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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Weekly Post, NO PEBBLE MINE Pictures From Ground Zero by Robert Glenn Ketchum (Posts #425+)

 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, May 4, 2021

NO PEBBLE MINE, Pictures from Ground Zero #451
NO PEBBLE MINE #451: 
Some of the companies I helped as part of the national coalition against the development of the Pebble mine are Tiffany & Co., Tommy Hilfiger, and Orvis. Orvis offers many fishing trips in the Bristol Bay region through its catalogue, and they have become very outspoken about the mine. So when the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers denied the permit late in 2020, they sent this email to all of their “friends,” and they have thousands of them. Clearly this kind of publicity is a further blow to the development company, Northern Dynasty. Of course, the real damage was done by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers that denied their federal permit over issues with the Clean Water Act. Go back to Canada, ND! SAY NO TO THE PEBBLE MINE!

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021, 
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 

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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

NO PEBBLE MINE, Pictures from Ground Zero #450
NO PEBBLE MINE #450: 
In September of 2020, Joel Reynolds got ahold of another amazing document, the release of which caused Northern Dynasty’s CEO, Tom Collier, to resign in disgrace. Videotapes had been created by a DC-base group called the Environmental Investigations Agency. Members of this agency posed as potential Chinese investors from Hong Kong with links to the Chinese government. In the videotapes, Northern Dynasty’s two CEOs can be heard bragging to the Chinese about how stupid the Alaskan politicians, and the people in the federal agencies are, with whom they are dealing. They boast about their powers of political manipulation, and most shockingly of all, they reveal their proposed 20yr. plan for the Pebble mine is a Trojan Horse, and that the actual plan will eventually be developed as a 200yr. plan. This is a company of criminals that should go back to Canada, and be put in jail.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021, 
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 

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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

NO PEBBLE MINE, Pictures from Ground Zero #449
NO PEBBLE MINE #449: 
Joel Reynolds was completely aware that even if the development permit for the Pebble mine might be denied by U.S. Army Corp of Engineers for reasons relating to the Clean Water Act, that Northern Dynasty was not going to back off, and that they would try to make changes and re-apply. Therefore, he monitored every move they made, and in July of 2020, he posted this as a blog. It went to the HUGE membership of NRDC, and to every media contact they had. Put your glasses on and read this, it is quite a summary. Joel doesn’t spare anyone here, and my picture at the end was glowing on the blogpost.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021, 
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

NO PEBBLE MINE, Pictures from Ground Zero #448
NO PEBBLE MINE #448: 
Given the very powerful Economic Benefits report published by the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association toward the end of 2018, in June of 2019, Joel Reynolds and NRDC decided to run another attack ad in The New York Times, choosing again to use some VERY “in-your-face” messaging. If you read the above bullet points, you will see that they point out the embarrassment of Northern Dynasty having lost all investors, then they go all the way back to Nixon to show that all the listed Republican presidents opposed the proposal through their EPA, further, they call-out the Trump administration, which had not yet taken any action to oppose the plan. They also basically threaten any potential investors by making very sure they understand that NRDC will drag them into the court of public opinion if they consider signing on to the proposed development. Northern Dynasty hates this campaign!

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021, 
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

NO PEBBLE MINE, Pictures from Ground Zero #447
NO PEBBLE MINE #447: 
Towards the end of 2018 the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association published this very comprehensive piece of information about the value of the Bristol Bay fishery (on an annual basis), and the number of people the industry employed. They were kind enough to call me, and use one of my more prominent images from the campaign, and as a flyer, and PDF, this was circulated to all related industries, interested groups, and the media. This was another serious wound to Northern Dynasty’s proposed development of the Pebble mine, and I was glad to be part of this attack, as well.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021, 
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 

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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

NO PEBBLE MINE, Pictures from Ground Zero #446
NO PEBBLE MINE #446: 
In 2018, Northern Dynasty benefitted from the Trump administration’s support of the proposed Pebble project, and lured a new investor into their plans. First Quantum Minerals came aboard, but only briefly, thanks once again to the immediate response from Joel Reynolds and NRDC. Resorting to our tried and true attack ad campaign, Joel/NRDC ran this in The New York Times pointing out the history of opposition, and detailing all of the prominent groups that were part of the NO PEBBLE MINE coalition. “We will never relent,” caused instantaneous blowback from First Quantum shareholders, and they withdrew their investment. Score another one for this campaign!

