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Land Conservation Photography

As a landscape photographer and a Tahoe local, our public lands are extremely important to me. Not only are they absolutely gorgeous, they are for the most part pristine. This is by no accident. Several organizations in the Tahoe area work tirelessly to protect and preserve this land so that we may freely enjoy it. The issue is that the more beautiful a photograph, the more inclined viewers are to go to the exact same area to achieve the same photo. With a handful of people this is not an issue, however, when tens of thousands of tourists are visiting these lands each year it becomes a huge issue. The land becomes trampled, uneducated visitors wander off trail onto fragile land, and most commonly trash is left behind damaging the ecosystem. So how can we as photographers play a role in helping to preserve these lands? Well, we don't have to stop sharing our photos, but we do need to stop sharing specific locations. This is a controversial subject I know, but it's evidently apparent that the more photographs of beautiful areas are shared, the more damaged the land becomes in a short amount of time. In addition, we can also take the initiative to volunteer for programs like the Donner Truckee Land Trust or Keep Tahoe Blue to help clean trash and also educate visitors and new residents. Volunteering to lead a hike where we can discuss land conservation, why it's important, the wildlife that lives there, and how to leave no trace is a fantastic, fun, and easy way to do your part. Take photos while your at it! While you may keep the coordinates to yourself there is no harm in showing Lake Tahoe in all of it's glory and adding a caption that educates viewers on what it takes to keep our land as beautiful as the photographs of it that we are sharing.

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