Desert Waterfall, Canon 40D, Canon 17-40mm L-series lens shot at 22mm, f22 for 1/2 second.
The backcountry of Grand Canyon National Park is not for the faint of heart, but those willing to put up with 110 degree heat, limited water, and steep, unforgiving terrain are rewarded with views like this! Every year the Canyon claims the lives of ill-prepared hikers.
Deer Creek Narrows, May 2010
Brian Healy Photography 2010
I love fish. Particulary large and beautiful fish with dramatic life history characteristics like salmon. While many fisheries are in decline due to poor management, I am grateful that Alaska’s salmon fisheries are particularly well-managed and sustainable compared to others.
Canon 40D, 70-200mm F2.8
I dug into my photo archives for this blog post- I took this photo in 2005 on a trip to the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. We found these cubs swimming in a deep pool within the Russian River, which is a famous tributary of the Kenai River popular with the fly-fishing community for its large runs of salmon and rainbow trout which feed on their eggs. Anxious fisherman could only stand by and watch as these cubs occupied a pool which held a large number of silver salmon. While the bared teeth look ominous, these cubs were merely playing.
Brian Healy Photography
As a fisheries biologist in the arid Rocky Mountains of the western United States, I often find myself between various conflicting “users” of water. My home is within the headwaters of the Colorado River Basin, which is the source of water for millions of people, from Colorado all the way to California. In addition to providing drinking water for households, the Colorado River also supports agriculture, hydroelectric power generation, snowmaking at ski resorts, as well as various forms of tourism vital to local economies such as kayaking, white water rafting, and fly-fishing. Water is even diverted from the Colorado River basin, across the continental divide through tunnels to large metropolitan areas such as Denver. Essentially every drop of water is allocated to someone with a legal water right.
My role is to help balance traditional water uses with the needs of aquatic ecosystems. Native fish in the Colorado River such as the humpback chub or Colorado pikeminnow are close to extinction, in large part due to water management by humans. Large dams and reservoirs constructed to capture snowmelt have drastically altered the aquatic environment. Declines in water supplies due to increases in the frequency of drought, along with the the growth of human populations in these dry lands have intensified the battles over water. If projected declines in water supply due to climate change prove to be accurate, water conservation will become even more critical to avoid the extinction of Colorado River fish, as well for providing clean drinking water.
This photo was taken of East Lake Creek, within the Holy Cross Wilderness Area. The stream supports one of a few populations of Colorado River cutthroat trout, which is the only native trout species to western Colorado. To see more photos from the western United States or purchase prints, visit my gallery at http://bhealyphoto.zenfolio.com/.