Fighting To Protect Alberta’s Forests – A Photographer’s Story

Log piles
Block 0582
Ghost Valley
July 2015

 

Traditional Fine Art Landscape Photographer Olivier Du Tre is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this landscape photography.  These images are from his project ‘Deep Cuts“.  To see Olivier’s portfolios click on any image.

 

Alberta Rose Block 3600 BraggCreek June 2015

Block 3600
Alberta Rose
Bragg Creek
June 2015

 

Ghost Valley Block 2770 February 2016

Block 2770
Ghost Valley
February 2016

 

October 26, 2013. I will never forget that month or that year. That’s when Alberta’s mask fell of for me.

As a new Canadian Citizen, I came to Canada with high hopes to witness pristine nature, beautiful mountaintops and Prairie grasslands as far as the eye could see. And for four years that was indeed all I saw.

I was out photographing that day. And as I often do, I was just wandering around. Trying to find unique photographic opportunities by luck. That day I was out southwest of a town called Sundre. That’s when I discovered a dirt road. That dirt road took me into my first cut block. Everything in my life would change from that point forward.

 

Before Block2766 Ghost Valley November 2015

Before
Block 2766
Ghost Valley
November 2015

 

Logpile Block 2571 Plateau Mountain June 2015

Log pile
Block 2571
Plateau Mountain
June 2015

 

That afternoon, standing in that block, I became overwhelmed by emotions. Standing there in that block, I felt the strong urge to speak up. Witnessing the view, I felt betrayed and lied to by the tourism ‘propaganda machine’.  I was floored with how disrespectful we were harvesting lumber. “There has to be a better way to do this”, I thought. I couldn’t understand why this was happening so close to home, so close to the protected Rocky Mountain parks, and on top of it all, in our watershed.

I swore to do something with my craft – photography – to bring this problem to the masses.  Since that day I have concentrated intensely on this subject matter. So much so that it has changed me as a person. The more I photographed the decimation, the more I understood that this series was not about trees but I was photographing the disconnection between humans, and Mother Nature.

 

Dead Coyote Block 2693A Atkinson Creek Compartment May2015

Dead Coyote
Block 2693A
Atkinson Creek Compartment
May 2015

 

Along Hunter Valley Road October 2015

Along Hunter Valley Road
October 2015

 

That idea sparked a whole lot more than just the concept for this series. It started a thinking process about the things I was personally disconnected with in my life. I was disconnected with my friends and family, and truth be told, I was disconnected from my girlfriend as well. I eventually ended up leaving the relationship.
As a result of the series I am now involved with a group that is fighting to protect our forests, watersheds and environment. I have attended meetings with Alberta ‘Environment & Parks’ and ‘Agriculture & Forestry’ officials. I have talked with local sawmills, and this series has been shown by Y2Y to the forestry office in my government.

This series is the ultimate result of my intense search for the truth about logging. This series is my truth.

 

Block 2472 Ghost Valley November 2015

Block 2472
Ghost Valley
November 2015

 

Block 3472 Ghost Valley December 2015

Block 3472
Ghost Valley
December 2015

 

Logging Road Block 3368A Ghost Valley October 2015

Logging Road
Block 3368A
Ghost Valley
October 2015

 

See also:

Olivier Du Tre’s Biography

 


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