This past summer, Cooley River Expeditions of Joseph transported several teams from Wallowa Resources including the Nez Perce Salmon Corps along the Grande Ronde River with the purpose of pulling or spraying weeds. On the first trip, Wallowa Resources' Range Stewardship Technician, Allan Schnetzky, and six members of the Salmon Corp from the Nez Perce tribe worked together in the effort. "Having Cooley River Expeditions float us down the river made the task much easier and more fun," said Schnetzky.
The Lower Grande Ronde Noxious Weed Program is a cooperative effort to treat noxious weeds across public and private land ownership's in the Grande Ronde River Corridor. This program is a partnership between the BLM, the US Forest Service, Wallowa Resources and private landowners. The goal is to create an effective treatment program, which is economical and ecologically responsible, while involving all landowners.
Wallowa Resources is a community based non-profit organization dedicated to sustaining Wallowa County's economy and ecosystems. Mark Porter, Rangeland Stewardship Coordinator for Wallowa Resources, said, "Most importantly, having Cooley River Expeditions navigate us down the river to a specific site freed us up to evaluate the weed situation along the river. Pulling and spraying weeds all day is very strenuous work. Cooley River Expedition made it possible for us to relax and enjoy ourselves, using all our energy to do our job."
Larry Davis and Nicole Bellows, guides and co-owners of Cooley River Expeditions, are very excited about working with Wallowa Resources. "It's great to be contributing to the health of the riverbanks in Eastern Oregon," said Davis.
After relocating to Joseph from Albany last spring, Cooley now enjoys the easy access to the Grande Ronde River just north of Joseph, the John Day River and the Salmon River in Idaho. When not working with Wallowa Resources, Cooley River Expeditions runs unique trips where active participants learn river skills and how to row a 12-foot raft or paddle an inflatable kayak, with the instruction of their guides.