03.04.2021 Views

Places Volume 6: On Assignment with Jerry Monkman, Spring 2021

Here's a look at some of the more interesting conservation photo work I did during the pandemic. Enjoy!

Here's a look at some of the more interesting conservation photo work I did during the pandemic. Enjoy!

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On Assignment with Jerry Monkman

CONSERVATION PHOTO

PROJECTS

Large scale forest conservation in

Maine and a look at other projects

from across the Northeast.

MAINE WOODS AT RISK

Two commercial projects

threaten important landscapes

in the Northern Forest.

OYSTERS IN THE NEWS

A story of restoration and

collaboration.


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From Jerry

It’s a little surreal to realize we all now have more than a year of working and

living during a pandemic behind us with an undefined amount of time still

ahead. My family has managed to survive unscathed so far and I hope the same

is true for you, but it has been hard to see friends suffer the effects of Covid-19.

My job is basically one where I’m almost always working remotely, so a lot of

the time, my day to day shooting life seemed pretty normal.

Morning shoot in Parker River NWR.

A shout out to my friend and colleague,

Ryan Smith, of Rooted in Light

Media, for taking some rare and flattering

portraits of me this winter.

On the Cover: This view of Attean

Pond near Jackman, Maine could soon

include a new high-voltage electricity

transmission line.

Left: Fly-fishing in Maine’s Crooked

River.

Still, I’ve had to learn the Zoom routine more than I ever expected. I finished

my second documentary, The Merrimack: River at Risk just as the pandemic

started and while it has screened on PBS, the theater screenings we had

planned became Zoom screenings. It’s definitely less satisfying than watching

a crowd in person react to the film, but we’ve all adjusted and had some

amazing conversations about the river.

My clients had me photograph less outdoor recreation than usual for safety

reasons, but I still managed to spend some quality time with folks who were

willing to play and work outside in a socially distant way. The following pages

spend a lot of time in the northern forest of New England with some visits to

southern New England farms and a great aquaculture and conservation story

on the New Hampshire Seacoast.

Be well, stay safe, and enjoy the outdoors!

-Jerry

Table of Contents

Conservation Photo Projects.......................................................................................................... 4-17

Land conservation is alive and well during Covid-19.

Maine Woods at Risk........................................................................................................................ 18-21

Two commercial projects threaten important landscapes in the Northern Forest.

Oysters in the News.........................................................................................................................22-26

A positive pandemic story of collaboration and restoration.

P.O. Box 59, Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03802

603-498-1140

jerry@ecophotography.com

www.ecophotography.com

SPRING 2021 ECOPHOTOGRAPHY 3


Conservation

NEW ENGLAND

Land Protection Across

New England

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Above: Land recently conserved by the

Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire

protect the waters of Merrymeeting Lake.

Left: White-tailed deer in the fog on land

conserved by the Northwest Connecticut

Land Conservancy.

Land conservation efforts are alive and

well during the pandemic.

Despite the pandemic, conservation

organizations have been hard at work

conserving farms and forests across

New England. During the past year,

I have shot projects from western

Connecticut to far northern Maine

for local land trusts, statewide land

trusts, and national organizations.

These projects conserved farms,

recreation access, wildlife habitat

and working forests.

Close to my home in New Hampshire, I

continued working with the Southeast

Land Trust of New Hampshire (SELT),

who completed two big projects

adjacent to Merrymeeting Lake.

Despite being ringed by summer

homes, Merrymeeting Lake has the

cleanest water of any lake in the state,

and by protecting several thousand

acres of forest above the lake, SELT is

helping to insure that water quality.

As a bonus there are some great

hiking and mountain biking trails in

their new preserves.

By far, the biggest tracts of land that

I worked on were in northern Maine,

where projects I photographed for

The Conservation Fund, The Nature

Conservancy, and the Forest Society

of Maine totalled close to 50,000

acres in size.

SPRING 2021 ECOPHOTOGRAPHY 5


A forest road winds its way through a

stand of white pines in the Chadbourne

Tree farm near Bethel, Maine.

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The Chadbourne Tree Farm project has resulted in new mountain bike trails in Bethel, Maine managed by Inland Woods + Trails.

One of the views my dog Jax and I found during our shoot for The Conservation Fund.

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The Androscoggin River in West Bethel, Maine.

