boise, Idaho and is our connection to what is happening (beyond our Lochsa "neighborhood") on the greater Idaho river scene. In addition to being a state-wide river advocacy group concerned with all Idaho rivers, Idaho Rivers United is the group that will work to ensure that the Lochsa River stays a Wild and Scenic, free-flowing river and that we will have a future of Salmon and native Cutthroat Trout in our rivers.

The Clark Fork Coalition is based out of Missoula, Montana and is focused on the Clark Fork River as its river of choice. The Clark Fork flows right through the middle of Missoula and has had a long history of pollution and abuse. This is the river that "washed away" the mining sediments and garbage from the Butte mining booms of the past. Today the river is much cleaner, home to a growing trout fishery, and a great addition to the cultural life of Western Montana. The Clark Fork Coalition has had a great deal to do with these positive changes and is actively taking more steps that will further and enhance the quality of the Clark Fork River. The Clark Fork is less than a mile away from our office and is one of our coveted local rivers - it is only fitting that we respect and care for this river as we would any other.

We try to do the right thing when it comes to the way we do business. We feel very lucky to be operating river trips on such wild and beautiful rivers in the great expanses of North Central Idaho and Western Montana. These are the areas that we call "our backyard" and we take a personal stake in keeping them natural and pure. We are stewards of the river of its surroundings... When you come to do a trip with Bearpaw River Expeditions, LLC, know that you are traveling with a company that does no harm to the river or land and is intent on keeping them wild.

     
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