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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Weekly Post, THE SONORAN DESERT: Visiting with Don Juan by Robert Glenn Ketchum

THE SONORAN DESERT: 
Visiting with Don Juan
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



In 1988, I was contacted by Luther Propst, Director of the Rincon Institute of Tucson, AZ, who asked me if I could help them devise a campaign to protect a part of Saguaro National Monument from a massive real estate development that would disrupt substantial habitat.  
I did so, and we not only succeeded in mitigating the development, we added 30,000 acres to the monument, and got it upgraded to National Park status.  While doing this work, I fell in love with the Sonoran Desert, returning to it repeatedly, and visiting the many varied parts of it in Arizona, Mexico, and Baja, CA.  This is the tale of those visits. 
~Robert Glenn Ketchum





Wednesday, July 8, 2020

THE SONORAN DESERT:  Visiting with Don Juan #12:
Sonora #12:  WHAT! I think this is the mushroom omelette working on me again. I take this picture just to prove all of these colors are really there. The rain and the overcast have certainly given me optimal conditions for my photography, but this is RIDICULOUS. Really! A turquoise rock? A stunningly vivid green tree branch? I better back up, I don’t want to get sucked into this. I am sure I would never recover. Time to go stare at something else.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Weekly Post, NO PEBBLE MINE: Pictures from Ground Zero by Robert Glenn Ketchum

NO PEBBLE MINE Pictures from Ground Zero
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

 
Since 1998, I have been working to protect the spectacular resources of southwest Alaska and the fishery of Bristol Bay. Two Aperture books, a national traveling exhibition, a massive coalition of concerned users, and a lot of personal lobbying, had it looking like we were almost there. Then Donald Trump took office claiming he would always put America, and American jobs first. SO WHY destroy a BILLION-dollar-a-year, RENEWABLE salmon fishery and over 100,000 jobs for a group of international mineral speculators that will leave us with a Superfund site to clean up, and NO fishery left edible? And yet, he did,..so please, keep saying NO TO THE PEBBLE MINE!
~Robert Glenn Ketchum






Tuesday, July 7, 2020 

NO PEBBLE MINE #408, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #408:  As my flight gets further from the coast, the cloudy skies are more broken, and spots of sunlight illuminate the landscape in dramatic ways. I love working from the air because you see the terrain in such a different way, grander and more encompassing. We are still above part of the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge but are turning towards Wood-Tikchik State Park. Rather than the more closely packed summits I think of as a range, the mountains here are massifs that stand alone,.. perhaps they are social distancing - LOL! Whatever, it makes for a GREAT afternoon of flying, and it is likely I will never see these places again because after long summers in Southwest, two Aperture books, and eventually a national traveling museum exhibit, my “work” here is finished. Besides, Alaska is a huge state, and there are many others parts of it I hope to explore. At this moment, however, I am “in the moment,” and it is good to be here now.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd @NRDC @OrvisFlyFishing #NoPebbleMine #LittleBearProd

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Weekly Post: THE TONGASS: Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees by Robert Glenn Ketchum

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees
by Robert Glenn Ketchum
In 1985, I began a 2-year commission to explore the Tongass rainforest, the largest forest in the United States Forest Service (USFS) system AND the largest temperate rainforest in the world. It was a unique, old-growth environment under siege from industrial logging. The resulting investigative book I published helped to pass the Tongass Timber Reform Bill, protect 1,000,000 acres of old-growth, and create 11 new wilderness areas. This is the story of how that was achieved.




Tuesday, July 07, 2020

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, #202, 
Tongass, #202:  After dropping, my assistant Krys Cianciarulo, his wife, Jan, and I, on the tip of the rocky peninsula at the foot of the US Forest Service cabin at Goat Lake, we offload our gear and the outboard boat motor, and haul the gear up to the cabin. The pilot waits until we confirm the cabin is in good condition, then he tells us when to expect his return, pushes off from the point, and taxis slowly to the far end of the lake. As it has been raining lightly all morning, we stand in the mist to watch his departure. His revving engine echoes off of the surrounding granite walls, and then the plane picks up speed and starts to skip across the mild wind chop on the lake. A little more than halfway down the lake he goes flawlessly airborne, and disappears into the low hanging clouds. For several minutes we can still hear his engine, but eventually the only sounds are the patter of rainfall, and the drip of the forest. We retire into the cabin to sort our gear, make our beds, and have some snacks. Rain or not, we all want to get into the boat later, and explore the lake.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, July 6, 2020

Weekly Post, High and Wild: Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers

High and Wild: Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



After receiving my MFA from CalArts, I was invited by Bill Lund, Sharon Disney’s husband, to come stay at the families' Diamond-D Ranch in Dubois, Wyoming. Bill thought I might like to photograph in the nearby Wind River Mountains, which I did, backpacking through them extensively over the next three summers. Welcome to a world of big granite walls and huge alpine lakes!
~Robert Glenn Ketchum





