Trails for everyone, forever

Home News Blog Why a gallery is showing photos of storm damage

Why a gallery is showing photos of storm damage

Posted by Andrew Engelson at May 09, 2007 12:00 AM |

Perhaps you've heard our trail system took a good beating this past fall.

There's a risk repeating myself, but the reality is a lot of hikers are going to be very surprised by what they won't be able to hike this summer. We'll recover, but it's going to require volunteers, your membership and donations to WTA, and action by Congress, as yesterday's Vancouver Columbian points out in an excellent editorial.

One sweet-and-sour reminder of the situation our trails face this year is the exhibit, "Under the Weather," now showing at Seattle's National Parks Conservation Association gallery. It showcases photos of storm damage in our state's National Parks (not exactly the stuff of pretty desk calendars!). To dull the edge of our grief (or perhaps to tantalize us even more) the exhibit also features images of exquisite landscapes in Mount Rainier and North Cascades National Parks. Featured are photographers Lani Doely and Don Geyer.

Prusik Peak by Don GeyerDon won first place in the Landscape category of WTA's most recent Northwest Exposure photo contest. He's a member of WTA and his images are helping draw attention to the work needed to make these gorgeous places accessible to hikers once again. Stop in at NPCA's gallery in Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood and have a look. And check out Don's recent book on the wonders of Rainier.

And if you'd like another dose of outdoor art and photography, check out the Museum of History and Industry's "Nature in the Balance" exhibit, which highlights the state's changing relationship with wild nature--in art and historic and contemporary photographs--including several from WTA's photo contest. I recently had a chance to view the exhibit, and thought it was exceedingly well done. It's fascinating to see how (for most of us) our view of nature has changed from a place to be tamed and exploited to a place to be treasured and enjoyed.

A quote in the exhibit, from a speech Ira Spring gave in 2003, makes it clear that if we are to protect these places, we need to act:

"Today it is up to a lot of hikers like you and me to save our wild places. Unlike the days of John Muir, in the year 2003 you must be part of an organization that will speak up for you and keep you informed about the threats to our trail system and tell you who and when to write. The vast majority of hikers in this state are independent of any hiking organization and have no concept of what is happening to trails. You need to join one and become a participant."

Photo of Prusik Peak by Don Geyer.