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Thursday, September 21, 2017

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.

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.

Wednesday, September 6, 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.

"Focus On What Matters Most" by Hunter H. McIntosh

"Focus On What Matters Most" by Hunter H. McIntosh 

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

With the transition of power now over, and the process of seating a new Presidential cabinet under way at the time I write this, we all watch the news with bated breath in anticipation of who will be the next Secretary of this, or Ambassador of that. At the end of the day, with so much fear gripping our nation, the reality is that we are a country of checks and balances.

As a small business focused on nature-based tourism in Southeast Alaska, as well as the protection and preservation of the Tongass National Forest, like many we have our concerns. Conservation has always been at the heart of our mission, and we are passionate about taking action to protect this amazing area we cruise throughout each year. However, we also are dedicated to providing our guests with the best wilderness experience that Alaska has to offer. And so, in this issue, we share with you some current events about our government and the Tongass, in the hopes we might inspire you to help us in our land protection efforts. And as always, we share some personal stories, company updates and compelling photographs to hold you over until we see you again {hopefully sooner than later!}

Friday, August 25, 2017

Weekly Post: My Life in the Garden of Eden by Robert Glenn Ketchum

My Life in the Garden of Eden
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

As part of paying the bills in my professional career, I photographed a number of significant gardens. I helped create several pretty amazing ones as well. Some of these pictures have been published in various books, but most have never been seen. In this blog, I will show you all my best garden images AND discuss garden design.

Friday, August 25, 2017
My Life in the Garden of Eden, #60:
Garden, #60: At the end of the work cycle, and VERY MUCH in the “contributing to the diversity and well being of the universe” mode I suggest in the last post, with the invading dune grass removed, not ALL things call out to be smothered with chip. I would always rather have an opulent garden with a small path, than a small garden and a chip freeway. So, here is the beginning of the newest addition to my garden design, an emerging garden “island” to which I can strictly control and direct watering. It may look spare now, but later this fall I will repost as the plantings mature and the COLORS begin to take over the show. This took an amazing amount of soil to create. Behind the new island (foreground), to the right, you can see the “finished” product - a lush, and fully “landscaped” water-zone with a thriving banana tree. To the left in the background is the island I am presently ridding of grasses (shown in last post). By the end of the year, my paths should wind through a very eccentric, but beautifully transformed backyard, so I hope you will continue to follow my progress and stay with this blog. Remember, SUCK YO LENT!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Friday, June 16, 2017

This Saturday 5-9p, Manhattan Beach Art Center

For those of you that might live in the area, 2 of my new scarves will be offered in an auction to support SOLA, this Saturday night at the Manhattan Beach Art Center. Come by, enjoy the party, and bid MY pieces up - they are both quite beautiful AND WEARABLE!

The Event takes place this Saturday 5 - 9 pm at the Manhattan Beach Art Center. 1560 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Thursday, June 1, 2017

SoLA Gallery, South Bay Contemporary Gallery

For those of you that live in the area, the Manhattan Beach Art Center has included me in a show of “local” artists AND my work is part of a fundraising auction to support the SoLA Gallery. Come see the display, bid on MY 2 scarves, and enjoy the day at the beach.

This is a link to the ongoing live auction: https://southbaycontemporary.org/auctions/

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Venice ARTwalk 2017

Tomorrow is the ARTwalk at Google headquarters in Venice. It promises to be a perfect day of beach weather. Come enjoy the party, have some great food, and buy art for a good cause. If you scroll the catalog you will see  auction donations come from many of the most notable artists in Los Angeles. My piece is UNIQUE and made just for the event. Go bid it up! I give 100% of my sale to support the Venice Family Clinic. I hope to see you there.

Feel free to bid up my piece, “Peaking In My Butterfly Garden.”


photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Venice Art Walk 2017

“Peaking in My Butterfly Garden” 2017*

Once again it is time for the Venice ARTwalk, one of the truly fun all-weekend parties in Los Angeles. Come see great art displayed at the Google headquarters and buy something at the auction to support the Venice Family Clinic. I always create a UNIQUE piece for this event, so please join us and bid on it. At 30” wide, my contribution this year: “Peaking in My Butterfly Garden”
For more info:

Venice Art Walk 2017

May 21, 2017
340 Main Street
Venice, California

*photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com

Friday, April 7, 2017

Outdoor Photographer, "Alaskan Legacy. How Robert Glenn Ketchum Became a Leading Advocate for the Preservation of Southwest Alaska’s Ecosystems and Economies" By Wes Pitts

How Robert Glenn Ketchum became a leading advocate for the preservation of Southwest Alaska’s ecosystems and economies

