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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

National Wilderness Conference

The other recent event celebrating the 50th Anniversary of The Wilderness Act I participated in was National Wilderness Conference in Albuquerque, NM. Organized by all of the collective federal agencies that manage wilderness lands, this was a multi-day event featuring numerous presentations and distinguished speakers such as Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, author Terry Tempest Williams, and Senator Tom Udall. I was asked to be an "inspirational" closing keynote speaker, along with my old friend, Dave Foreman, author of Ecodefense: A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching, and co-founder of Earth First!, the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and  most recently, the Rewilding Institute

Dave Foreman, EcoWarrior, and Robert Glenn Ketchum, Conservation Photographer
Dave Foreman, Environmentalist, and Robert Glenn Ketchum, Conservation Photographer, 2014

Monday, January 26, 2015

50th Anniversary of The Wilderness Act

As I mentioned previously, 2014-2015 is the 50th Anniversary of The Wilderness Act. There were many celebrations of this, and I took part in two of them which have some interesting links I have provided here for you to enjoy. 

The Crary Gallery in Philadelphia is in Warren County, near to Tionesta township and the Allegheny River. Tionesta was the home of Howard Zahniser who wrote the original Wilderness Act, so the Crary Gallery honored him by having a large exhibit of photographers whose work would show the breadth of wilderness in North America. Among them, I am the only photographer whose work has ever actually helped to create wilderness, so the curator honored the special nature of those images and included brief text / stories with the display. 

If you would like to see the actual gallery and installation, here is a short YouTube video:
Wilderness at 50 - invited photographers
Wilderness at 50 - invited photographers

There was also a very nice print catalog produced for the exhibit: 

The essays are short yet very informative and worth a read. You will learn something about the amazing American wilderness system and enjoy great pictures as well!

And lastly, here are the images I was proud to display as wilderness to which I feel a special connection:

Tracy Arm, TRACY ARM-FORDS TERROR WILDERNESS, Tongass National Forest, AK
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015 @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 
During the 1980's, considerable momentum developed within the environmental community to protect the largest of all national forests, the Tongass rainforest in southeast Alaska. A unique old-growth, temperate rainforest covering over 1,000 islands and a coastal fjordland, the Tongass was being clearcut, an industrial logging technique that was disrupting substantial habitat. Beginning in 1985, Ketchum spent 2-years in Southeast, photographing and doing research that was then published as the Aperture book, The Tongass: Alaska's Vanishing Rain Forest.  Ketchum had the book delivered to all of Congress, exhibiting prints at the National Museum of Natural History and in the Senate Rotunda. In 1990, President George Bush, Sr. signed the Tongass Timber Reform Bill into law. Not only was it the most comprehensive timber reform bill in American history, it created 11 new wilderness areas and protected over one million acres of pristine forest habitat. In acknowledgment of the contributions of his work, Ketchum was invited to the White House to meet President Bush and also given the United Nations Outstanding Environmental Achievement Award by the King of Sweden. 

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015 @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 
In 1998, Ketchum was introduced to southwest Alaska and the Bristol Bay fishery by fellow board members of the Alaska Conservation Foundation. Intending to make the public more aware of this remarkable part of the state and the valuable fishing resources, Ketchum published, Southwest Alaska: The Last Great Salmon Fishery in 2001. Fish were not the only resource however for the area hosts Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Katmai National Park and Preserve, and the largest state park, Wood-Tikchik. In 2004 Ketchum published, Wood-Tikchik: Alaska's Largest State Park. In 2005 a huge Canadian mining consortium proposed the largest open-pit copper and cyanide gold-leach mine in the world, to be located adjacent Lake Clark National Park in the headwaters of the fishery. In response, Ketchum organized and circulated an exhibit entitled, "Southwest Alaska: A World of Parks and Wildlife Refuges at the Crossroads" and he began building an extensive social media platform.
Southwest AK
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015 @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 
Southwest Alaska is home to Alaska's largest state park, two national parks, and two national wildlife refuges, one of which is 4.5 million acre Togiak National Wildlife Refuge - a completely roadless wilderness. All of these wild lands are pristine habitat that would have their air and water quality severely compromised if the proposed Pebble mine were to be built. Besides the books and exhibits, Ketchum also used his imagery to build a social media following and helped to create a coalition of over 100 partners opposing the mine. Currently the spokesperson for that group is Robert Redford, and the media campaign has been so successful, as of this year all the principal investors have withdrawn. Further, the EPA is considering canceling the mining permit. Former Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, gave Ketchum the Partnerships In Conservation Award for the work he did to help build the coalition.

