A new short film about Trout Unlimited’s Tongass 77 campaign in Southeast Alaska has captured a best cinematography award in The Drake Magazine’s 7th Annual Fly Fishing Video Awards, presented by Simms.
The “Last Salmon Forest” by Detonation Studios is a digital short that showcases the natural beauty of the Tongass National Forest and features narration by TU, Alaska Program, director Tim Bristol. In his voiceover, Bristol describes what’s at stake in the Tongass and why Trout Unlimited is organizing fishermen and others to support conservation of the forest’s most high-value salmon and trout watersheds that remain open to development and other threats.
“It’s a success story. We’re building on success. We have a healthy, viable fishery. We have a lot of people employed in the fishery. We have enough of the resource to go around for all the user groups. That’s something to be celebrated but it’s not something you take for granted. It’s not something that’s just always going to be there if you’re a good steward, if you’re not pro-active. So we want to take those next steps to make sure that we protect and conserve this resource over the long-term so it’s not something you just admire — it’s something you actually get to use; so that every year we have a healthy, fishable population of salmon. Protecting that near-shore habitat, that upland habitat, those are the things that we can do, that we have control over, that the American public can weigh in on to make sure that this remains a success story. We’re really serious about calling the Tongass a salmon forest,” said Bristol.
Congratulations to filmmakers Ian Majszak and Bryan Gregson for producing the award-winning digital short. They expect to release a longer version of “The Last Salmon Forest” later this fall.
Majszak and Gregson told The Drake: “After a grueling but rewarding 11 day shoot in South East Alaska’s Tongass National Forest we were invited to submit a digital short for The Drake film awards. With only a handful of days to edit this is our submission that won an award for Best Cinematography. Gratitude—To all the phenomenal Alaskans that put a roof over our head, kept us fed and opened up their lives to us. Without their support this project would not have been possible.”
Trout Unlimited’s Alaska director, Tim Bristol, has been selected for a prestigious award honoring his contributions to Alaska environmental conservation.The Alaska Conservation Foundation recently named Bristol as the 2012 winner of the Olaus Murie Award for Outstanding Professional Contributions. The award is named for the late Murie, a famed naturalist, author and wildlife biologist who served as president of The Wilderness Society, The Wildlife Society and as director of the Izaak Walton League. Among his many accomplishments, Murie successfully persuaded President Eisenhower to set aside 8 million acres as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which was later expanded to 19 million acres.
The Olaus Murie award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions and displayed strong leadership in the non-profit or public sector toward building a more influential Alaska conservation movement.
“Alaska is blessed with so many outstanding conservation professionals it is tough to single out the best of the best but Tim Bristol truly qualifies. His dedication to the movement and his organizational brilliance set an incredibly high standard for all of us to follow,” said Peg Tileston, chairperson of the awards committee.
Tileston has been active in the environmental movement since arriving in Alaska in 1972, having served on many boards including the Alaska Conservation Foundation, Alaska Conservation Alliance and Alaska Conservation Voters. She has known Bristol and observed his work for some two decades.
Bristol arrived in Alaska more than 20 years ago and initially worked the slime line in a Ketchikan salmon cannery. After college, he returned to Alaska and began his environmental career as a grassroots organizer for the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council at the height of the Tongass National Forest timber wars.
“At the time Tim started working to preserve the Tongass, industrial scale logging was well beyond sustainable levels and hundreds of thousands of acres of old growth forest had already been clearcut and turned into dissolving pulp or shipped unprocessed overseas. Meanwhile, the Alaska Congressional Delegation was pushing for more roads to access this forest and more clearcutting. In an effort to come up with more sustainable economic alternatives to large-scale logging in the Tongass, fishermen, independent loggers, conservationists, and tourism operators came together to shepherd through a new management plan for the forest – one far more protective of fish, wildlife and local jobs,” according the Alaska Conservation Foundation award announcement.
This further solidified Bristol’s belief that “unless your effort is powered by people, nothing will change. You need to listen to other’s opinions and needs” to get to answers to tough issues, the announcement stated.
As the Alaska director of Trout Unlimited – the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit dedicated to the conservation, protection and restoration of North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds – Bristol focuses primarily on the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska and Bristol Bay in the Southwestern part of the state.
In the Tongass, his goal is to gain permanent protection of nearly 2 million acres of prime salmon and trout habitat that remains open to development activities that can harm fish. In Bristol Bay, Bristol’s team is leading efforts to protect the world’s largest sockeye salmon run from the proposed Pebble mine.
Bristol said he hopes that more Alaskans will be engaged in ensuring “this incredible place is zoned properly with an eye towards future generations.”
Congratulations to one of Alaska’s most inspiring and influential conservation leaders on a well-deserved honor.