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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

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, 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 

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 

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 
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