Thursday, February 21, 2013

On-line book focuses on the Lower Klamath and Tule Lake Refuges

Brett Cole is a professional photographer whose work has focused on "wetlands and wild birds, endangered baboons, tropical and temperate forests, and cultural, social, and environmental topics in India and Peru." Cole has worked for and with "a variety of environmental and humanitarian NGOs in different countries" including The Nature Conservancy, Cambridge Conservation Initiative and World Wildlife Fund.

Cole has a couple of books in print. He has also self- published seven photography books (with accompanying original essays) on line, including one focused on Lower Klamath and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuges. These books contain gorgeous and evocative images which Cole makes available to conservationists and utilizes himself to promote the appreciation of nature and to advance the work of conservation.  Here is one of Brett Cole's Klamath Refuge photos: 

Ducks at Sunrise, Lower Klamath NWR, Brett Cole Photo

If you read Brett Cole's book on the Klamath Refuges, you will soon recognize that he is not your typical photographer. Brett Cole has the soul of an activist-artist - one who wants to use his art to advance social and environmental justice.

While Cole's refuge photos include many celebrating the beauty of birds, other wildlife, wetlands and landscapes, he has also published numerous images focused on the industrial-scale commercial agriculture which occurs on Lower Klamath and Tule Lake Refuges. In his on-line book, Cole makes clear throughout that he thinks industrial agriculture on national wildlife refuge land must end. But he also projects restoration of wetlands on Tulelake and Lower Klamath Refuges as a win-win:

          "The Lower Klamath and Tule Lake Refuges provide perhaps the single most exciting and profound habitat restoration projects in the western United States. The next decade could be a time of incredible excitement and positive change in the Klamath Basin with all parties coming out ahead."  

Farming on the Klamath NWRs - photos and collage by Brett Cole

On the last page of Brett Cole's on line book "Klamath: Western America's Greatest Wetlands" he encourages readers to get involved with Comprehensive Conservation Planning for the Klamath Refuges. The Plan which will include Lower Klamath Refuge and Tule Lake Refuge is due to be completed in 2013. 

Cole suggests that those who care about the Klamath Refuges stay involved via the web site of Oregon Wild

Led by naturalist-activist Wendell Wood, Oregon Wild is far and away the leader in bringing attention to the plight of the Klamath Refuges - including the irony of dewatered marshes while commercial agricultural lease lands on the refuges receive full irrigation water delivery. Oregon Wild's web site includes lots of information on the refuges as well as a page with updates on Klamath River Basin issues and developments.   

American avocets (Recurvirostra americana) foraging, Lower Klamath Refuge, CA
Photo by Brett Cole

1 comment:

Stephan White said...

hese books contain gorgeous and evocative images which Cole makes available to conservationists and utilizes himself to promote the appreciation of nature and to advance the work of conservation.


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