About Us

Susun & John @ Yellowstone's Firehole Falls May 19, 2012

Salmon River Idaho website author John Parsons is 65 years old. He has been an avid paddler since an early childhood summer camps introduced him to canoes.  Parsons paddled Indiana rivers and streams until he moved to Arizona in 1979.  He then took up whitewater kayaking and worked as a Grand Canyon River Guide from 1982 to 1988. Parsons also worked for many years as a river guide on Arizona's Verde and Salt Rivers, as well as Utah's San Juan River.

Parsons devoted over 20 years of his life working to build an active stakeholder base on behalf of Arizona's Verde River.  He served as director of the Verde Natural Resource Conservation Service from 1993 until early 2001.  In that capacity he wrote and received numerous private, local, state and federal grants to design and deliver conservation education programs about the river.  He even received US Bureau of Reclamation grant funds to give away river trips to over 1,000 people!

When Parsons retired from the Verde NRCD in January 2001, Arizona's Yavapai County Board of Supervisors presented him with an award for his efforts on behalf of the Verde River.  He was written up in the local newspaper with the title "Old Man River."

Click here for a December 13, 2011, article on Parsons that appeared in the "Camp Verde Bugle" newspaper in Camp Verde, Arizona.

Parsons and his wife, Susun, became USDA Forest Service volunteers in May 2001.  Their first summer of service was on behalf of the Upper Sevier River Community Watershed Project in Utah's Garfield and Kane Counties.  Parsons wrote a newsletter and produced a website for the project.  The couple received a Utah state award for their efforts.

Between 2001 and August 2007, John and Susun each logged a total of more than 4,000 official hours as Forest Service volunteers. Over 2,000 of those hours were logged at the SNRA's Bowery Guard Station located near the head of the East Fork of the Salmon River in Custer County.  Parsons also logged over 400 hours as a volunteer for Arizona State Parks between January and May 2007.  He produced a paddler's guide for a section of the Verde River Greenway near Cottonwood, Arizona.  (Click here to see the final product.)

In August 2007, Parsons became paid Director of the Eastern Idaho Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), based in Idaho Falls.  He expanded the federally-funded organization's partner list from 130 to 175 and increased the volunteer roster from 350 to 700.  The RSVP's service area included 9 Idaho counties covering 19,300 square miles.  Parsons retired from the RSVP March 2010.

Parsons currently serves as a member of the City of Idaho Falls Parks & Recreation Commission.  . Parsons graduated from Purdue University in 1970 with a degree in journalism and history.  Susun is an avid volunteer who devotes most of her service to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  She is also in charge of planting and maintaining the city's Hilda McClure Flower Garden at The Falls in front of the former Red Lion Hotel.
Salmon River Idaho explained

The Salmon River Idaho website was created to cover "all things Salmon" between Stanley and North Fork.  This 150-mile stretch of river is largely overlooked and generally forgotten because of the worldwide popularity of the nearby Middle Fork and the Wild & Scenic Main Salmon below North Fork.  The Middle Fork and The Main are justifiably famous and rightfully so.  They are incredible, awesome, wonderful rivers perhaps without peer.

But what about "the rest of the story," as a famous radio newscaster would have said?  The Upper Salmon River may not be as spectacular as the Middle Fork and/or The Main but it certainly has its own charms and special allure.  Sure, there's a highway running right alongside but who cares?  A river's still a river and The Upper Salmon River deserves respect, too.  We have always been fascinated by this stretch of river.  We actually relish the fact that there is a highway alongside--it makes the shuttles insanely easy and there's little worry if something goes wrong.  You don't have to spend thousands of dollars and set aside all your vacation time to enjoy The Upper Salmon River.  Nope, you can run any number of great short sections of river, each of which offer something fun and memorable.  Why there's even a few adrenalin-producing rapids on the Upper Salmon River such as Shotgun and Sunbeam.  No one takes those two lightly, that's for sure!

Our goal with this website is very simple--help people enjoy The Upper Salmon River from Stanley to North Fork.  We'd also like to help people better understand what makes this awesome piece of river tick, too.  We will talk about the famous fish, snow pack, hydrology, people, places, campgrounds, River Access Points and whatever strikes our fancy alongside this awesome river.

We're not interested in or trying to be a news source for all the stuff of daily life in Stanley, Yankee Fork, Clayton, Challis, Ellis, The Pahsimeroi, Elk Bend, Salmon City, The Lemhi River Country, Carmen and North Fork.  Nope, we'll let "The Challis Messenger," Lemhi Web, the Salmon Recorder-Herald and The Post-Register do their job in those areas.  Our focus is strictly on river-related topics, news and various issues, challenges and opportunities.

What about politics?  We're glad you asked.  We aren't getting into political issues.  On any rare occasion when we might discuss anything with potential political overtones, we will attempt to do our best to present both sides of an issue.  We know there are some perennial hot button issues on The Salmon and Snake Rivers.  Those issues are not our bailiwick.  Those issues have legions of foot soldiers to fight it out over their battle lines drawn in the river sand.  We're not going there.

Yes, this website does takes paid ads and accepts donations, too.  Any financial support we receive will be used simply to subsidize more trips to The Salmon River from our home in Idaho Falls.  The more time we spend on The Salmon River, the happier our lives will be.

So, that pretty well sums up why we are doing this website.  We're hoping to fill a void and establish ourselves in a unique niche here.  Up until now, there's been no place to turn to find out whatever you may wish to know about these awesome and unique 148 miles of river between Stanley & North Fork.  We consider this effort to be a long-term partnership between ourselves, The Salmon River and all of its local residents and many far flung fans.  Thank you for your interest in this website.

Website nuts and bolts

This website is based on the Google Blogger Platform.  The domain name was acquired through Go Daddy and is hosted by Google through the Google Apps Platform.  We have a virtually unlimited spectrum of online resources with which to augment this website.  Since it is based on the Blogger Platform, our entries are posted in chronological order from the most recent to the oldest post.  We will attempt to embed a variety of cross links so that relevant, older posts are easier to find than would normally be the case. The website search functions works quite well.  A total of 161 articles have been posted as of 5/14/13

Eventually, one of our big goals for this website is to produce an interactive mile-by-mile river guide for the 148-mile stretch between Stanley & North Fork.  We expect this resource to be the backbone of the website.  We hope that river users will provide status updates on the ever-changing nature of the river.  Downed trees, channel changes, access issues and much more are the types of things that users could report to keep the guide current.  Smart phones and social media could really change the way we all see and use this river!

As of now, anyone may comment on the posts in this blog. All comments are moderated so there will be a delay between your comment and when it is posted. Thanks for your understanding and patience on that issue.

Visitors to this blog also need to be aware that any form of river running, paddling, etc. is an inherently dangerous activity that should not be attempted without relevant training, proper equipment and respect and knowledge for weather and water conditions.

Your safety is YOUR responsibility!

Neither the website author nor any of the website commentators or contributors assume an liability, express or implied, for any injuries or loss that may be sustained by anyone who uses any information contained in or on this website for any purpose or reason.