SPRING 2021 ECOPHOTOGRAPHY 9


Connectivity in the Northern Forest

In June 2020, The Conservation Fund purchased The

Chadbourne Tree Farm in Maine’s western mountains

(more info at: https://www.conservationfund.org/projects/

chadbourne-tree-farm). It consists of more than a dozen

parcels of working forests that sustain forest-related jobs

and provide recreation access for hunting, fishing, hiking,

mountain biking, rock climbing, and cross-country skiing.

The land is part of two watersheds, including the Sebago

Lake watershed, which supplies drinking water to the city

of Portland. This project also includes land that creates a

continuity of conserved lands between the White Mountain

National Forest and the Mahoosuc Mountains to the north.

My next project, the Grafton Forest, which I shot for the

Forest Society of Maine, included more than 20,000 acres

of working forest that connects the Mahoosuc Range to

Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge. The Grafton Forest

is adjacent to the Appalachian Trail, and is also a popular

recreation area for hiking, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling,

and dog-sledding. It is amazing to see a conserved corridor

now connecting two of my favorite places in New England,

Umbagog Lake and the White Mountains (more info at:

https://www.fsmaine.org/conserved-lands/projectsunder-way/).

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Above left: Canoes on the Androscoggin

River in West Bethel, Maine.

Above right: A woman rock climbing on

Tumbledown Dick Mountain in Gilead,

Maine.

Middle right: Clouds reflect in York

Pond in Grafton, Maine.

Below right: A forest harvest area on the

eastern slopes of the Mahoosuc Range

in Grafton, Maine.

SPRING 2021 ECOPHOTOGRAPHY 11


View of the Presidential Range in the White Mountains from

Tumbledown Dick Mountain in Gilead, Maine. Part of the

Chadbourne Tree Farm.

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SPRING 2021 ECOPHOTOGRAPHY 13


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Top right: David Viola of Short Creek

Farm in Northwood, NH checks on the

chili peppers in his smoker.

Middle right: A barn cat sits on hay

bales at Short Creek Farm.

Below right: The farm stand at Maple

Bank Farm in Roxbury, Connecticut.

Left: As a photographer, I often

rely on colleagues to help out on a

project. Here, fellow conservation

photographer Joe Klementovich

helps me out by fly-fishing on the

Crooked River in Norway, Maine, as

part of my shoot for The Conservation

Fund. Check out Joe’s work at: www.

klementovichphoto.com.

SPRING 2021 ECOPHOTOGRAPHY 15


Border Crossing

On Maine’s northwestern border with Quebec, there is a

signifcant range of 3000+ foot mountains known as the

Boundary Mountains that have been used as working

forests for more than 150 years but remain undeveloped

and home to most of Maine’s northern woodland wildlife

species including native brook trout, endangered lynx

and Bicknell’s thrush. Last year, The Nature Conservancy

acquired 10,000+ acres on the border which include two

peaks over 3000 feet and a dozen other peaks over 2700

feet. Their new Boundary Mountains Preserve is near other

preserves in Maine and is continuous with 22,000 acres of

public land in Quebec (more info at: https://www.nature.

org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-help/places-we-protect/

boundary-mountains-preserve/).

The new preserve also abuts land impacted by a

proposed powerline corridor that is being fought by

some environmental groups in the state. You can read

about that project in the article following this one.

16 ECOPHOTOGRAPHY SPRING 2021


Above: A recovering clearcut in

Maine’s Boundary Mountains.

Left: The border swath marking the

border between the US and Canada.

The Boundary Mountains Preserve

is on the left.

SPRING 2021 ECOPHOTOGRAPHY 17


Conservation

MAINE

A Maine Environmental

Group Fights Development

in the Northern Forest.

18 ECOPHOTOGRAPHY SPRING 2021


A proposed transmission

line and a proposed metal

mine threaten the Maine

Woods

Six years ago I released my first documentary film,

The Power of Place, which followed the fight in New

Hampshire to stop a proposed electricity transmission

line that would bring hydropower from Quebec to

Massachusetts, but would also negatively impact wildlife

and the state’s tourism industry. That proposal was

defeated in 2019, but has been reborn in neighboring

Maine where it is known as the CMP Corridor.

In 2018, I shot drone footage for a video explaining the

negative impacts of the CMP project (https://vimeo.

com/297103996), and last year I spent three days

making stills of some of the beautiful places that will

be impacted by the corridor for the Natural Resources

Council of Maine (NRCM.) Much of the corridor will

pass through the Boundary Mountains, a remote

region of the state that harbors some of the best native

brook trout habitat in the state and provides amazing

recreation opportunities - including camping, hiking,

hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, and ATV’ing. (More info

at: https://www.nrcm.org/programs/climate/proposedcmp-transmission-line-bad-deal-maine/).

