Vandalising Our Land

Vandalising-Our-Land
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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 …

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