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021, 
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 

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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

NO PEBBLE MINE, Pictures from Ground Zero #445
NO PEBBLE MINE #445: 
Joel Reynolds, lead attorney for NRDC, and I, have worked together since 2010, using full-page attack ads in major newspapers, which you have seen in several previous posts, so when he and his staff attended the International Union for the Conservation of Nature conference in Hawaii, their conference display featured numerous images of mine. However, only those attending the conference saw those presentations, and Joel wanted a broader audience to also learn about the threat of the Pebble mine to southwest Alaska, so he returned to our well practiced newspaper adverts. This time, the messaging was especially strident, and he also wanted to show that there was a large coalition involved in the NO PEBBLE MINE campaign, so the ad included all the coalition member logos at the bottom of the page. Once again, a very effective strategy, that reached a large audience, and brought our campaign a broad public audience in the Hawaiian Islands.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021, 
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 

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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

NO PEBBLE MINE, Pictures from Ground Zero #444
NO PEBBLE MINE #444: 
When Joel Reynolds, and some of his staff from the West Coast offices of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) attended the International Union for the Conservation of Nature conference in Hawaii, they created quite a presence, bringing some tribal members from southwest, Alaska with them to lecture, and using my imagery in several different ways to show the conference participants what Southwest looks like. One of the presentations using my imagery was in the form of very large posters on A-frames. Joel took a signature image NRDC had used many times in the NO PEBBLE MINE campaign, and overlay it with two different messages. Wherever they set up, rooftop cocktail party, panel discussion, or outside the conference hall, they used these two posters as bookends to their presentation area.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021, 
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 

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Tuesday, March 9, 2021

NO PEBBLE MINE, Pictures from Ground Zero #443
NO PEBBLE MINE #443: 
When Joel Reynolds, and some of his staff from the West Coast offices of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) decided to attend the International Union for the Conservation of Nature conference in Hawaii, they brought along some tribal members form southwest Alaska, and they weaponized their display with posters featuring my imagery, and a 100+ loop of my photographs, scrolling across a wide-screen monitor. These tools were inside the rooftop cocktail party they hosted, in a booth at the entrance to the conference hall, and serving as bookends to their panel discussion. Look at the cool, decorated vests these two Native men are wearing. That is Joel at the podium in the top picture, and the tallest person, at the back, in the bottom one.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021, 
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 

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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

NO PEBBLE MINE, Pictures from Ground Zero #442
NO PEBBLE MINE #442: 
In 2016, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, held a HUGE conference in Hawaii, and Joel Reynolds, the West Coast Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) wanted to be sure ALL the participants from their many countries, would learn about the proposed development of the Pebble mine, and how it would threaten the spectacular habitat of southwest Alaska, and the fishery of Bristol Bay. He arranged for several other attorneys, and staff from NRDC’s west coast office, to attend the conference as well. They paid for a booth outside the main conference hall which featured informative brochures, several of my framed prints, and a big screen TV that played a continuous loop of over 100 of my images of the region. The first night of the conference, they also hosted an open party in the rooftop garden of the conference center, that featured a variety of speakers, as you see above. My prints were displayed there, too, and the big TV featuring the loop of my pictures was also available to all.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021, 
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 

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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

NO PEBBLE MINE, Pictures from Ground Zero #441
NO PEBBLE MINE #441: 
The final “page” of the 5-page, 5-day serial ad in Politico, which was being run by Joel Reynolds and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), had a completely different look to it. The red-orange polluted water was gone, replaced by blue, crystal clear water. The tail of the “dead” salmon from the day three ad, had suddenly sprung to life and was swimming. AND, if you are wondering how my imagery fit into this published campaign, the large-lettered words. “WALK AWAY FROM BRISTOL BAY” are comprised of my green trees - LOL! While my work was not the center of attention this time around, it still felt good to be included in any way, and know that the effort was effective.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021, 
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 

