Responsible tourism: California walking tour, John Muir Trail
Our local mountain guides on the John Muir Trail in America are trained in minimal impact principles and duty bound to protect the environment of all wilderness areas we visit and to uphold a strict protection code for wildlife. Our philosophy since 1975 has been to leave only footprints and take only photographs. To reiterate this, every customer who travels with us receives a copy of our award-winning Responsible Travel guidebook. This detailed book outlines our environmentally sustainable principles, and outlines how each customer can minimize their impact while travelling. Each group size is small which helps once again to minimise our impact on each visit on this remote trek. We bring in everything and take out everything, and out impact is minimal. We use gas stoves to ensure no deforestation and all food is carefully stored to ensure bears are not disturbed. In addition we support various organisations including; Friends of the Inyo (Working To Preserve The Public Lands and Wildlife of the Eastern Sierra), American Birding Association, California Wilderness Coalition, The Wilderness Society & Earth Justice
During our John Muir Trail in America we support rural tourism by buying from local outfitters who use local guides. By visiting rural communities you are helping local rural development by as the majority of local people are invested in conservation as most towns we visit are attached to national parks. Local cash payments are becoming increasingly popular with many operators in the adventure travel industry. This policy seems to benefit the tour operators more than the local economies or the travellers, as it avoids local taxes and transfers the costs and risks of cash handling onto the travellers. In accordance with our Responsible Travel practices, we have chosen a policy of not asking for such payments.