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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

"A CALL TO ACTION: 115th Congressional Assault on The Tongass National Forest", The Boat Company

A CALL TO ACTION: 115th Congressional Assault on The Tongass National Forest

Reprinted with permission from Hunter H. McIntosh, President, The Boat Company

We are living in a time of unprecedented attacks on both public lands and waters, and the agencies that protect them. Without action on the part of all Americans, Republican and Democrat, we stand to lose much of the conservation legacy that has been achieved over the 38 years since The Boat Company was created, not just in Southeast Alaska, but everywhere. And it is no coincidence that this legislation is all coming out rapid fire – the flood of new legislation, not seen in six years, is designed to make it more difficult to meaningfully respond to or organize around any one proposed law.

Weekly Post: Adventuring on the Yakutat Forelands - Bowing before St. Elias by Robert Glenn Ketchum

Adventuring on the Yakutat Forelands - Bowing before St. Elias
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

The Yakutat Forelands are where the Tongass rainforest and the Chugach forest to the north meet. It is also home to many large glaciers, a stunning coastline, the huge Alsek-Tatshenshini river, and Icy Bay, which sits at the foot of Mount St. Elias, the greatest vertical rise from sea level in the world. There is a lot of powerful energy out here.




Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Adventuring on the Yakutat Forelands - Bowing before St. Elias, #37:
The Yakutat Forelands, #37: Another striking thing about clearcuts in the Tongass is the amount of wasted wood left on the ground to rot. You may not agree with me, but I think it is criminal to destroy a valuable INTACT forest for the creation of pulp, AND at the cost of the taxpayers. I mean, this is MY money you are using to do this. So, allow me an aside. If you follow my other blogs, you may have seen this already, as I have been posting information about a dangerous piece of legislation for several weeks now in conjunction with my Tongass rainforest project blog. If you have not noticed, please do now, as the Yakutat Forelands are also part of the Tongass, and a part of that forest targeted for “harvesting.” A long-time, perpetual enemy of wild Alaska, and in particular, the Tongass rainforest, Alaska Congressman Don Young, has introduced H.R. 232, a proposal to transfer 2,000,000 (MILLION)!!! acres of Tongass NATIONAL = PUBLIC land to the state, who will then, very likely, promptly harvest the trees for revenue. Oh yes, Don’s bill does not just apply to Alaska. It would give ALL STATES the right to transfer similar acreage out of their national forests and into state possession. This is part of a national political agenda to dismantle wilderness, parks, and protected status for the development of industry, and it is being pushed forward as a “state’s rights” issue, and a "sportsman’s access" issue - don’t buy it, IT IS A PUBLIC LAND GIVEAWAY, and once it is done, none of US are going to have access to anything. The actual wording of the bill, and people to contact if you would like to take action, are ALL posted here in my blog. Please read what this horrible bill proposes and contact YOUR representatives to tell them you do NOT want for public lands given away to industry, and to vote NO ON H.R. 232!
photograph(s) © copyright, Robert Glenn Ketchum, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum, @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Weekly Post:, ARCTIC: At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change

ARCTIC:  At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



In 1993, I began traveling to the Arctic. I have been across The Northwest Passage by yacht; to the North Pole twice; to little-visited Russian islands; and aboard research vessels in Greenland, Labrador, Newfoundland, and Baffin Island, taking the opportunity to visit Iqualuit, the capital of Nunavut, the recently created Inuit nation and territories.






