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Friday, May 14, 2010

RGK & Bobby Kennedy, Jr. Say 'NO' to Pebble Mine in Special NRDC Event

With the oil spill disaster in the Gulf ongoing, one of the few remaining U.S. fisheries will be wiped away for decades, poisoned by the residue of petrochemical contaminants that will remain in the rocks, shellfish, bottom feeders and their predators for generations! My 12-years of work to protect Southwest Alaska and the salmon fishery of Bristol Bay are all the more pertinent now. Here is the latest...

Photograph © 2010 Robert Glenn Ketchum

The coalition of groups working together to protect the salmon fishery of Bristol Bay and to stop the Pebble mine continues to grow. Earlier this year, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) declared Bristol Bay one of their Biogem Campaign targets and brought their large national membership into the debate.

To better inform their Los Angeles membership, NRDC is hosting a special night at the Laemmle theater complex in Santa Monica, Tuesday, May 18, at 7 p.m. Bobby Andrew, a Native Alaskan tribal spokesperson will discuss the historic use of the bay and Southwest by Native cultures and the current opposition among the villages to the development of the Pebble mine. Then I will do a keynote slideshow / lecture that will reveal Southwest to most of the viewers for the first time and take them through the habitat from the summits of the ranges to the spawning beds at the bottoms of the streams and rivers. There will be several specific images of the actual mine site, and a comprehensive view of all the national parks, state parks and national wildlife refuges. Bobby Kennedy, Jr. will close the evening offering commentary as to why we need to be engaged in this distant but important struggle to keep industrial development out of these wild lands.
I have worked with NRDC since the early '80's and am very excited to have the power of their membership onboard. We, as a people, are weighing the value of an established renewable resource industry (the fishery), against the impact of an extraction industry (the Pebble mine). As this is the last great fishery on the planet, I hope we will have the foresight to understand the complete system that is already in-place and operating so well. As a whole, we have done very badly protecting our other coastal fishery resources (witness the current oil spill in the Gulf coast fisheries that will impact it for the rest of our lifetimes). Southwest/Bristol Bay is a chance to proceed in a more enlightened way for the long-term good of the fish and the other species they sustain... including us! Trading this clean food resource for an eventual taxpayer subsidized Superfund toxic clean-up site just to further the wealth accumulation of international gold speculators would be a travesty.


  1. Dear Bob,
    Sorry I can't be in LA/Venice to support events. The spill by Buitish Petroleum in the Gulf really underlines the importance of what you are doing. Good luck and all best wishes, old friend.
    Ever, Chip

  2. Krys CianciaruloMay 14, 2010 at 9:47 AM

    Way to go Robert. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication. I want to let you know I appreciate it.
    Krys Cianciarulo

  3. Valeriano AntonioliMay 14, 2010 at 9:48 AM

    How are you?
    I regret that we lost somehow the contact due to busy life...

  4. As a founding member of Clean Air Coalition of Western New York I really appreciate all that you are able to do with your work.
    Robert Hirsch
    Light Research
    146 Newfield Street
    Buffalo, NY 14207-1650 USA
    716-871-9600 (Voice & Fax)

  5. Ketchum
    G2 and other sources have sold the last Choose Joy images on silk....
    any chance you have one "floating around" that I could buy?
    I have an idea on how to put one on a thin Plexiglas box for display,
    then take it out when I want to wear it. Maybe other people would want
    to display them this way too? So please consider having more printed
    if the first ones are gone. Maybe UCLA gift shop would want them???
    I'm disgusted about Pebble, and feeling ashamed about the gulf because
    of how much I drive.
    Debby D

  6. Good for you Robert -- I've been heartsick about the oil spill. Yay you for using your art to help nature recover. Just gave you a #followfriday shoutout to my twitter peeps (I'm @paintsnature) -- I've found a nice, like-minded community of progressives on there.
    Love the surreal quality of that piece Confused Butterflies -- good luck at the art walk!

  7. Dear Robert -
    Many thanks for your update and for the work you do.
    Hope all is well,

  8. Excellent, we so believe in what you're doing and we're very proud of you, as always.
    Loads of love,

  9. Thank you for doing this, Robert. It's a big space and so worthy of protection. Good luck.
    Carole Thompson

  10. Frances RidlehooverMay 14, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    Robert ---
    We’ve missed seeing you around the neighborhood. Your emails and conservation interests are fabulous. Roger and I are going to try to get out and learn more about your work soon.

  11. Dear Robert.
    It seems all is well with you.

  12. Robert,
    I just invested some well spent time reviewing your commitment to stop the Pebble Mine Project. Incredibly impressive! AWA is of course totally dedicated to this cause and stands willing to do whatever we can…
    I hope we get a chance to connect when you are next in Alaska. The Lake Clark book sounds especially promising; it’s one of my favorite regions.
    Note that we are starting to have some success in the battle for Alaska’s wildlife…
    If you connect with Florian Schulz please convey my regards.
    And heartfelt thanks for being on our advisory board!
    John Toppenberg, Director
    Alaska Wildlife Alliance

  13. You are doing wonderful work (as always!). Just home from three days in Yosemite. Thought of you when in the Ansel Adams Gallery. As I remember you used to give photography seminars there or thereabouts.
    Cheers, Linda

  14. Sue and Griff HopkinsMay 17, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    Thank you for keeping me on your mailing list, and hopefully Sue and I will be able to visit the Venice Art Walk this weekend.
    Always enjoy your beautiful work focusing on meaningful environmental causes Robert. Wishing there were more environmentally concerned people like yourself in today's world.
    Griff Hopkins

  15. Robert;
    I'm so glad that I've found your blog and am once again able to follow you and your efforts to protect our world. RGK-A Life Well Lived, so true. As always, Laura


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