Mt. Fairweather and the Alsek Glacier, 1 a.m., GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE, AK
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015 @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 
In the mid-1980's a Canadian mining consortium proposed developing a gold mine on a tributary of the Tatshenshini, a large river that comes out of Canada and winds it's way between Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Ketchum was asked by The Nature Conservancy to float the river and his photographs and story were published in LIFE magazine, breaking this news in the American press. Concerns the mining would impact the parks, the river's fishery and the perhaps even the Gulf of Alaska caught the attention of politicians, in particular, Al Gore who voiced opposition to the mine in the Senate, and spent time persuading his friend, the Canadian Prime Minister, to reconsider the mining permit. Ketchum and a coalition of photographers and writers generated many stories in the press and worked together to produce a book, Tatshenshini: River Wild. Canada withdrew the mining permit, and requested World Biosphere status for the river corridor to protect its wilderness. In so doing, three vast wilderness areas, Wrangell-St.Elias - Tatshenshini - Glacier Bay, were linked creating the largest legally designated contiguous wilderness expanse on the planet.

Happy 2015 from Robert Glenn Ketchum

I want to wish everyone Health, Happiness, and Prosperity for the New Year.  2015 is the Chinese year of The Sheep!

2015 is the Chinese Year of the Sheep!

My Xmas / New Year's present came early and in a big package - PRESIDENT OBAMA PROTECTED BRISTOL BAY FROM ALL OIL AND GAS LEASING. I hope to ultimately see Bristol Bay have status as a protected commercial fishing reserve, yet this is a GREAT first step! GRAND AS THIS IS, HOWEVER, IT DOES NOT END THE PLANNED DEVELOPMENT OF THE HUGE OPEN PIT MINE IN THE BRISTOL BAY HEADWATERS, SO PLEASE CONTINUE TO BE VOCAL AND SAY "NO" TO THE PEBBLE MINE.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Pebble Mine 2014 Year in Review: "And Then There Were Lawyers . . . ."

Pebble Mine 2014 Year in Review: "And Then There Were Lawyers . . . ."
by Joel Reynolds
Western Director and Senior attorney, NRDC, Los Angeles
published in Huffington Post, Posted: 01/05/2015 1:58 pm EST

When someday the story of the Pebble Mine is told, 2014 may be best remembered as the year when all that remained of the once formidable Pebble Partnership was a bunch of lawyers for hire. By the end of 2014, all of the mining giants and their funding - Mitsubishi, Anglo American, and Rio Tinto - were gone, leaving only Northern Dynasty Minerals to keep the reckless vision of the Pebble Mine alive. The Partnership's new CEO is a lawyer from the Washington, D.C. law firm of Steptoe and Johnson, and mining activities have ground to a halt.

By the end of 2014, Pebble's public face had become lawsuits and lobbying against EPA, targeting its authority to do what Alaskans had petitioned it to do - i.e., to protect Alaska's wild salmon fishery. Three lawsuits had been filed against the agency, and legislation to constrain the agency's review of the Pebble project had been introduced in both houses of Congress.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Reliable and Experienced House and Pet Sitter

Greetings!  I'm a very responsible, trustworthy, quiet, single female, 47, non-smoker, who's very clean and neat, and respectful of others and their property.  I have a mellow 10-year old female pug who travels with me everywhere, and is extremely well behaved. Her presence tends to be a pleasant distraction for other pets whilst their owners are traveling. She's very gentle, and good with other dogs. One of her favorite dog buddies requires daily insulin injections and various medications, so we are even familiar with caring for a dog with special needs.

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