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Tuesday, January 16, 2021
NO PEBBLE MINE, Pictures from Ground Zero #440
NO PEBBLE MINE #440: 
For the fourth day of the serial 5-page, 5-day attack “ad” in Politico, Joel Reynolds, lead attorney, and West Coast Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) threw in a new twist. In the text, he made it clear to the reading public that all of the investors had withdrawn from the project, even though many of them took huge losses to do that. As the audience of Politico is SO Washington-centric, this was a huge blow to Northern Dynasty, who crafted the Pebble development project, killing any chances they might have at further persuading the support of American politicians. Personally, it was great to read the brief text you see above, and to know that all of those investors withdrew, and did so because of the attack ad campaigns that NRDC had been running in many significant newspapers, and in which I participated.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021, 
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 

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Tuesday, January 9, 2021
NO PEBBLE MINE, Pictures from Ground Zero #439
NO PEBBLE MINE #439: 
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)’s serial attack ads in Politico against the proposed building of the Pebble mine, “evolved” over the course of five week days. Each day the contaminated water level dropped in the picture, revealing more text. With each day, that text also grew more aggressive. The shift in these ads, which differed from those B&W ones we had run in newspapers, was that these images invoked color, specifically “inflammatory” reds, and the subject matter shifted from the mine damaging the surrounding landscape, to the poison from the mine's tailing impoundments, polluting the waters of the Bristol Bay salmon fishery. To make that point PERFECTLY clear, on day #3 (above), the tail of a “dead” salmon appears in the lower, right corner of the image.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021, 
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism Online: 
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Tuesday, January 2, 2021

NO PEBBLE MINE #438, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #438: 
Politico also launched, Playbook, a daily, early morning, email newsletter, which quickly attained a huge following of more than 100,000 Washington insiders reading every issue. What got written in these emails clearly began to influence political decision-making. With the rising success and power of this publishing, the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) lead attorney, Joel Reynolds, decided to broaden his tactics in the NO PEBBLE MINE campaign, and use this new media, to vary the full-page assault advertising we had been pioneering since 2010 in major newspapers. Because Politico was a well established “daily read” by 2015, and it cost less to use than did the major newspapers, Joel came up with the idea to run a “serial” ad for each day of one week. Joel, and his staff, also decided to change the visual content of the ad from focusing on the mine (and dirt), instead using contaminated water to reference the salmon fishery at risk.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021, 
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 

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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

NO PEBBLE MINE #437, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #437: 
Just a few years before the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) began their full-page newspaper “ads” opposing the development of the Pebble mine in the headwaters of the Bristol Bay fishery, an American political journalism company was launched in Arlington, VA., The Politico. Given the changing technologies of the publishing industry, The Politico not only incorporated printed newspapers, radio, and TV, but they also had a robust website, and did podcasts concentrating their specific coverage on Washington, D.C., the U.S. Congress, lobbying, the media, and the presidency. The two founders were formerly prominent staff at The Washington Post and their first hire was a writer for The New York Times. From the beginning, their journalists covering political campaigns carried a video camera on every assignment, and the journalists were encouraged by their company to share and promote their work elsewhere, an unusual move that paid off, bringing Politico 3,000,000 visits per month in their first year. Within nine years they would have nearly 500 employees worldwide.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021, 
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 

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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

NO PEBBLE MINE #436, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #436: 
The full-page ad on the left ran in the New York Times in 2012, and was followed in 2013 by the mailing of my sharply critical CD-Powerpoint slide show that Joel Reynolds of NRDC had me send to the executives of Anglo American, and Rio Tinto. Coupled with the increasingly visible lecture road shows which we also staged that year, it was finally enough for Anglo American, and they withdrew their investment from the proposed Pebble mine development. Two down, one to go! Rio Tinto could see the writing on the wall with their two partners having withdrawn, and the NRDC ad campaigns making them out to be pariahs, so early on in 2014, Rio Tinto also withdrew their investment. This brilliant campaign literally killed off ALL the investors. Then Joel/NRDC did something unexpected, and when Rio Tinto hosted their shareholder's meeting in London, NRDC ran the full-page ad to the right in the London Financial Times. Genius!

