Now that it’s Tuesday, the past weekend is slowly slipping away and seems like something of the distant past. But, in reality America’s Rafting Company had a stellar weekend, one that will be in our mind for many years to come! We attended the Annual Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association (IOGA) meeting. IOGA is a great association that America’s Rafting Company is proud to be a part of! The life of an Idaho whitewater outfitter is not all rafting and hiking, we participate in legislative and administrative groups to ensure that we are able to continue our business, taking guests into the backcountry in this great state of Idaho. It’s always been an important aspect of the outdoor industry to collaborate with all of the agencies involved in the governing of our river canyons and mountain tops. After all, we operate our business on public lands and are privileged to be stewards of the land. We remember that every day while we’re in the backcountry. We tread lightly, take only photographs, and pack everything out.
The annual IOGA meeting is held every December in Boise, ID. People from all walks of the outdoor world come together and attend the meeting. There are outfitters and guides, as well as agency professionals from the USFS, BLM, and IOGLB, there are also outdoor industry vendors such as AIRE and Cambridge Welding. It’s a great crowd of people! I am in awe of the IOGA for bringing such a dynamic, vivacious and busy group of people together to commemorate and reflect on the season past and look forward to the upcoming year. America’s Rafting Company was lucky enough to be represented by both Parker and myself.
We attended meetings and viewed documentaries. We got the chance to meet other outfitters and guides from the hunting and fishing side of outfitting. We were able to catch up with fellow river guides and outfitters that we usually get to see in passing during the rafting season, often picking up and dropping off our whitewater rafting trips. America’s Rafting Company took every opportunity to sit and chat with industry leaders and listen to new ideas about where the outdoor industry in Idaho is headed. The IOGA works hard to represent all of us outfitters, both on a supportive and legislative level. In fact, they host a lobby day each February in which the IOGA puts on a luncheon and government officials are there to sit and have discussions about the issues that effect outfitters and guides throughout the state. It’s important to have those face to face meetings. The IOGA knows that and provides those opportunites that would otherwise be swept under the rug. They ask the hard questions and provide the space to get the answers. It allows for some of the most out of the box thinking and we are thankful to have spent the latter part of our week with such like-minded and professional people. We look forward to furthering our relationships with outfitters from all over the state as well as agency officials and legislative representatives. Preserving what we have and ensuring that generations to come will be able to enjoy Idaho’s back country is on the forefront of our minds and we rest easy knowing that there are so many other passionate souls out there to help make it happen!