Photography exhibit comes to Southeast communities this summer

Posted: Friday, March 11, 2011

The US Forest Service, Alaska Wilderness League, Braided River and the National Forest Foundation are pleased to announce a series of events and exhibitions to celebrate the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska in conjunction with the United Nations-designated International Year of Forests. The series of events and exhibitions will celebrate the uniqueness of the Tongass National Forest and the Alaskans who live here.

As part of IYF, photographer Amy Gulick will present her photographic exhibit Salmon in the Trees: Life in Alaska’s Tongass Rain Forest throughout Southeast, beginning in April and running through September. The exhibit is based on Gulick’s award-winning book of the same title. Salmon in the Trees tells the story of the Tongass rain forest, where life interconnects in unexpected ways. In this biologically rich coastal ecosystem, humpback whales, orcas and sea lions cruise the forested shorelines. Millions of wild salmon swim upstream into the forest, feeding bears, bald eagles and local communities.

“We are pleased to be sponsoring Amy Gulick and her stunning work,” said Erin Uloth, spokesperson for the U.S. Forest Service, Tongass National Forest. “The Tongass is our largest national forest in the nation. Amy’s book is a celebration not only of the Tongass, but also of the local people who live and recreate here. It is a perfect reflection of how Alaskans celebrate their heritage and find their inspiration from the forest in their daily lives.”

Gulick will show her exhibit and give a public presentation in five communities in Southeast. These include Sitka (April), Yakutat (May/June), Ketchikan (June), Wrangell (July/August), and Craig (August/September). The book features the stories and contributions of Alaskans who live in and are dependent upon the forest, including Richard Nelson, John Straley and Karl Jordan of Sitka; Ray Troll and Michelle Masden of Ketchikan; Brenda Schwartz-Yeager of Wrangell; and Jim Baichtal, Jon Rowan Jr. and Cherilyn Holter of Prince of Wales Island.

“We are proud to be partnering with the U.S. Forest Service, Amy Gulick, the National Forest Foundation, and Braided River on these events,” said Cindy Shogan, executive director of Alaska Wilderness League. “The book is a beautiful reflection of Southeast Alaska and Alaskans’ unique way of life. The photographs adeptly capture the natural and cultural heritage of the region through one of the most profound mediums — photography.”

At 17 million acres, about the size of West Virginia, the Tongass is America’s largest national forest, and contains nearly one-third of the world’s remaining old-growth temperate rain forest. With some of the highest densities of bears and bald eagles on Earth, it is teeming with life and adventure. The region is also home to the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian, whose cultures are deeply connected on a local level to this forest of global significance.

For two years, writer and photographer Gulick paddled and trekked among the bears, islands and salmon streams to document the Tongass National Forest. Join her on an unforgettable journey to one of the rarest ecosystems on Earth–one where Alaskans recreate, make a living and meet the subsistence needs of their families in and around Alaska’s national forests.

“The Tongass is a place where salmon, trees, bears, eagles and people are all connected in a glorious cycle of life that has thrived for millennia,” said Gulick. “There is no other place like it in the world, and I want people to know how special it is.”

Published by Braided River, Salmon in the Trees was chosen to receive a 2010 IPPY award, an independent publisher book award. Braided River combines the arts of photography and literature to create books, media campaigns, multimedia presentations and museum exhibits that engage audiences and use visual storytelling to tap into a narrative about who we are and what we most desire as people.

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