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021, 
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 

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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

NO PEBBLE MINE #435, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #435: 
Having lost ALL investors, Mitsubishi in 2011, Anglo American in 2013, and Rio Tinto in 2014, the Vancouver based Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. was still touting the proposed Pebble mine development, but with no investors to help it proceed. So, Joel Reynolds and NRDC decided to run another full-page attack add in the Vancouver Sun, the hometown newspaper of that company, which you see above. As you might imagine, the company was not especially pleased to see this, but as someone opposed to the Pebble mine, it was fine by me, and my color photograph translated very dramatically to B & W.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021, 
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 

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Tuesday, January 5, 2021

NO PEBBLE MINE #434, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #434: 
Joel Reynolds, my friend, and lead attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council on the West Coast, thought my CD-Powerpoint slide show was ingenious, and not only was he glad I had mailed it to numerous politicians, but he wanted me to send it to the executives of Rio Tinto, and Anglo American, both of whom were investors in the proposed Pebble mine development, which I gladly did. He also asked me to include a letter telling those executives which U.S. politicians had also received such a mailing, and I thought that was the perfect intimidation. Following the full-page attack ad that was run in February (last post), Joel, and I, went out as a tag-team, road show, to lecture and present slides. The card above was used as the mailer announcing our events, and the first was staged in May of 2013 at the Burke Museum located on the campus of the University of Washington. It was standing-room-only that night, which encouraged us to do other venues. Later in the year we held a second event in San Francisco, and a third at the Laemmle theater on the 3rd Street mall-walk in Santa Monica. On that night we also had a tribal spokesperson lecture with us as well, and since NRDC is based in Santa Monica, it has many friends in Hollywood, and the media community, so it was a star-studded event, that was also standing-room-only, enough so that it attracted a visit from the fire marshals who did not stop the show, but made people get out of the aisles. By now, the executives at Rio Tinto, and Anglo American, had also received my caustic CD-Powerpoint slide show, which along with the increasing public attention of our lecture and newspaper ad campaign, pushed Anglo American over-the-top, and they withdrew as an investor in the Pebble development.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2021, 
@RbtGlennKetchum @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 

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Tuesday, December 29, 2020

NO PEBBLE MINE #433, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #433: 
Then, in February of 2013, Joel Reynolds and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) ran this ad as a full-pager in The Washington Post. The combination of the last ad run in 2012 (last post) using such direct descriptions of the damage that the Pebble mine development would do, followed by this, was the final straw for Anglo American shareholders, and they voted to withdraw from the proposed project. Two down, one to go. Since I used my Aperture books, The Tongass: Alaska’s Vanishing Rain Forest, and Overlooked In America: The Success and Failure of Federal Land Management to directly lobby Congress by delivering copies to every legislator, some years later it inspired the photographer, Subhankar Banergee, to do the same with his book on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. These book “bombings” infuriated the powerful Alaskan Senator, Ted Stevens, so he passed legislation to make receiving any “gift” over $25 would trigger an elaborate mess of paperwork that must be filed, therefore no legislators wanted to accept gift books any more. However, a CD, with a multi-image and text PowerPoint slide show, was well under that $25 limit, so I created a VERY caustic one, juxtaposing images of the pristine landscape of the Bristol Bay headwaters, with detailed text about the impact of the Pebble mine. It also had offsetting images of a similar mine in Butte, Montana, The Berkley Pit, which had a horrible toxic legacy, and impacted the surrounding watershed. I sent some of those CD’s to legislators that knew me, like Nancy Pelosi, and Barbara Boxer, and I also sent them to Barack Obama, and his daughters. I gifted Joel Reynolds one as well, and told him if he found it useful, I would gladly make more for NRDC.

