Anchorage photographer Carl Johnson is no ordinary photographer intent on capturing artful images. His quest, to which he devoted five years, was to explore the Bristol Bay region and present it — both its natural environment and people — as a unique and highly valuable place that needs our concern and protection.

The resulting book makes the case that the most valuable resource in the Bristol Bay area is its clean, free-flowing water. The wetlands, streams and rivers support fish and wildlife — and the communities that depend on them for their well-being. Development of resources, particularly large-scale mining, is presented as a threat that would trade long-term economic and cultural values for short-term benefits in jobs and corporate profits. The proposed Pebble mine is squarely in the crosshairs here.

A couple hundred beautiful photographs are the book's treasure. They cover every season and a wide range of geography, from aerial shots of rivers and mountains to close-ups of fossils, hoarfrost and tundra plants. There are, of course, the requisite bears, seals, foxes and other wildlife.

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