Vermillion Basin Sunrise, Moffatt County, Colorado. The 80,000 acres in Vermillion Basin are now off-limits to oil and gas drilling.
Barb’s question struck me in an odd way; I just don’t think like that. I was talking to my friend Barb Leahey, and she kindly asked “you have so many great pictures, which is your favorite?” I’ve always though that sort of thing is for others to decide and I’m generally focused on the next outing, seasonal changes, what’s coming up, and rarely looking back. And in the conservation world, it’s all about results – not the print that sells the most or the image that winds up in Outdoor Photographer. Those things are nice, affirmation and money are important; but what matters in conservation is what gets protected. My friend and ILCP fellow Michael Forsberg says “There’s no finish line in conservation.” A good reason to keep looking ahead.
So, I processed Barb’s question and gave it a little time to settle. By the measure of what gets protected, the Vermillion Basin picture posted here is my favorite. I made the trip to Vermillion in Colorado’s northwest corner to make images for my Sage Spirit project, to get to know the area a bit, and mostly to make photographs to share for protection of the place. I’ve shared the images with the BLM, The Wilderness Society, and the Colorado Environmental Coalition. Many passionate people spent a decade seeking protection for a relatively small citizen’s proposed wilderness and they deserve credit for a hard fought victory against long odds. I made a few images that stand for their efforts and I’m proud to be associated with these Western conservation leaders.
The next time I’m asked that question, the answer will probabably be totally different . 🙂