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

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Tuesday, December 22, 2020


NO PEBBLE MINE #432, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #432: 
Joel Reynolds, senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council in LA, and I, reveled in the fact that Mitsubishi withdrew as a Pebble mine investor, not wanting to lock horns again with these widely read ad campaigns. Their withdrawal left Rio Tinto and Anglo American as the only two companies still in the game. Empowered by this success, Joel decided to strike again, and ran the above ad in The New York Times. Take the time to read what this ad says. The language is no longer making illusions to the Pebble being a bad idea. It IS describing its scale and toxicity precisely. This is about as in-your-face as you get. Of course, as you can see in the last paragraph, Joel timed this ad to precede the annual shareholders meeting of both these companies, and call them out. Brilliant!

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

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Tuesday, December 15, 2020

NO PEBBLE MINE #431, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #431: 
The first ads that Joel Reynolds and the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) ran in 2010 (last post) were placed in two of the most read newspapers in the world, and they put the Pebble mine development in front of a huge national, and international, audience, many of whom had never heard of it before. Joel and I had used this newspaper ad tactic successfully before, driving Mitsubishi out of their proposed development of an industrial salt mine in San Ignacio, an important whale-birthing lagoon in Baja. Now that Mitsubishi was an investor in the Pebble development, seeing those ads made them immediately nervous. The ads were expensive, so they had to be delivered strategically, and those two were the only ones we dropped in 2010. However, on the day before Earth Day, 2011, Joel/NRDC decided to run another full-pager in The New York Times, calling out specific investment partners to the mine development. That was the last straw for Mitsubishi. Concerned about their image in the global market, they withdrew from the project, leaving one out, and two to go, Anglo American, and Rio Tinto.

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

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Tuesday, December 8, 2020

NO PEBBLE MINE #430, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #430: 
I was very excited when my longtime friend, Joel Reynolds, lead attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) brought NRDC into the NO PEBBLE MINE campaign in 2010. Joel is a VERY clever attorney, with whom I had worked before to prevent Mitsubishi Corporation from developing a massive salt extraction plant in one of the most important whale birthing lagoons in Baja, CA. In that campaign, it was Joel’s idea to run full page “ads” in the New York Times and the Washington Post, calling out Mitsubishi for what they were trying to do. Japanese multi-national companies do not take public criticism very well, and as a result of several rounds of such ads, they withdrew their development plans. Joel thought we should do the same thing in the NO PEBBLE MINE campaign, and so on Earth Day in 2010, we dropped the add on the left using my picture of Lake Iliamna. In that add the text calls out Anglo American, one of the investors in the Northern Dynasty mining group from Canada behind the Pebble proposal. Simultaneously, Anglo American was about to hold a shareholders meeting in London, so Joel/NRDC ran the add on the right in the London Financial Times. These “ads” are expensive pages to buy, yet Joel thought they would be effective, and I appreciate NRDC’s willingness to let us run with this line of attack.

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

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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

NO PEBBLE MINE #429, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #429: 
Significantly, in 2010, working with my good friend, Joel Reynolds, senior attorney for the West Coast offices of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), I encouraged NRDC to join in the NO PEBBLE MINE campaign. This was a VERY significant player to come into the arena, as NRDC by membership is the largest environmental NGO by membership in North America, and they could bring resources, money, and notable personalities into the coalition campaign. On the ground in Southwest, the battle was being fought by Native villages, as well as hunting and fishing groups, and it gave me great pride that the villages appreciated the work I had done. In the spring of 2011, the PEW Charitable Trusts flew numerous village leaders, and elders, to DC, to meet with various delegates, and directly with Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar. They also arranged for him to be given one of the most well-liked prints from my national traveling show, “Southwest Alaska: A World of Parks and Refuges at the Crossroads.” So in this picture taken in Salazar’s office, he stands behind my print, surrounded by Native leaders and a few representatives from the PEW Trusts.