Wednesday, September 20, 2017

ARCTIC:  At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change, #58:
ARCTIC, #58: The young Inuit girl I have just met, and two of her friends, lead me on a meandering line between homes and scrubby open spaces to her families “property.” There is an obvious house and yard area, but there is also much more that spreads beyond the immediate domain of their home. A collection of sheds, tables, stored equipment, and building materials spills of across the barren landscape. My host explains that the sheds and closest tables belong to their family, but further out, some of the tables and materials are for “common” use. Her father, she tells me, uses snowmobiles, but does not trust them because they break down, so he relies on his sleds and his dogs for anything that takes him out from the village. The snowmobile is for getting around “in-community.” Here you see her father’s collection of transportation choices: there is a ski-doo, and parts of several others, but it is the sled “stack” that is most impressive. There are shorter sleds for hunting and following trap lines, and there are longer, more massive sleds, to haul cargo loads. If you look carefully at the background of this image, you can also see the small sheds and storage mounds of other yards in the distance.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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, September 19, 2017

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, #56:
THE TONGASS, #56: I do NOT joke! This “lovely” clearcut, that pretty much wipes away this entire valley and lake-river ecosystem, was subsidized with tax dollars. The companies involved with this logging are “leasing” national forest land - land that theoretically belongs to all of us collectively, for the GREATER public use. They do pay for their permit to log, but it is a laughable fee, and using the arguments that the wood is “only" pulp quality, and the harvest is very far from the market, they have successfully lobbied to get their road-building costs subsidized by tax dollars, the premise being the state will then have roads in place to develop these lands after the logging is done. This tax giveaway to these few select companies has gone on for more than 40yrs., and has cost between $30million - 50million PER YEAR, some years, even more. Over these many years that I have been involved with the Tongass, I have seen costs and jobs analysis on both sides many times, and even that many years ago, tourism, recreation, hunting, and fishing have always promised more economic potential than massive industrial logging. Nonetheless, generations of Alaskan politicians, including Congressman Don Young, are seemingly happy to piss away our collective public wealth, derived from this beautiful, productive rainforest, for the sake of lining someone’s pocket. Clearly someone makes money doing this, otherwise, why is it being done? This proposed bill Don Young wrote, and which I have made available to you in this blog, also includes an extensive list of people you might contact. Pick those that represent you, and write/call/text them and tell them not to vote for this. The Tongass is a national recreation treasure designated as such for PUBLIC use, not private corporation wealth accumulation, and payola to their political friends. It is time to stop this assault on the Tongass. If you continue to follow this blog, I will show you many more reasons, why, not the least of which is that there salmon in the trees.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Weekly Post: NO PEBBLE MINE: Pictures from Ground Zero by Robert Glenn Ketchum

NO PEBBLE MINE Pictures from Ground Zero 
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

Thank you to the EPA for recognizing the value of the Bristol Bay fishery. 
NOW, what can we do to protect this habitat further? 
Mission: To protect the national parks and national refuges of southwest Alaska, 
and the Bristol Bay fishery from the development of the Pebble mine, and other commercial risks.




Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

NO PEBBLE MINE #262, Pictures from Ground Zero:  
NO PEBBLE MINE #262:  Away from the summits and glacial valleys of the park interior, the unexpected side-winds cease and our flight becomes quite slow and smooth, so my pilot takes us down to a very low elevation above the flattening landscape. We have flown west over some of the lower lakes and foothills as we circle back to Tikchik Lodge, and that route takes us closer to the Pacific coast. Although we did momentarily leave the approaching bad weather in the mountains when we flew this way, it is now rolling in over the entire landscape of Southwest, ominously darkening the sky, and slowly extinguishing the last fleeting spots of sunlight. As it does look like the day of flying is soon to be over, we turn east to head home, and this appears beneath the wing. It seems very familiar, and it is important to my adventures tomorrow, that I see this view today. We are coming upon the unusual rock domes at the southern end of Tikchik Lake, directly south of the lodge, which you have seen before in posts #204 & #219. These domes have sheer vertical faces dropping to the lake shoreline, but on their backside, they are more like smooth rolling hills that can be walked up. My flyby allows me to see that, and although some slopes could be unstable, it is clear from my POV that I can safely navigate a snowmobile to the summit, so I plan to make these cliffs my first on-the-ground exploration, and hopefully tomorrow, if the weather allows.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd @NRDC @OrvisFlyFishing #NoPebbleMine #LittleBearProd


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Monday, September 18, 2017

A Tale of Two Futures: Alaskan Wild Salmon vs. the Pebble Mine by Joel Reynolds, NRDC

A Tale of Two Futures: Alaskan Wild Salmon vs. the Pebble Mine

by Joel Reynolds, Western Director, Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Reprinted with permission by the Author.
Originally published on Huffington Post.

