Posts Tagged ‘Tongass National Forest’

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 6

October 12th, 2010

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log: June 14-September 14, 1971 by Ardis Hyde

(Ardis, David and Philip Hyde in Their Camper. Continued from the blog post, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 5.”)

Part Six: Layover In Petersburg

Abandoned Fishing Boats, Elfin Cove, Tongass National Forest, Southeast Alaska, 1971 by Philip Hyde.

(See photograph full screen Click Here.)

Sunday, June 27, 1971: We awoke to an overcast sky, yet without rain, with the sounds of birds, especially ravens in great numbers. The birds hovered, circled and gathered along a narrow, sandy beach at the high tide mark, while mud flats extended out from there. Philip set out with his 4X5 (Baby Deardorff) view camera for photographs. David made a volcano in the sand with cinders in the top made from seaweed with boulders of lava at the base. We drove on out to the road end past Depression era Civilian Conservation Corps built shelters and stopped before the dump for photographs of two Eagles on two adjoining trees, one mature and one immature. More patches of dwarf two-needle pine forest, beautiful white flowers growing in small groundwater pools and a prolific lupin. Hoards of gnats buzzing the area.

On out of town (Petersburg) on the Mitkof Highway and south along Wrangell Narrows. The highway was obviously built for logging access, a broad scar through the terrain with logging visible from the roadside. Philip took photographs of the despoliation and we ate lunch along the road. David and I napped at a stop along the Blind River while Philip made swamp photographs of dead moss festooned trees standing in the water. It looked like good moose country but no moose, or “meese” as Philip joked. The “highway” was gravel all the way. Occasionally the sun poked through. The town of Petersburg was noticeably lacking in traffic. We looked at the fish ladder on the Blind River. Drove across the Blind River on a wooden bridge. Stopped on the other side for photographs of iris and fritillary that was a dark, mottled brown. Looked at Ohmer Creek Campground (Forest Service-Tongass National Forest). Photographs of massed lupin in the meadow.

We drove into Summer Strait Campground that was unfinished but distinguished by gardens of skunk cabbage. A few fires at the water’s edge were attended by local picnickers. Philip made a photograph of a waterfall in the middle of the forest. At the end of the road we stopped for dinner and the night on the edge of Dry Strait. The tide was in when we got there and the ocean was lapping at the grassy edges of the campground. Islands in the Stikine River Mouth and snowy ridges all were visible with a nice foreground of moss-covered upturned rocks at a parallel slant. The gnats and mosquitos were bad but they did’t seem to bother David. He played outside after dinner with his cars making roads in the gravel. Then he found some gun shells and that turned him on to collecting them in three sizes and shooting them from a Nuts and Bolts gun he made. Philip and I went to sleep in the light about 10:30 pm.

Monday, June 28, 1971: We woke up late at 8:45 am, to rain and the tide going out. We started leisurely with Philip making photographs right away with the 4X5 view camera. We left the end of the road about 10:45 am. We only made it a short distance when Philip stopped to photograph again. He was after a series of cloud reflections, mud flat drainage patterns and shoreline details. All was in overcast light, but rich in beautiful forms and patterns. We progressed slowly on this stretch of road along Koknuk Flats. The low tide and view looking toward Wrangell prompted frequent picture stops. Philip photographed nearly through the lunch stop, pausing just long enough to grab a grilled cheese sandwich. It began to sprinkle before we left. The next stop was at some trees in a meadow near the Blind River for more photographs. Rain had stopped but started again. The remainder of the day we spent on the road back to town and at the waterfront area in town. Philip took a photograph of the Wickersham Ferry going through Wrangle Narrows on its way south. More intermittent rain. We ate a cornbread supper at the docks. Made a brief visit to the small museum before it closed at 4:30 pm. The town center was torn up for the construction of a new Federal Building. I put David down and then we slept ourselves about 10 pm at the Ferry Terminal to wait for the ferry arrival around midnight.