By Wes Pitts / Photography By Robert Glenn Ketchum | April 5, 2017

The approximate location of the proposed Pebble mine. If it were to be built, this view would be an industrialized hole in the ground over two miles across and 2,000 feet deep.
Few outsiders know Southwest Alaska as intimately as Robert Glenn Ketchum. Remote and vast, the region has limited roadways, requiring planes and boats to explore. It’s also home to several national and state parks, wildlife reserves, complex ecosystems and the largest salmon fishery in the world, Bristol Bay, which supplies half of the global sockeye salmon catch.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Weekly Post: SILK ROAD - Embroideries (#124-215) of Robert Glenn Ketchum

Silk Road - Embroideries of Robert Glenn Ketchum

The city of Suzhou, China, produced China's most beautiful silk and silk embroidery practiced by generational families for 3,000 years. My purpose in going to China starting in the mid-1980's was to turn my photographs into textiles, and this is my story. ~Robert Glenn Ketchum

Thursday, March 2, 2017
Silk Road - Embroideries #215
SILK ROAD #215:  In post #199, I teased you with this and explained that my collaborative work with Zhang Meifang and her guild of embroiderers was moving in two directions simultaneously at this time. While “YK Delta from 1500” was been woven on the huge loom created just to make that 4-panel piece (posts #200-215), the above image was being crafted in the embroidery workshop. “YK Delta from 1500” is a weaving that continues to explore the “transparency” of a subject, in that it is a 2-sided weaving, and parts of it bear little or no stitches and are thus, transparent. We have used this “transparency” to render water and sky “space” in many previous pieces, however, we have also spent a great deal of effort on highly detailed and stitch-rich subjects. At first creating them just to accomplish accurately rendering a photograph, but eventually learning to play with various aspects of the stitch design using texture, color, to affect the visual sense of dimensional space. Once Zhang realized how an embroidery can capture the realism in most photographs, both she and I began to enjoy those images where the challenge was increased in some way. From previous work, we both knew this image could be rendered with great detail, but we were curious to see if the illusion of motion could also be represented. Additionally, Zhang felt that if that could be done, it would make the highly rendered details more pronounced and dimensional, so she asked the embroiderers to stitch the forest with GREAT attention to individual branches, leaves, color relations, and textures, to which the blur of motion would be overlain.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #Embroidery @WesCFA @RSSDesigns

Friday, February 3, 2017

Gung Hay Fat Choy 2017 by Robert Glenn Ketchum

Gung Hay Fat Choy!  Welcome to 2017, the Year of the Rooster.

If it is not already obvious, the rooster always wants to be in charge; he acts aggressively with everyone else in the barnyard; he sets his own schedule and expects everyone else to follow him; and, he is very proud of himself when he feels he has accomplished something, so he crows about it. With each passing year I come to appreciate the perceptive insights of the Chinese birth animals and the metaphors they serve for us in real life. 2017 is no exception.

Monday, January 30, 2017

"Trump’s Illegal Immigration Ban Threatens All of Us" by Joel Reynolds, NRDC

"Trump’s Illegal Immigration Ban Threatens All of Us"
 by Joel Reynolds, NRDC

The focus of my work and writing is the environment. But I write today to express my personal outrage, sorrow, and embarrassment at the ban imposed by Donald Trump on entrance to the United States by people from seven countries in the Middle East - based solely on their country of origin. 

This action is inhumane, immoral, and indefensible. Not only is the ban based on the unsupportable factual premise that it will prevent acts of terrorism in the United States, but it violates constitutional protections and the explicit statutory prohibition against exclusion based on national origin enacted by Congress in 1965. Contrary to its asserted purpose, Trump’s action is more likely to fan the flames that feed terrorism in this country and around the civilized world.

The ban is blatantly un-American - inimical to our long-held values of equality and inclusion embodied in the Declaration of Independence and symbolized by the Statue of Liberty. All Americans should be outraged, and all of us need to oppose it.

I join in condemning this divisive, destructive, and despicable action taken in the name of our country by a dangerous President who has already demonstrated - and by this latest action once again confirmed - that he has little regard for facts, no apparent interest in the complexities of addressing the real needs of the people his office exists to serve, and a distorted understanding of the constitutional principles on which this country has been built - a foundation that for centuries has made this country unique in the world.

Each of us has a stake in collective action against the immigration ban, because the danger posed by Trump isn’t limited to one religion, region, gender, or ethnic classification, one social, cultural or economic group, or one special interest or issue. The attack launched this week against immigrants from the seven banned countries betrays a sickening lack of judgment that threatens all of us whatever our demographic or concern — from national security to environmental protection to civil rights to our constitutional system of laws. Complacency in the hope that, if given a chance, Donald Trump intends or will inevitably be compelled to moderate his behavior is a prescription for escalating, irreparable, and widespread harm — to our families, our communities, and our future.

