SMC gets new board-director, Will Volpert

SMC gets new board-director, Will Volpert

Will and Dana on Illinois River, South Bend Camp

Will Volpert’s passion for the outdoors is in his blood. He grew up with parents who were rafting and fly-fishing outfitters on Idaho’s Middle Fork and Mainstem Salmon Rivers. He spent every year of his youth floating Idaho’s rivers and exploring its canyons.

He moved to Ashland in 2004 to pursue a degree in Business Administration at Southern Oregon University. In 2005, Will took his first trip down the Wild & Scenic Illinois River and received his first exposure to the Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area. Of the many trips he’s done, the Illinois would become his favorite.

After graduating from SOU in 2008, Will left Ashland and found work and adventure in Salmon, ID; Portland, OR; Bodfish, CA; and Selma, OR. Joining him was his partner, Dana Woodruff, who works as a whitewater photographer, complementing Will’s passion for rivers and wild places.

When Dana and Will decided to find a permanent living situation, of all the places they had explored and lived, they chose Ashland, OR in October 2010. By December of the same year, they hatched a plan to start a new whitewater rafting company, Indigo Creek Outfitters, named after a remote, wild tributary of the Illinois.

They developed a new model, focusing on simplifying coordination and providing half-day trips on the Rogue River upstream of Gold Hill. The Indigo Creek mission is to “deliver outdoor experiences that create lasting memories.” In addition to their rafting trips, Indigo Creek offers customers personalized photo CDs of their adventure. 

“Gabe Howe introduced me to the SMC in December 2011. I immediately felt like it was an organization I wanted to be involved with. The outdoors experience has always been a huge part of my life, and I place high value on public access to wilderness,” says Volpert. “Gabe’s enthusiasm and passion is contagious. I look forward to serving on the SMC board, working with volunteers and, most of all, getting outside to work on trails.”

Before the season has even begun, Will is displaying symptoms of log fever.

Will in action on the Rogue River