Tuesday, June 29, 1971: The Ferry Matanuska departed Petersburg at 1:00 am….

Continued in the next blog post, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 7.”

Salmon In The Trees: Amy Gulick’s Conservation Photography

July 15th, 2010

A Profile Of Amy Gulick’s Work In Conservation Photography And An Announcement Of Her New Book… Salmon In The Trees: Life In Alaska’s Tongass Rain Forest

Amy Gulick Won the NANPA Philip Hyde Grant in 2008 for her work in the Tongass National Forest beginning in 2007.

(See also the blog post, “NANPA Philip Hyde Grant 2010” about Paul Colangelo’s conservation photography in Northern British Columbia)

Tongass National Forest, Alaska, by Amy Gulick, from the project Salmon in the Trees: Life in Alaska's Tongass Rain Forest

The Philip Hyde Grant’s 2008 recipient, Lowell Thomas Award winner and founding fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, Amy Gulick, recently launched her new book Salmon In The Trees: Life In Alaska’s Tongass Rain Forest.

Amy Gulick’s photographs in Salmon in the Trees, document the cycle of life in the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska. The Tongass National Forest contains one-third of the world’s remaining rare temperate rain forests and the largest reserves of old growth forests in the United States. The Tongass rain forest, like other old growth forests, is an intricately balanced ecosystem and a chain of interactions with links that are weakening due to increasing outside pressures.

Continuing In The Tradition Of Conservation Photography Pioneered By Philip Hyde

Salmon In the Trees: Life In Alaska’s Tongass Rain Forest deepens and expands the work of Philip Hyde, whose landscape photographs helped expand portions of the Tongass National Forest and protected it from destruction nearly 40 years ago. The threats today are greater as the delicate balance of the ecosystems within the Tongass rain forest are at risk. Yet Salmon In the Trees: Life In Alaska’s Tongass Rain Forest, “portrays a hopeful story,” said the website text of the publisher, Braided River. The text continues:

…The Tongass is one of the rarest ecosystems on Earth. Humpback whales, orcas, and sea lions cruise the forested shorelines. Millions of wild salmon swim upstream into the forest, feeding an abundance of bears and bald eagles. Native cultures and local communities benefit from the gifts of both the forest and sea. But the global demands of our modern world may threaten this great forest’s biological riches. With camera and rain gear in hand, photographer Amy Gulick paddled and trekked among the bears, misty islands, and salmon streams… she met bush pilots, fishermen, guides, and artists…

Black Bear Paws and Salmon, Tongass National Forest, Alaska, by Amy Gulick, from the project Salmon in the Trees: Life in Alaska's Tongass Rain Forest

Amy Gulick also wrote about her Tongass conservation photography project in Outdoor Photographer in an article with the same title as her book, Salmon In The Trees. The following is from a caption to one of her photographs of the Tongass National Forest in Outdoor Photographer:

At 16.8 million acres, the Tongass is the largest national forest in the U. S.; about 40% of the Tongass consists of glacial ice fields, alpine tundra, wetlands and water, [the rest is temperate rain forest]. Bears play a significant role in spreading nutrient-packed salmon carcasses throughout the forest—the bodies of the salmon decay into the soil, and trees absorb the nutrients through their roots.

Amy Gulick’s Outdoor Photographer article continues:

Salmon live on in frolicking spring cubs, plump blueberries, new growth rings in tree trunks and downy eaglets perched in their nests. And the next generation of salmon is swaddled in the streams and incubated by the forest. The fertilized eggs will soon hatch, ensuring that the cycle of life is a circle, always flowing, never broken…. But we’re on our way to carving up this extraordinary forest. We only have to look south to the once-magnificent salmon rain forests of Washington, Oregon and northern California to see how quickly we can decimate ancient trees, wild salmon and a rich way of life…. Continued threats include logging, mining, industrial-scale tourism, energy development and global climate change.