For anyone still unclear about the irreconcilable disconnect between the rich heritage of Alaskans and the overriding financial self-interest of The Pebble Partnership, it was on stunning display in Bristol Bay’s wild salmon fishery this summer.

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.




Monday, September 18, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #72:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #72:  In my life as a photographer, I have learned that you never know when it is going to be “one of those days.” Certainly, as I step outside Pioneer Cabin in the morning to be greeted by several feet of new snow, and a continuing snowfall, I do not yet know what is about to happen. Locking into my skis, and arranging my cameras so they are protected, I wonder whether there are any pictures to be made AT ALL, given the flat light and limited visibility. (NB: I ALWAYS work with my gear OUT, never in a backpack, because working with a group, there is no convenient time to stop and slow everyone else down. I need to be able to work, WITHOUT any interruption to those that I am with.) As we begin the ascent of the ridgeline to our north, the storm increases intensity and the snow really comes down. In one of my “rest” stops, I look around at our group through the haze of falling crystals, and have to laugh because it strikes me we are a photo-workshop that has completely lost it’s mind. Every one of us has cameras, and Peter Eaton has a giant 16mm film/sound system with which he is attempting to work. At any given moment, someone stops to fiddle with their cameras, but it is hard to imagine anybody is getting pictures in this storm,..and then, I realize I am standing next to this. We have ascended the ridge to the point where there are many limber pine (post #64), and I have stopped at the foot of quite a large one. The more I study this pine, the stranger it becomes. The details and textures of the wood seem etched. The pine, itself, seems to glow a bit and stand out from all the other trees nearby. Trying to decipher this through my lens, I have a moment of realization drawn from photographic history: Edward Weston made remarkable pictures of his assistant/muse/wife, Charis Wilson in the sand dunes of Oceano. What was striking about the images was the light upon here nude body - because the dune was so reflective, there was as much light reflecting back from the sand on Charis, as there was light falling on her from the sun - shadows disappeared and her body seemed to glow and float. Weston called it axial lighting. In the bright, but flat, light of this storm, there is little detail in the snow around me but it is reflecting “axial” lighting back on this tree - there are few shadows, as everything is equally illuminated from all sides. This my Charis!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Weekly Post: STONED IMMACULATE: A Trip in the Desert by Robert Glenn Ketchum

STONED IMMACULATE:  A Trip in the Desert
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

As a young photographer, two places I “discovered” by chance greatly influenced both my photographic vision and my personal relationship with the greater planet. A previous blog, LIMEKILN, is the story of the first location. THIS is the second location which I discovered because my car broke down. As Jim Morrison/The Doors wrote, “Out here we is stoned Immaculate!"



Monday, September 18, 2017

Stoned Immaculate, #46:
Immaculate, #46: Vicki Golden is once again giving scale to this photographic image from my series, STONED IMMACULATE, which has been drum-scanned onto canvas with airbrushes and then stretched and framed like a painting. It is here displayed as part of the corporate collection of the Fluor Corporation in their recently built west coast headquarters. Unfortunately, although brilliantly colorful in their sterile surrounding, the images are seen as “confusing” - are they paintings, or are they actually photographs of something? If they are photographs, have they been altered (why would that matter, but no they have not been)? Which way is up? If you will note from the original image posted last week in correct orientation, this huge print has been installed upside-down (because it looked better). You can see where this is going. Fluor would like to do more images of this size, BUT they want to work with my more traditional landscapes, instead of this series, and I do not see those images suitably reproducible in this way. I decline further work. Although grateful for the experience/experiment, and convinced my quest for a large scale for this series will be resolved in other ways, I turn my attention to what equipment will give me the size of print that I want with the detail, texture, and colors that I see.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Orvis Supports No Pebble Mine

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