Monday, July 6, 2020

High and Wild:  Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers, #150, 
Wind Rivers, #150:  The basin of small lakes Vicki Golden, and I, are hiking into are VERY high. Summits no longer tower above us. The first lake we encounter is small and shallow, so, of course, Belle wades right in. (Be sure to click on the link (COLORED LETTERS) and see the Google mapping of this basin, so you can follow the hike. Also, scroll to magnify some AMAZING detail!) If you ARE looking at the map, North Fork Lake, where we are camped, is to the upper left. The first lake we reach is long, narrow and dead-center. From there we will ascend a short rise to the other small lake, right, and above it. Finally we will traverse across to Glacier. This pass must be windy most of the time, because it sure is today, and if you blow up the detail on the Google map, you can see on the day the satellite took this shot, all of these lakes are glistening from being wind-swept.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd


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Weekly Post: "The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get" by Robert Glenn Ketchum

by Robert Glenn Ketchum


Growing up my parents had a home near Sun Valley, Idaho. It was there that I learned to ski. Over many years I befriended members of the Decker Flats Climbing and Frisbee Club, with whom I had both life, and art-forming outdoor experiences. I had my camera, and these are my adventures. Enjoy!!  
~Robert Glenn Ketchum



Monday, July 62020

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #218: 
DFCFC, #218: As Gordon Williams, Polly, Vicki Golden, doggo Belle Star, and I, wend our way up from our camp at Clear Lake and over the sloping ridge of Haystack Mountain, the nearly melted-out walls of Haystack provide great visual entertainment for the morning. There is no breeze, and LOTS of sun, so our merry troupe is full-go. The ascent is brief, and the descent, even briefer, so we reach the shoreline of Black Joe Lake in very good time. Having done so, I explain to all that the actual trail crosses to the other side of the lake, and the side we are on is traversable, but with some considerable bouldering obstacles to overcome, which confronted Vicki and I in the previous summer. We made it through, but there were some sketchy places, and they might be worse today if snow or ice have lingered. All want to circumnavigate the lake, however, so we plunge off trail and begin to rock dance. For 80% of this route, it is relatively easy, and we do not encounter any dangerous situations, continuing to make good time, but eventually we come to the massive granite slab avalanche that even extends out into the lake. The trick here is finding a route through that we can all accomplish, Belle Star included. Choice is everything now!

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, July 3, 2020

Weekly Post, "The Daze of My Life: Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography"

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography


Biographies are studies of someone's life based on cumulative research. Good ones may reveal something, but probably barely scratch the surface of what actually went on. The internet is allowing me to do something VERY different. 
~Robert Glenn Ketchum






Friday, July 3, 2020

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #207:
Daze, #207:  The Presidio of San Francisco has been a military post for more than 150yrs. The expansive grounds were originally sand dunes, west of the city, upon which the military encamped with tents. It was cold and windy because it was exposed to the onshore flow from the coast, so the military planted those trees you saw in the last post, as a windbreak. When you are in the Presidio forest, you will note that the trees were planted in rows on a perfect grid, and as you walk through them, they all line up. The Presidio also hosts one of the most distinguished cemeteries outside of Arlington (VA). A reading of the headstones is a scroll through family names that helped to build the city and our state. Being a military post over so many decades, the Presidio has five different periods of historic architecture preserved in complete groupings at different post and home/barrack sites. In the transfer from the Department of Defense to the Department of the Interior, those historic buildings will house new companies and foundations of various kinds, and they may be remodeled inside, but it is a mandate of the new leases that the architecture must be preserved. To the western shore of the reserve, there is also the iconic Baker’s Beach, bordering the Pacific.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020 
@RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Weekly Post, The Cuyahoga River Valley: From Flames to Fame by Robert Glenn Ketchum

The Cuyahoga River Valley: 
From Flames to Fame
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



In 1986, I was given a commission from the Akron Art Museum and the National Park Service to photograph the recently created Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area. My work helped put that location on the map, and since then, the NRA has been upgraded to National Park status, becoming one of the most visited parks in the national system.
~Robert Glenn Ketchum





Friday, July 3, 2020

Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #16:
Cuyahoga #16:  After the lush, choking growth of summer, the heat and humidity begin to dissipate and fall colors flood into the landscape. As nights grow colder, and the days more rainy, the trees and meadows are slowly stripped of their leaves, the debris covering the ground. In this case the vibrant green mosses of The Ledges, is being buried by the leaf fall from above.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, May 22, 2020

NRDC, Pebble Mine: Open Letter to Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman

EXPERT BLOG › JOEL REYNOLDS



Pebble Mine: Open Letter to Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman

May 18, 2020
Joel Reynolds

Bristol Bay coalition urges Morgan Stanley to cut ties with widely-condemned Pebble Mine, citing unavoidable risks to the region, inconsistency with Morgan Stanley’s commitment to corporate environmental and social responsibility.

