As the travel industry has all but grinded to a halt, local people who rely on the income brought by groups such as Backcountry Journeys are starting to suffer. Both inside and outside the United States not everyone has access to government support during this global crisis. Economic Relief such as extra unemployment or Paycheck Protection loans don’t necessarily exist in places like Botswana, Costa Rica or Brazil.
While Backcountry Journeys is fortunate enough to be financially sound many of the operators we work with in remote places are not – the families of many of our local partners are struggling.
When you book a Backcountry Journeys trip the majority of the price you pay goes to local communities to pay for things like lodging and transportation in the remote locations we visit as well to our local guides & operators.
With the absence of Backcountry Journeys groups and other operators bringing consistent income into local economies, many communities are left vulnerable and without income or the ability to support their families during this time of need.
In many of the locations we visit, eco-tourism is the primary source of income and often anywhere from 5-10 people or more may depend on the income provided by just one tourism worker.
In recent years BCJ Trips have become a large part of these people’s income and we recognize our responsibility to help them however we can to get through this crisis. We also hope they are there for our travelers on the other side of the pandemic, ready to share with us the beautiful regions they call home.
We have been approached by many of our fellow nature photographers about what they can do to help during this time of need.
Thus we have put together a fund to help support these people and their families.
Backcountry Journeys is contributing an initial $20,000 to start the Local Eco-Tourism Support Fund to help replace lost income in local communities that we frequent.
We invite you to join us and contribute to this fund.
For every $200 you contribute to local operators and their families we will match it with a $200 Backcountry Journeys trip credit voucher for you to use on a future trip.
We appreciate our photography community and BCJ Tribe Members and hope you will join us in this effort and make a contribution towards this cause.
If you are in a position to help – please do!
Russ Nordstrand is an award winning Landscape & Wildlife Photographer based in Flagstaff, Arizona. His Fine Art Prints are hanging in private collections throughout the world and he runs Photography Tours & Workshops in the most beautiful and inspirtational locations in the Western United States and beyond.
Russ has been hiking, backpacking, photographing and guiding people in the wilderness areas, deserts, canyons and mountains of the world since 1997. He has logged thousands of miles on the trail and for many years in the past decade over half of his nights were spent in a tent in some far flung outdoor destination.
His Photography reflects an awe and admiration of the great, wide and still wild world we live in. Often his subjects include towering canyon walls, mist shrouded mountain lakes or wildlife in their natural habitat. It also reflects a commitment to preserving these places for the health of our world and for those who come after.
It would be a lie to say he does it completely from an altruistic standpoint. Like any great outdoor photographer he loves the thrill of wild, remote places and the accomplishment of nailing that shot after waking up three hours before dawn and hiking in the dark!