The responsibility to oppose the dangerous demagoguery of this President isn’t dictated by political party or ideology. His reckless policies and blatant disregard for fact aren’t a matter of right or left but of right or wrong - and of our personal and national interest. His illegal ban on access to this country is antithetical to basic standards of human decency that Americans fought and died to defend in opposing dictatorship and genocide in World War II.

The good news is that Trump’s action is already being challenged in the streets and in court, and a stay of the ban was issued on Saturday by the federal court in Brooklyn. Other such actions - whether their focus is civil rights, environmental progress, our social fabric, or our humanity — must be challenged as well. No matter the issue - this one or the next — we will succeed only if each of us, together, does whatever we can.

Stand up, speak out, and be heard. Get involved. Oppose Trump’s immigration ban.

Take action. Today.

Printed by permission by Joel Reynolds, NRDC

Monday, January 9, 2017

NRDC: Pebble Mine 2016 in Review: 'Salmon First, Pebble Never' by Joel Reynolds

Pebble Mine 2016 in Review:  'Salmon First, Pebble Never' by Joel Reynolds

2016 closed for the Pebble Mine like so many years before it — with no progress: no permit, no application, and no new financial partner. As it did in 2015, the last remaining company in the once-formidable Pebble Partnership - the small Canadian mining exploration company Northern Dynasty Minerals - continued frantically to tread water for dear life, suing EPA, lobbying Congress, threatening the U.S. State Department, and searching each quarter for more money to cover its legal fees. Prospects for actual mining activity remained non-existent as opposition deepened in Alaska and broadened to the international stage.

Despite short-term profit-taking on the ups and downs of the financial markets (including a surge in the wake of Donald Trump’s election), the Pebble prospect’s owner remains a bad long-term investment. Summed up last week by the Motley Fool’s stock analysts, “regardless of the reason for this latest move higher in Northern Dynasty Minerals, your best bet is going to be keep far, far away.”

Some highlights:
  • In January, following a year and a half investigation conducted at Northern Dynasty ‘s request, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) Inspector General announced its findings exonerating EPA of any misconduct, collusion, or improper process and rejecting Northern Dynasty’s claims of unfairness. According to the IG’s report, “[b]ased on available information, we found no evidence of bias in how the EPA conducted its assessment of the Bristol Bay watershed, or that the EPA predetermined the assessment outcome.” The Pebble Partnership promptly condemned the investigation that it had previously demanded.
  • Also in January, Northern Dynasty repackaged its allegations of unfairness and sent them to the U.S. State Department, threatening a claim for damages under the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”) Chapter 11. In a 42-page letter, the company alleged that EPA’s “decision” on the Pebble Mine “was taken in a grossly abusive, arbitrary and deliberately opaque manner, in breach of standards of due process and good administrative procedure, in violation of U.S. law, and in breach of Northern Dynasty’s legitimate expectation . . . .” In May, NRDC personally delivered to the State Department a detailed response to Northern Dynasty’s self-serving, groundless claim of entitlement to a taxpayer bail-out. No NAFTA claim has been submitted to date by the company.
  • In March, in its own Consolidated Financial Statements (as well as Deloitte LLP’s audit and the company’s Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the year ending December 31, 2015), Northern Dynasty publicly acknowledged its depleted financial condition. The company conceded that there is now “material uncertainty that casts substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.” Despite this, according to the company’ first quarter financial disclosure report, the company also committed to a series of multi-million dollar bonuses for its lawyers and Pebble Partnership CEO Tom Collier contingent on turning the company’s legal position around.
  • Also in March, The Pebble Partnership issued a new (but significantly reduced in number) round of third-party subpoenas, continuing its fishing expedition for any basis in fact to support its lawsuit against EPA under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (“FACA”). But in late November - a year after the initial round of such subpoenas had been quashed — the federal court in Alaska once again thwarted Pebble’s continuing efforts to harass opponents, granting a motion to quash the subpoena issued to former Bristol Bay United Director Shoren Brown and University of Washington professor Tom Quinn. According to the court, these subpoenas “are extremely broad and are not focused on the real issues in this case” and “would impose an undue burden . . . .” None of the remaining subpoenas is expected to survive legal challenge.
  • During the spring and summer, project opponents took the Pebble battle to the international arena through a motion condemning the project — introduced at, and ultimately approved virtually unanimously by, the World Conservation Congress in September. Hosted every four years by the world’s largest network of conservation experts, the 1,300 member International Union for the Conservation of Nature (or “IUCN”) brings together thousands of scientists and other environmental professionals from over 170 countries, including members from 89 states, 129 government agencies, and over 1,000 domestic and international non-governmental organizations. This is the first formal international condemnation of the Pebble Mine project.
  • In November, more than two decades of Republican dominance in the Alaska State House of Representatives ended with the election of a new majority coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans. Longtime Pebble Mine opponent Bryce Edgmon from Dillingham has been tapped to become the first Native Speaker of the House, joining Alaska Governor Bill Walker in a growing wave of opposition to the Pebble project among the state’s political leadership.
  • In late December, Alaska state resource managers for the first time delayed a decision on renewal of the land use permit for the Pebble site, granting instead only a 90-day extension during which the agency will be reviewing an unprecedented number of public comments and considering additional operational conditions. This latest setback for the project follows the release in November of a report by the Center for Science in Public Participation. Commissioned by United Tribes of Bristol Bay, the report found, among other problems, that some holes weren’t properly plugged, drill cuttings were leaching acid, tundra mat had been allowed to deteriorate, groundwater seeping up from holes has been contaminated with heavy metals (including potentially toxic levels of copper), and numerous steel pipes used to stabilize boreholes were sticking up from the ground. In all, 71 of the 107 sites inspected by the Center “were not fully reclaimed” based on observations of dead vegetation, flowing water, and open and abandoned drill casings.
  • Finally, on the eve of 2017, The Pebble Partnership and EPA filed a joint request for a three-month stay of Pebble’s FACA lawsuit against the agency. The request was premised on the parties’ decision to focus exclusively on settlement discussions that, although under way for months, had thus far been unsuccessful. In January, the federal court granted the request for a stay.
As 2016 ended, and as the Trump Administration prepares to take over at the federal level, there is intense speculation by Northern Dynasty (aka The Pebble Partnership) about what this portends for (1) the ongoing EPA review, including the Proposed Determination under section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act, and (2) their continuing efforts to find a new financial partner. In its latest financial report, Northern Dynasty Minerals admits that “[a]dditional financing will be required in order to progress any material expenditures at the Pebble Project,” and further that if it is unable to secure financing to “generate sufficient cash flow to meet obligations as they come due,” Northern Dynasty may “consider reducing or curtailing its operations.”