Salmon In The Trees: The Culmination Of A Three-Year Conservation Photography Project

When I heard about Salmon In The Trees, I asked Amy Gulick if her new book was a culmination of the conservation photography project she was working on in 2008 when she won the prestigious North American Nature Photography Association’s 2008 Philip Hyde Grant. She explained that part of the criteria for the NANPA Philip Hyde Grant is that the conservation photography project already be in progress. She explained:

When I won the 2008 Philip Hyde Grant, I was halfway through completing the photography for my Tongass project. I started the project in the spring of 2007, applied for the grant in August 2007, and was awarded the grant in winter 2008. I then spent the spring and summer of 2008 completing the photography. It took most of 2009 to design and produce the book, web site, YouTube videos, and exhibit in Juneau, Alaska.

Caribou Crossing, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, by Amy Gulick, from the project Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Wilderness or Wasteland?

Besides her conservation photography work in the Tongass rain forest, Amy Gulick’s Internet story “Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Wilderness or Wasteland?” won a Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award presented by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation. Also, the Alaska Conservation Foundation named Amy Gulick the 2008 recipient of the Daniel Housberg Wilderness Image Award for Excellence in Still Photography. The award recognizes conservation photography projects that advance the protection of Alaska’s wilderness environment, further discussion of issues relating to habitat and stewardship of the state’s natural resources, and enhance greater public education relating to these areas. For more news about Amy Gulick and her conservation photography Click Here and to view the book trailer go to YouTube.

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 3

May 12th, 2010

Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log: June 14-September 14, 1971 by Ardis Hyde

(Ardis, David and Philip Hyde in Their Camper. Continued from the blog post, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 2.”)

Part Three: Layover In Ketchikan, Alaska

Totem Pole, Totem Bight Park Near Ketchikan, Southeat Alaska, 1971 by Philip Hyde.

June 23, 1971: It rained hard all night. We arose at 7 am to find the tide was low again. After breakfast we drove to the 13-mile end of the road. We put on rainproof pants, jackets and boots and continued on foot to where we could see old cannery docks and fishing boats. We crossed a stream rushing down the steep slope to the sea. We passed by an electric power plant on the stream. We walked up the boardwalk part-way and stopped where the walk became a bridge that crossed the creek again. Everywhere beautiful white flowers of different varieties were blooming. A dogwood-like flowering ground cover was quite showy.

Back to town in the camper, straight to the Centennial Building and the Museum where we ate lunch and went in. Beautifully designed and situated building with the Graham Jennings archway overlooking Ketchikan Creek. Drove out Tongass Avenue and stopped to look at the float plane ramp up close. Private boats and planes everywhere. Philip made a photograph of the Ketchikan Pulp Company Mill. The next long stop was at Totem Bight Park on a point of land near the water’s edge. We walked through the forest to get to a grouping of totem poles and ceremonial house. The best view was from out on the rocks in the water looking back. Rain had stopped so photographs were easier, though it was windy and cooler.

We continued out North Tongass Avenue to an overlook point. Bay island broke through across the bay with snow capped peaks appearing and nearby islands in the foreground, one of which had a light house on it, more photographs. High mountains on Gravina Island also now visible. More stops at each of the two waterfalls for pictures. Near the second waterfall Philip concentrated on a close-up of the dogwood carpet. At the end of the road we turned into the Forest Service campground to find it small and already full. Pulled back up to the main road and parked at a turnaround to eat dinner.

From about 7:15 until 9 pm we parked back at the boardwalk. We could see it disappearing into the forest. We continued to wander slowly down what became a narrow spongy path lined with the blooming dogwood carpet through a deep cedar forest. We came out to the water at a small private cabin. It appeared to be unoccupied so we continued to follow the tidal zone bordered by the forest. There was a richness of flora: cinquefoil, shooting star, flowering wild fruit trees, fruit of cedar trees and so on. We observed a deep ochre and shades of orange in the seaweed cover of the rocks at low tide, black mussels and white barnacles interspersed, purple sea stars. Philip took Hasselblad 2 1/4 photographs with his high speed Ektachrome film. We could make out where the sun was still up, above rising clouds.

