Sacred Headwaters book slated for October release

Last summer, members of the International League of Conservation Photographers visited the northwest of British Columbia in what they call a RAVE (Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition).

One RAVE involved photographing areas which ILCP members feel may be threatened by the construction of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline and the increased  number of supertankers plying the west coast of British Columbia. That RAVE shot mainly along the coast and in the Great Bear Rainforest.

At the same time the ILCP conducted a second RAVE along the Skeena, Nass and Stikine Rivers. 

Today, National Geographic announced that a book on the Sacred Headwaters would be released in October.

National Geographic says:

Now, against the wishes of all First Nations, the British Columbia government has opened the Sacred Headwaters to industrial development. Imperial Metals proposes an open-pit copper and gold mine, called the Red Chris mine, and Royal Dutch Shell wants to extract coal bed methane gas across a tenure of close to a million acres


National Geographic says the Sacred Headwaters RAVE was launched with partner Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition (SWCC) to produce images of the Sacred Headwaters of (the birthplace of 3 of British Columbia’s greatest salmon rivers – the Stikine, Skeena, and Nass). The text is written by author and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, Wade Davis.

National Geographic is quite open about why it is publishing the book:

The book will be used as a tool by iLCP, SWCC, other local conservation groups and Wade Davis to derail proposed mining projects that would destroy the Sacred Headwaters. The book will be published in October 2011 right before the moratorium on mining in the Sacred Headwaters is lifted.

Information on the ILCP Great Bear Rave can be found here.

The 14-day expedition to the Great Bear Rainforest called upon 7 world-renowned photographers and 3 videographers to thoroughly document the region’s landscapes, wildlife, and culture. The RAVE provided media support to the First Nations and environmental groups seeking to stop the proposed Enbridge Gateway pipeline project (and thus expansion of the tar sands) and to expose the plan to lift the oil tanker ship moratorium


While the Great Bear RAVE did produce some stunning photographs, the photographers stayed along the coast and (at least for now) did not venture up Douglas Channel where the tankers will have to navigate the tricky waters to the port of Kitimat.