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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

RGK New Projects In the Works

Photograph © 2010 Robert Glenn Ketchum
Thanks to everyone who has been contacting me with their positive encouragement. As always, it's refreshing and supportive to know so many people are beginning to understand what I have been doing with my lifetime of work, using photography as a tool for conservation advocacy. Many of your questions ask what my current project is, so here is what I hoping to do this summer.
At the moment I am trying to raise funding in order to return to Southwest Alaska. I am hoping to finish work I have been accumulating about Lake Clark National Park and Preserve with the intent of publishing it as my 3rd book in a trilogy of publications intended to protect the habitat and parks of Southwest Alaska and the salmon fishery of Bristol Bay. No book has ever been done about Lake Clark, one of the most beautiful and wild parks in the national park system, so as simply a document of place, such a publication should be well received. More importantly, Lake Clark is adjacent the proposed Pebble mine, projected to be the largest open-pit copper and cyanide gold-leach mine in the world if completed. Such development would impact Lake Clark National Park in numerous ways and also affect nearby Katmai National Park and Lake Iliamna, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. Obviously, this book is then planned for use as an advocacy tool, and it would join my two previous publications in effort to prevent this project that will make a Canadian mining company and international gold speculators wealthy while leaving American taxpayers stuck with clean-up costs that are likely to be astronomical.
What will make this summer's visit more unique than my previous adventures is that the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) is hoping to send a film crew with me. Because of my recent American Photo magazine article naming me 5th in their Master Series, iLCP recognizes an opportunity, not only to document the "master" in action (rather like following Ansel Adams on a shoot), but such a film will inspire new generations of photographers to be pro-active with their work, and will also help to further the credibility and visibility of iLCP.
Over the last 12-years, I have been part of a growing partnership of fishermen, hunters, recreational tourists, commercial fishing companies, and Native corporations and villages that want to see Southwest and Bristol Bay maintained for the $1-billion+ renewable resource industry that it now generates in the form of fishing, and to keep it from being degraded by completely inappropriate industrial extraction that could very well wipe out the fishery, and considerable impair several significant national and state parks and reserves.
"Rivers of Life: Southwest Alaska, The Last Great Salmon Fishery", and "Wood-Tikchik: Alaska’s Largest State Park" as well as the traveling exhibit I have been circulating through museums have helped Southwest/Bristol Bay gain visibility within Congress and the public. Significantly, the Department of the Interior has recently cancelled oil and gas leases let in Bristol Bay during the previous administration, recognizing the value of the minor energy reservoirs there, and the fact their worth is trumped by the renewable, long-term value of the fishery. In recognition of the focus that our work has generated, Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar recently gave me and the others in this coalition, the 2010 'Partners in Conservation Award'.
Having accomplished that, it now allows us all to turn our attention to the threatened development of the Pebble mine. So please join me in my quest to STOP PEBBLE MINE in any way that you are able, whether it be through signing petitions, or by spreading the word of the work I'm doing, or by donating funds.
And thank you. For everything.



  1. This is great Robert!
    It tells about you as 'a' person... who you are, and how photography connects to you, and why.

  2. combining conservation and art - beautiful!

  3. Robert, Your photographs are just amazing!


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Orvis Supports No Pebble Mine

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