We had so much light that the last picture of the day was not until nearly 10 pm when we drove back toward town. It was complete with a soft sunset color, foreground of water reflections, and islands, close to the road that turns off to go to the Totem Bight Park, labeled “Recreation Road.” Prince of Whales Island with snowy peaks plainly visible.

With David asleep we wandered around downtown Ketchikan window shopping as it was still light around 11 pm. We finally hit the hay as dark fell around 11:30. We had parked at the nature trail parking area at Ward Lake Campground. As we drove in we could see small ponds and lakes on either side of the road with lily pads on the surface. Decidedly cooler and down to 40 degrees during the night. We wondered if it could be clearing.

June 24, 1971: I woke up at 7 am and announced sunshine, our first since Victoria six days ago. Philip broke out his 4X5 for the first time on the trip and…

CONTINUED IN THE BLOG POST, “Denali National Park, Alaska Travel Log 4.”

Big Oil and Coal Attack Clean Air Act

February 14th, 2010


Based On A Piece In The Monthly Newsletter

URGENT: Stop big polluters’ attacks on the Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act is under attack by big polluters from the coal and oil industries who are trying to avoid having to reduce emissions.

Ketchican Pulp Mill, Ketchican, Southeast Alaska, 1971, by Philip Hyde. Ketchican Pulp Mill had been in violation of air pollution and other environmental laws since it opened in 1948. Louisiana-Pacific, parent company, and Ketchican Pulp Company, fought environmental regulation for many years to stay open, citing its supplying of close to 500 permanent jobs as an important reason to stay in business. But when the mill began to lose money in the 1990's, it was promptly closed. Ketchican Pulp Company had been Alaska's largest manufacturing company and the largest private employer in Southeast Alaska. Amid heated controversy, a new veneer plant opened on the site in 2000 with 20 employees. The new owner, Gateway Forest Products, harvested, peeled and sliced into green veneer old growth trees from the Tongass National Forest. The heavily taxpayer-subsidized operation lost money from inception and threatened fish, wildlife and water supplies for almost three years before also going defunct.

Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski recently declared her plan to exempt big polluters from the Clean Air Act. She introduced a resolution to roll back the EPA’s “endangerment finding” regarding greenhouse gas emissions – a finding required to continue to reduce global warming pollution through the Clean Air Act. Murkowski’s resolution was written by two well-connected industry lobbyists whose clients include major coal-burning utilities Duke Energy and the Southern Company. The Washington Post reports that both lobbyists, who were high-level officials at EPA under George W. Bush, even participated in a closed-door meeting last September to explain details of Murkowski’s plan to the staffers of some centrist Democrats.

The Clean Air Act has a proven track record for nearly 40 years of saving lives by reducing dangerous pollution. The EPA reported in 2007 that since 1980, the Clean Air Act has helped reduce lead pollution by 92 percent; ozone pollution by 25 percent; carbon monoxide pollution by 79 percent; and sulfur dioxide by 71 percent. These pollutants can damage the nervous system, aggravate chronic heart and lung disease and asthma, and cause breathing problems.

Not surprisingly, major polluters happen to be filling Senator Murkowski’s campaign coffers. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Murkowski is currently the top recipient of financial support from the electric utility industry for the 2009-2010 election cycle. Coal-fired power plants are some of the worst offenders of the Clean Air Act.

Our senators will choose either to stand up for the health of their constituents and the effectiveness of our environmental laws or to allow polluters to poison our air unchallenged. Please take a moment to contact your senators this week and urge them to oppose Sen. Murkowski’s plans to undermine the Clean Air Act.