"Nushagak River, Bristol Bay Watershed"
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020 



James Gorman
Chairman and CEO
Morgan Stanley
1585 Broadway Avenue
New York, NY
USA 10036


Re: Northern Dynasty Minerals and the Pebble Mine
Dear Mr. Gorman:

Over the past two months, on behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council and leaders from the Bristol Bay region of Alaska, we have reached out to you here and here for essentially two reasons:

First, we are concerned that Morgan Stanley continues to be associated publicly as a major shareholder in Northern Dynasty Minerals, the sole owner of one of the most widely condemned projects anywhere today.  The Pebble Mine is a project (1) that threatens the greatest wild sockeye salmon fishery on Earth, (2) that the people of Bristol Bay, by overwhelming numbers for over a decade, have opposed, (3) that four major global mining companies have abandoned, (4) that the World Conservation Congress has condemned by virtually unanimous vote, (5) that Tiffany’s and scores of other jewelry companies have blacklisted, (6) that EPA Administrators from the Presidencies of Nixon, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush have called “the wrong mine in absolutely the wrong place” – and more. While your colleagues have emphasized in reply that Morgan Stanley “does not have a strategic or proprietary investment in the company,” your public profile as a major institutional investor in the company continues to convey a different, however unintended, impression – one of participation in a project that is environmentally destructive, socially irresponsible, and relentlessly opposed by the people of the region. Under the Trump Administration, in disregard of all of this, the project is nearing a permit decision, with Morgan Stanley high on its list of investors.

Second, as is evident on your website, there is no doubt that Morgan Stanley has a commitment to sustainability and sensitivity to the environmental and social concerns that have motivated the diverse, sustained opposition to the Pebble Mine. Indeed, your unambiguous rejection of the kinds of risks that Northern Dynasty and its pursuit of its reckless project pose in a very direct and immediate way to the communities of Bristol Bay is an important consideration in reaching out to you. Pebble’s risks are not an abstract concept nor are they going to go away in the absence of specific, concrete, and public action by leaders like Morgan Stanley – to whom investors look for investment guidance. As you have recognized, this is a matter of sustainable long-term investment, not just fundamental values.

Objectively, the Pebble Mine is a bad social, environmental, and financial investment. Given this, we ask what it is that you and your colleagues at Morgan Stanley hope to hear from Northern Dynasty Minerals, the Army Corps of Engineers, or anyone else that, in the face of this unreasonable risk and broad-based condemnation, could justify proceeding with such a project in such a place? While we have no reason to doubt the assurances of your colleagues that you are “mindful of the impacts,” you will “continue to monitor the project and company,” or that you “remain sensitive to the environmental and social issues” that we’ve raised, we believe that the circumstances demand more than words.

To that end, as Northern Dynasty continues its single-minded pursuit of permits and investors for this uniquely destructive project, we urge you to consider what specific actions Morgan Stanley can take to publicly dissociate itself, its resources, and its services from the Pebble Mine and from the company that owns it.

Very truly yours,

Joel Reynolds

Western Director
Senior Attorney
Natural Resources Defense Council
Take action now to stop the Pebble Mine.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Weekly Post, "Late Fall High in the Sawtooths" by Robert Glenn Ketchum

Late Fall High in the Sawtooths
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



My partner, Vicki Golden, and I, have come to love backpacking in late fall. Although we risk getting snowed upon, most of the bugs, and virtually all of the people are gone. This is our last camping trip together, and the last time I ever camped in the Sawtooths. This is a short blog to say goodbye to both.  
~Robert Glenn Ketchum




Friday, March 13, 2020

High in the Sawtooths, #27:
Sawtooths #27:  In the last post, I said the Twin Lakes, late fall camp was our final trip, which originally was meant as a reference to the season, but as fate would have it, it was a final trip in MANY other ways. After returning to my home/studio in Los Angeles, the project I had proposed to the National Park Foundation to define the historical relationship between photographers and the National Park System, has been fully funded by Transamerica, and it is a “go,” in a big way. I have many contemporary photographers to visit and interview in person, and from whom I will also select work for the proposed exhibit and book, among them Brett WestonWilliam GarnettEliot PorterPaul CaponigroRoger Minick, and William Clift. Other acquisitions will be accomplished working with galleries, and searching through established collections, such as the Oakland Museum, the Amon Carter Museum, and the Library of Congress. To manage all of this, I will not only spend a good deal of time on the road, but ultimately, I will move to Washington, DC, and for two years, I will work out of the offices of the National Park Foundation. Belle Star, my black lab, will join me for some of the road trips, but once I move to DC, she will stay with my parents, at our family home in LA. Vicki (above) wants none of it, however. She fully recognizes how remarkable an opportunity the “American Photographers and the National Parks” project is, for me, and does not begrudge me that, be she has NO intention of living in DC, and sitting around while I go to work every day. When I finally transition to the East, Vicki returns to Sun Valley, Idaho, where she continues to live for several years, although she never backpacks again. Belle lives out her life at my parent’s home, chasing balls, and swimming in the pool. I see her on my many visits, and am physically with her at the end, when after 9yrs., cancer claims her. I successfully complete the national park project, circulate a stunning nationwide exhibit, and publish a major book with Viking Press, which in turn begets me the attention of the Lila Acheson Wallace Funds, who offer me a commission to photograph the Hudson River Valley. To pursue that, I move to a home along the mid-Hudson for two years, before returning to the West. I have never hiked in the Sawtooth wilderness since. Carpe’ Diem!

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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