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Friday, September 22, 2017

Weekly Post: The Daze of My Life: Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography


Biographies are studies of someone's life based on cumulative research. Good ones may reveal something, but probably barely scratch the surface of what actually went on. The internet is allowing me to do something VERY different. 
~Robert Glenn Ketchum



Friday, September 22, 2017

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #64:
Daze, #64: The ski tour into Glacier National Park that produced the 3 images in the previous posts, is just a small portion of things I am balancing throughout the 70’s. I am no longer teaching photography workshops in Sun Valley during the summer, because I have begun to explore the Wind River Range in Wyoming, but often I pass through to hike and ski with my friends in the DFC&FC, and I try to lure them into visiting Montana and Wyoming with me. My association with POWDER magazine drives much of my winter activities, and allows me to travel and pay for adventures that, not only get published as stories, but parts of which become images included in my to-be published portfolio (previous posts), “WINTERS: 1970-1980”. POWDER approached me because they saw my story in Sun Valley Magazine about the DFC&FC repair of Pioneer Cabin in mid-winter (post #52 and. That story produced some of my best early mountain pictures (post #53), many of which ran in the magazine, but it also blessed me with 3 additional images for my WINTERS portfolio, of which this, ”View in a Storm,” is one.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017 
@RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Weekly Post, High and Wild: Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers

High and Wild: Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

After receiving my MFA from CalArts, I was invited by Bill Lund, Sharon Disney’s husband, to come stay at the families' Diamond-D Ranch in Dubois, Wyoming. Bill thought I might like to photograph in the nearby Wind River Mountains, which I did, backpacking through them extensively over the next three summers. Welcome to a world of big granite walls and huge alpine lakes!




Thursday, September 21, 2017

High and Wild:  Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers, #4:
Wind River, #4:  Weather over the Du Noir Valley and Dubois has included thunderstorms and rain every day in the late afternoon. Bill Lund has warned us not to be on the backroads of the badlands (previous post) if they are wet because they become “grease-mud,” so Chris, Kathy, and I, get an early start on our first backpacking adventure in Wyoming. The dirt track we follow winds through the desert-like badlands, past colorful mud mounds, and across occasional washes that clearly fill with flash floods when it storms. Then the road begins to rise, and our view changes dramatically. What was not visible from our previous position in the valley, were the foothills beneath the ridge of peaks we hoped to summit. View of them had been blocked by the badlands, but now that we are here, the scale of things is much larger, and there is an entire forested woodland we must still work though before we arrive at the trailhead. I think all three of us are taken aback by this unanticipated change, but the meadows that are around us now are filled with flowers, the are streams everywhere, and although the afternoon weather has arrived, we are no longer on “grease-mud”, so we forge ahead. We continue to wind through relatively lush woodlands, and finally come to a “car corral” that marks the starting point of the trail.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism Online:
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H.R. 232, 115th Congress, 1st Session

"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: Big Mountain and Glacier National Park - Expanding My Winter Consciousness

Big Mountain and Glacier National Park - 
Expanding My Winter Consciousness
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

In the early '70’s, I was doing a lot of winter adventuring with my friends in the Decker Flats Climbing and Frisbee Club, and a client invited me to take pictures at Big Mountain, a ski resort in Montana. Glacier National Park was not far away, so I thought that might be an interesting place to explore in the winter, as well. These two locations added important work to my exhibits and portfolios, and definitely expanded/sobered my winter consciousness.




Thursday, September 21, 2017

Big Mountain and Glacier National Park - Expanding My Winter Consciousness, #8:
Big Mountain, #8: My drive finally reaches the end of the narrowing glacial valley I am in. The road does a dramatic hairpin turn, and then starts to rise across the face of some considerable summits. This is the “going-to-the-sun” part of the Going-to-the-Sun Road I am on, and it is quite impressive. This relatively narrow highway has been cut into the side of these mountains, and in some places actually passes through tunnels. It rises steeply above me on one side, and plunges off sheerly on the other side, back into the canyon where my drive began. The actual road gradient rises gradually in a long straight line to Logan Pass at 6,646ft. As if the drive were not remarkable enough, once “on top” of the pass, a whole new world opens up as you can see from this image. I am now looking at big mountains and lakes, rising FROM THE PASS. Were I not to know the canyon I drove through and Lake McDonald are below me somewhere, I would think this is Glacier National Park, but in fact, it is JUST the upper elevations, and it is clear to me that snowfall up here in the winter is substantial, completely burying this landscape. I feel that if I can ski to this point, there would be a huge amount of spectacular terrain to explore, and dangerous avalanche slopes could easily be avoided, BUT to get here, I would have to follow the Going-to-the-Sun Road across The Garden Wall and I wondered if you could even find that road in the winter. Certainly crossing The Garden Wall would be scary, to say the least, but I was clear that I wanted to come back and see what was possible.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism Online:
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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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 YOUR 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


Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism Online:



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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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Orvis Supports No Pebble Mine

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