Further east, beyond Baxter State Park, and Katahdin

Woods and Waters National Monument, NRCM is also

working to prevent the opening of a mine that plans to

extract zinc, copper, and lead near Mount Chase and

Pickett Mountain. I had never visited these mountains

before, but found the area wild and undeveloped like

much of northern Maine. Local ponds and streams that

flow into the Mattawamkeag River would be at particular

risk for toxic metal pollution from the mine (more info at:

https://www.nrcm.org/programs/waters/metal-miningpollution-maine/.)

Left: The views at Rock Pond near

Jackman, Maine would be impacted

by the proposed CMP Corridor.

SPRING 2021 ECOPHOTOGRAPHY 19


Another view near Jackman, Maine, that

would be impacted by the CMP Corridor.

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Pickett Mountain Pond is the closest body of water to the proposed metal mine.

Pleasant Lake (with Katahdin in the distance) is also near the proposed mine.

SPRING 2021 ECOPHOTOGRAPHY 21


Conservation

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Oyster Farming and

Restoration

Supporting Oyster Aquaculture and Restoration (SOAR)

In October, I was asked to document an inspiring project

close to home on the New Hampshire Seacoast for

The Nature Conservancy. The shoot highlighted their

successful aquaculture program called Supporting Oyster

Aquaculture and Restoration (SOAR.) My colleague Ryan

Smith and I spent four days on New Hampshire’s Little Bay

and Great Bay in late October shooting stills and video of

local oyster farmers and Nature Conservancy scientists

as they harvested, sorted, and redeployed oysters to a

restoration site in the bay.

Two years ago, the New Hampshire chapter of TNC

experimented with buying “uglies”, oysters too big for the

restaurant market, from local oyster farmers and using

them to seed a restoration site near Nanny Island in Great

Bay (one of the largest inland estuaries in New England.)

Results from the project were very positive.

Cut to 2020 and oysters farmers are struggling because

their biggest market – restaurants – are experiencing

greatly reduced sales and/or closing because of the

Covid-19 pandemic. The success of the New Hampshire

chapter’s experiment led to the creation of SOAR which

aims to extend $2 million to approximately 100 oyster

farming companies over the next two years in New

England, the Mid-Atlantic, and Washington state.

22 ECOPHOTOGRAPHY SPRING 2021


Top right: Dr. Alix Laferriere, The

Nature Conservancy NH’s coastal and

marine program director, speaks with

the staff of the Swell Oyster Company

about oyster redeployment.

Bottom right: The Nature Conservancy

NH’s Coastal Conservation Coordinator,

Brianna Group.

Above left: Brian Gennaco, owner of

the Virgin Oyster Company, harvests

oysters from an oyster bag on his oyster

farm in Little Bay in Durham, New

Hampshire.

SPRING 2021 ECOPHOTOGRAPHY 23


24 ECOPHOTOGRAPHY SPRING 2021


The Nature Conservancy’s Brianna Group and Steve Weglarz of Cedar

Point Oyster Company redeploy oysters to a restoration reef near

Nanny Island in New Hampshire’s Great Bay.

SPRING 2021 ECOPHOTOGRAPHY 25


Harvest time for the Virgin Oyster Company on their oyster farm in Little Bay in Durham, NH.

The program is a boon to oyster farmers who are losing significant

income during Covid-19, and it will greatly aid oyster reef

restoration, helping to keep waters clean in multiple estuaries

(each oyster can filter 50 gallons of water a day.) This is a great

conservation program with really no downside. It’s getting

some good press too. The Today show sent Harry Smith to New

Hampshire to produce a feature about the program in October –

you can see it here: https://www.today.com/food/tnc-supportingoyster-farmers-affected-covid-19-today-t195668.

More information about the SOAR program, including the video

we shot, can be found at: https://www.nature.org/en-us/whatwe-do/our-priorities/provide-food-and-water-sustainably/foodand-water-stories/oyster-covid-relief-restoration/.

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Dr. Alix Laferriere, The Nature Conservancy NH’s

coastal and marine program director.


facebook.com/ecophotography

twitter.com/jerrymonkman

linkedin.com/in/jerrymonkman

instagram.com/jerrymonkman

SPRING 2021 ECOPHOTOGRAPHY 27


P.O. Box 59

Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03802

603-498-1140

jerry@ecophotography.com

www.ecophotography.com

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