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Vandalising Our Land

As photographers, it is our responsibility to prevent the destruction of the places that we photograph. Jonathan Bailey encourages you to respect the land’s rich heritage and promote education, advocation and confidentiality

I was once baptized by sand, while following an arroyo down the throat of a redrock canyon in what is now the Escalante/Grand Staircase National Monument. I was with Alan Cressler, an acclaimed cave photographer and a close personal friend, who had persuaded me to take two weeks to wade through a wild landscape perched between Utah's Garfield and San Juan Counties.

We had walked fifteen miles through monuments of sand cradled between salmon-hued walls marked with shelves of well-sooted cavern systems, perched above the stratified bands stained within cliff walls. I recall ascending crags cloaked in yucca, sage, and wild roses as we balanced above hundreds of feet of empty space with fifty-plus pounds of camera gear fastened to our backs. We had no climbing gear, no safety nets, as we accessed the recesses. It was …

This is a short preview of this article. Read this and many more articles in high definition inside issue 63.

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