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

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

NO PEBBLE MINE #428, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #428: 
Before the announcement of the proposed Pebble mine, in 2001 I was already trying to call public attention to a little known region of Alaska referred to as Southwest. Southwest is a very large portion of the state, but only has two small cities, Dillingham, and King Salmon-Naknek. It does host numerous Native villages, a number of significant National Parks, and National Wildlife Refuges, the most productive wild salmon fishery in the world, Bristol Bay, and a profusion of land mammals, birds, and freshwater fish, but at that time it was still a location pretty much off the public radar. My first Aperture book about the area, Rivers of Life: Southwest Alaska, The Last Great Salmon Fishery, highlighted the parks and encouraged the successful management of the Bristol Bay fishery. Then, I decided to do a second book on the area, this time focusing on the largest state park in North America, which comprised 1/3 of the bay’s watershed. In 2004, while Aperture had, Wood-Tikchik: Alaska’s Largest State Park, literally, on press, a Canadian company, Northern Dynasty, proposed their plans to build the Pebble, which would be the largest open-pit, cyanide gold-leach mine in the world. I immediately began working with Aperture to create a traveling exhibit of select images from my two books, that would launch in that same year as the national traveling exhibit, “Southwest Alaska: A World of Parks and Refuges at the Crossroads.” That exhibit went on to tour for four years, and was displayed in Washington, DC, three times. The traveling show elicited much attention that helped to stymy the progress of the mine’s developers, and in 2009, in recognition of the work I had done, then-Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, gave me the (above) “Partners In Conservation Award” for helping to unite various coalition groups that were trying to protect the fishery of Bristol Bay by opposing the mine.

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

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism Online: 
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: LittleBearProd 
Wach Gallery: Wach Gallery
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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

NO PEBBLE MINE #427, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #427: 
When I wake in the morning, weather is still rolling through, but the ceiling is high, and there is plenty of visibility, so walking to breakfast, I feel certain Penair will be flying, and I will be leaving soon, headed back to LA. That is confirmed when I return to the inn, as the airline has called to confirm my reservation. I pack my backs, say goodbye by to the Inuit woman at the desk that has become my in-town mother, and grab a cab to the airport. The plane is on time, so this is the end my friend. I am off. My last view of Bristol Bay is rather perfect - weather streaming over, and sunlight showering down through holes in the clouds, lighting up the waters of the bay like shimmering silver. I am going to miss being here in future summers, but I am grateful to have spent as much time here as I have. I want to thank Jan Konigsberg for introducing me to Southwest, Aperture for publishing my two books about the region, and the Turner Foundation, as well as the Alaska Conservation Foundation, for their financial support. Hopefully what we have accomplished will help us all to understand that we should SAY NO TO THE PEBBLE MINE!

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

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism Online: 
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: LittleBearProd 
Wach Gallery: Wach Gallery
_____________________________________

Tuesday, November 10, 2020
NO PEBBLE MINE #426, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #426: 
After a pork chop pig-out at The Muddy Rudder restaurant, I decide to take a stroll around town before turning in. It seems likely that I will be flying out in the morning as the weather has backed off and the fog dissipated, so I want to have one last look at a place I have spent a good deal of time in during the last four years. As usual, my favorite bars are full of drunks, and the streets are quiet, so I wander down to the docks to gaze at the mouth of the Nushagak and the outer waters of Bristol Bay. I made the image above from the beach of Naknek village, and posted it previously in this blog, but as we are very near the end of this SAY NO TO THE PEBBLE MINE blog, I repost it because it is a quintessential image of Bristol Bay, and quite similar to the conditions surrounding me tonight on the Dillingham dock. This world of Southwest in which I have immersed myself in for many, many months, has been one of the best experiences of my life, and one of the most dramatic, and dynamic of all the places I have ever visited. It is vibrant, full of life and should remain that way, a resource to those that want enjoy it, and not exploit it. Please SAY NO TO THE PEBBLE MINE and don’t let one of the most pristine parts left in the American landscape, be poisoned by a Canadian mining company and international speculators. We don’t have to Make America Great Again, it IS great. We have to keep it from being ruined by idiots.

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

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism Online: 
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: LittleBearProd 
Wach Gallery: Wach Gallery



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