While time will tell, what remains certain is the unrelenting opposition from the broad-based coalition that has dogged this project for over a decade. Most important is the deep and abiding unpopularity of the project among Alaskans themselves. The regional opposition to Pebble is near-unanimous, with over 80% opposition in the region (including from shareholders of the Bristol Bay Native Corporation, the region’s largest developer). The state-wide opposition isn’t far behind - estimated consistently at over 60% based on polling and at 65% based on the state-wide adoption of the Bristol Bay Forever initiative in 2014.

For Northern Dynasty — and for any potential partner - the hard truth is that the Pebble Mine is going nowhere. Recall that this is the project abandoned by all of Northern Dynasty’s former mining partners, including Mitsubishi Corporation (in 2011), Anglo American (in 2013), and Rio Tinto (in 2014), three of the largest mining companies in the world. Northern Dynasty remains a lonely voice of desperation, searching for vindication of its investors’ mindless pursuit of profit at the expense of everyone else — and, most particularly, at the expense of the people and communities of Bristol Bay.

The Pebble Mine is and always will be a completely unacceptable project, unjustified by the science, inconsistent with the law, and at odds with common sense. NRDC is committed to doing whatever is required to ensure the mine’s definitive defeat.

Salmon first, Pebble never. Take action now.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Weekly Post: SUZHOU, 1985-to the present by RobertGlennKetchum

Welcome to Suzhou, 1985 - to the present by Robert Glenn Ketchum

During the reign of Mao (1949-1976), China was a closed country. China in the 1980’s was 80% rural, with no outside visitors, particularly from the West. When China opened to travelers, the Chinese government placed severe limitations on who was allowed to enter the country. These photographs are a continuation of other ongoing blog threads of the first glimpses into China in the mid-1980’s by world-renowned Conservation Photographer 
Robert Glenn Ketchum.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Welcome to Suzhou, 1985 - to the present, #151
Suzhou #151:  As this image ends this blog, I post it because I have photographed and written about a 35-year period of extraordinary change in Suzhou of which I have been lucky enough to witness. Yet, for all the changes, as I have tried to humorously point out, many things remain the same, or at least similar. When I look out across the city from my hotel room , I see that it IS very different, but there is also NO DOUBT that it is very Chinese. This nation did not have international style imposed upon it, but rather it took international style and reconfigured it in a Chinese way. Watching this transpire, and growing to understand it was a great gift to me as a person and an artist. The exchange with an embroidery guild that brought me to Suzhou not only created an unusual Chinese-American collaboration that redefined Suzhou-style embroidery, but it enriched my life in ways I never anticipated. For me, this exchange transcended the art we created and reformed the life I was creating and my view of the world. I hope my Chinese colleagues feel the same after putting up with me for all this time. I would also like to thank the city and citizens of Suzhou for making me feel welcome and comfortable, even though I clearly looked strange to them, AND I stuck my camera in their face. I will miss these travels. I am SO grateful to have done them. I will now sign off this blog with another billboard quotation: “Joyance Prevails, Dreams Are Approaching."
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Suzhou

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