I had been asking myself what all of us could do to stop the Trump Administration’s threat to abolish or slash 27 national monuments, including our local Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, when I got an email from Kevin Ebi, a nature photographer in Seattle.
He said he was putting together an e-book that people would be able to view or download free online that would show photographs of each of the endangered monuments. He had been looking at images on my website of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, and wanted to know if I would be willing to contribute some of them to the e-book.
Within a few days, ten nature photographers had agreed to donate our work to the stunning new free e-book, “Land Almost Lost: A Call to Save Our National Monuments.”
Already, thousands of people have viewed it and then clicked on the links it provides to file a comment with the U.S. Interior Department and contact their members of Congress, calling for preservation of all of our monuments.
I had a big collection for Kevin to choose from, having hiked and photographed in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in every season for the past ten years. I also sent him some images from Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, a spectacular treasure where I had just gone backpacking, and he used one of a prairie hawk soaring high above a cliff at sunset.
Recently, I heard another local photographer quoting the saying, “We don’t take photographs; we are given them.” The same can be said of our public lands. They are protected only because dedicated activists, scientists, landowners, tribal leaders, hikers, hunters, birders, anglers, and other local residents organized and spoke out over many years.
If we want our national monuments and national parks to endure for ourselves, for future generations, and for the huge variety of plants and creatures that live within them, we all have to make our voices heard – today.
by Matt Witt, Photographer
Artist-in-Residence 2017, Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument
Matt has generously allowed the Friends of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument to publish his photos in our e-newsletter.