River Conservation: The AO Philosophy

Jawbone Canyon - Tuolumne RiverFor 60 years, All-Outdoors has benefited by having the opportunity to share some of the most beautiful river canyons in California with our guests. And for 60 years, All-Outdoors has been committed to protecting one of California's most precious commodities...its rivers.

While decisions regarding the preservation of wilderness are complex and difficult, we feel that rivers deserve to be treated delicately, and with the utmost respect. The role which rivers play in cleansing and transporting surface water is often overlooked and underestimated. A healthy river system provides clean drinking water, stable fisheries, recreational opportunities, and irrigation water. The water you drink at home may be the same water which carried you downstream on your last rafting trip.

We believe civilization should strive toward a balance between preservation and progress. For this very reason, All-Outdoors proudly supports and belongs to the following organizations dedicated to these same ideals...

Friends of the River (FOR)

Friends of the River (FOR), the leading river preservation group in California, was formed in the 1970’s.  Its first goal was to stop the construction of the dam that filled the New Melones Reservoir, resulting in the flooding of the Camp Nine Class III section of the Stanislaus River.  FOR lost that battle when the reservoir was filled in 1982. Lessons learned in the Stanislaus campaign helped FOR secure National Wild and Scenic River status for the Tuolumne River in the mid-1980's and the Merced River in the 1990’s. During the past 50 years FOR has matured into one of the state’s leaders in river preservation, conservation and education. FOR continues this mission today as they are “committed to becoming a more powerful voice for a climate resilient water future in California with healthy rivers, equal access to safe and affordable drinking water, and a thriving, sustainable economy for all Californians.

Fifty years ago during the Stanislaus campaign, All-Outdoors developed a partnership with FOR, which has grown over the years. During the Tuolumne campaign All-Outdoors was one of the outfitters instrumental in developing campaign strategy. The founder of AO, George Armstrong served on the FOR board of directors during the 1980’s and traveled to Washington DC to lobby for the river to be protected. Presently, his son Scott Armstrong is in his 25th year on the board. FOR has become a great resource for river education and has made a variety of written publications and videos available. Its representatives are often invited as guest speakers on guide interpretive trips. They are helpful in educating guides regarding water management, the political battles facing our California rivers and the environmental impact of waterway manipulation.

Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace is a national educational program that promotes and inspires responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnership.  Leave No Trace (LNT) unites the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, educational programs and the outdoor industry in teaching the public to enjoy the outdoors without harming it.

Leave No Trace ™Principles of Leave No Trace
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Camp and travel on durable surfaces
- Pack it in, pack it out
- Properly dispose of what you can’t pack out
- Leave what you find
- Minimize use and impact of fire
- Be considerate of others

All-Outdoors is a partner member of Leave No Trace and supports their mission as a Partner Member. As a supporter we've pledged to practice, teach and implement minimum impact education in our whitewater rafting program and every commercial rafting trip we run.

How You Help Protect California's Rivers

Every time you choose to raft with All-Outdoors, you are choosing to make a direct contribution to the preservation of wilderness. We donate a portion of your trip fees to non-profit organizations such as Friends of the River, one of the most influential river preservation organizations in the world. Our guides donate their time for river clean-up trips on many of the rivers we run.

"Wilderness compliments and completes civilization. Any society that feels itself too poor to afford the preservation of wilderness is not worthy of the name of civilization."

- Edward Abbey

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