Saturday, August 26, 2017

Public Lands: A photo essay

Interesting times regarding the future of not only the planet with climate change - but also here in the larger backyard of the American West with the renewed and vigorous threats to public lands.

I have spent the better part of my existence outside walls and beyond the concrete jungle. I still prefer the stars as roof and am most often beneath sky.

The cycles of sun and moon transit through my days as blood and I believe I can yet feel as part of the pulse of the earth while on dirt trails, rock faces, swimming in pools deep in wilderness... Avocation became vocation long ago with the sharing of these more wild places. I feared that without awareness of them they would become more compromised with humans inexorable march of "progress".

So my personal path as wilderness guide, photographer and writer allows me a continued access to these wild places, and selfishly it turns out, has become central to my well being. This simple connection to the Earth is quickly becoming less simple. The Earth needs more people with lived awareness to effectively raise a collective voice in its defense. Please feel free to start now if you have not already.

It shocks and frightens me that in only a short span of months an administration and president can undo and compromise what little ability we still have to connect to these wild places, challenge our deep heritage to an indigenous past, call into question even more severely our ability to keep something more pristine for future generations.

There are now much smarter ways to procure energy, simpler ways to live - that use less energy - that are slowly being rediscovered...

I am heartened that Patagonia is stepping up to raise awareness and challenge our currently myopic federal government. A good piece of reporting here via The Guardian today...

Here is a gallery of a few images from public lands that share a bit of the magic and mystery that still is out there to be shared, explored, protected...

all images ©Bennett Barthelemy

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