SNAKES - CENTRAL ALABAMA 

Forty odd species of harmless and beneficial snakes and three types of poisonous reptiles—the coral, the moccasin, and the rattler—live in Alabama.
—Alabama: A Guide to the Deep South (WPA, 1941) 

Rural Alabamians have long grappled with the presence of poisonous snakes.  With the exception of the coral snake, the majority of these deadly reptiles are pit vipers, which means that they have heat-sensitive organs (or pits) on their heads and moveable fangs—both of which enable them to target warm-blooded creatures with uncanny accuracy.  Rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths are Alabama’s pit vipers. 
In central Alabama, the most commonly encountered pit vipers are copperheads and rattlesnakes. To escape the sweltering summer heat, snakes nest in places that are cool, quiet, and dark.  The raised wooden porches typical of older Southern homes happen to meet these specifications, and as a result, facilitate unwanted interactions.  A number of families have lost pets because of poisonous snakebites.
In rural areas, fear of snake encounters influences daily life. Many carry a snake stick even when walking the roads. This stick varies in length and width, but must be quite sturdy and at least 4 feet long. Farm hands put on thick hunting boots or cowboy boots before heading out to harvest crops.
When farmers traverse the thick vines of their watermelon fields, it is with a slow, cautious gait and a watchful gaze. The stick is used to rustle the vines along the path. Summer is not only prime harvesting season, but it is also prime snake season. If residents come upon a non-poisonous snake, such as the rat snake or corn snake, they usually toss it aside with the stick. These snakes are known to eat vermin, so they often prove more useful than harmful.
Venomous snakes are subject to a very different treatment. Those who live in snake country will tell you that there is an art to killing a snake. If you are in a car, you have to brake just as you run over the snake, reverse your car, and repeat.  When using a stick, you must aim solely for head. If you are using a pistol, ensure that you are a safe distance away and that you aim at an angle that minimizes the risk of ricochet. They see the killing of poisonous snakes as a moral obligation, especially if the reptiles are near homes or communities. In doing so, they feel that they are potentially saving a life.
After killing the snake, the man or woman gathers the dead snake and takes it to show to relatives and friends. The circle of spectators will closely examine the dead snake, comment on its size, and ask where it was killed. They will discuss how the weather has affected hunting patterns and growth.  The owner of the dead snake will usually take the rattles as a keepsake. Part warning and part boast, this display reminds children and adults alike that they must be careful in their comings and goings because danger lurks all around.
Guide Notes: All photos were taken by April Dobbins in Greensboro, Alabama.
Copperhead – Killed after emerging from under a porch.
Water Moccasin above, Rattlesnake below. A man killed the water moccasin while he was fishing. He discovered the snake on the bank beside him. The snake was eating the man’s catch.
Dr. T’s Snake-A-Way – Snake repellent on a porch.
Stuffed Snake on a Bedside Table – Stuffed Rattlesnake in a Bedroom.
Rattlesnake in a Driveway – my daughter examines a dead rattlesnake in a driveway.
° ° °
April Dobbins is a Guide to Alabama and the Southeast. Born and raised in Alabama, she is a writer and photographer. Though she has lived just about everywhere, she can’t seem to shake her Southern.  She currently resides in Miami, Florida, and is at work on Alabamaland, a documentary project about African-American farm life in rural Alabama.
Find her on Tumblr at aprilartiste.tumblr.com and on her website at aprildobbins.com.
Zoom Info
SNAKES - CENTRAL ALABAMA 

Forty odd species of harmless and beneficial snakes and three types of poisonous reptiles—the coral, the moccasin, and the rattler—live in Alabama.
—Alabama: A Guide to the Deep South (WPA, 1941) 

Rural Alabamians have long grappled with the presence of poisonous snakes.  With the exception of the coral snake, the majority of these deadly reptiles are pit vipers, which means that they have heat-sensitive organs (or pits) on their heads and moveable fangs—both of which enable them to target warm-blooded creatures with uncanny accuracy.  Rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths are Alabama’s pit vipers. 
In central Alabama, the most commonly encountered pit vipers are copperheads and rattlesnakes. To escape the sweltering summer heat, snakes nest in places that are cool, quiet, and dark.  The raised wooden porches typical of older Southern homes happen to meet these specifications, and as a result, facilitate unwanted interactions.  A number of families have lost pets because of poisonous snakebites.
In rural areas, fear of snake encounters influences daily life. Many carry a snake stick even when walking the roads. This stick varies in length and width, but must be quite sturdy and at least 4 feet long. Farm hands put on thick hunting boots or cowboy boots before heading out to harvest crops.
When farmers traverse the thick vines of their watermelon fields, it is with a slow, cautious gait and a watchful gaze. The stick is used to rustle the vines along the path. Summer is not only prime harvesting season, but it is also prime snake season. If residents come upon a non-poisonous snake, such as the rat snake or corn snake, they usually toss it aside with the stick. These snakes are known to eat vermin, so they often prove more useful than harmful.
Venomous snakes are subject to a very different treatment. Those who live in snake country will tell you that there is an art to killing a snake. If you are in a car, you have to brake just as you run over the snake, reverse your car, and repeat.  When using a stick, you must aim solely for head. If you are using a pistol, ensure that you are a safe distance away and that you aim at an angle that minimizes the risk of ricochet. They see the killing of poisonous snakes as a moral obligation, especially if the reptiles are near homes or communities. In doing so, they feel that they are potentially saving a life.
After killing the snake, the man or woman gathers the dead snake and takes it to show to relatives and friends. The circle of spectators will closely examine the dead snake, comment on its size, and ask where it was killed. They will discuss how the weather has affected hunting patterns and growth.  The owner of the dead snake will usually take the rattles as a keepsake. Part warning and part boast, this display reminds children and adults alike that they must be careful in their comings and goings because danger lurks all around.
Guide Notes: All photos were taken by April Dobbins in Greensboro, Alabama.
Copperhead – Killed after emerging from under a porch.
Water Moccasin above, Rattlesnake below. A man killed the water moccasin while he was fishing. He discovered the snake on the bank beside him. The snake was eating the man’s catch.
Dr. T’s Snake-A-Way – Snake repellent on a porch.
Stuffed Snake on a Bedside Table – Stuffed Rattlesnake in a Bedroom.
Rattlesnake in a Driveway – my daughter examines a dead rattlesnake in a driveway.
° ° °
April Dobbins is a Guide to Alabama and the Southeast. Born and raised in Alabama, she is a writer and photographer. Though she has lived just about everywhere, she can’t seem to shake her Southern.  She currently resides in Miami, Florida, and is at work on Alabamaland, a documentary project about African-American farm life in rural Alabama.
Find her on Tumblr at aprilartiste.tumblr.com and on her website at aprildobbins.com.
Zoom Info
SNAKES - CENTRAL ALABAMA 

Forty odd species of harmless and beneficial snakes and three types of poisonous reptiles—the coral, the moccasin, and the rattler—live in Alabama.
—Alabama: A Guide to the Deep South (WPA, 1941) 

Rural Alabamians have long grappled with the presence of poisonous snakes.  With the exception of the coral snake, the majority of these deadly reptiles are pit vipers, which means that they have heat-sensitive organs (or pits) on their heads and moveable fangs—both of which enable them to target warm-blooded creatures with uncanny accuracy.  Rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths are Alabama’s pit vipers. 
In central Alabama, the most commonly encountered pit vipers are copperheads and rattlesnakes. To escape the sweltering summer heat, snakes nest in places that are cool, quiet, and dark.  The raised wooden porches typical of older Southern homes happen to meet these specifications, and as a result, facilitate unwanted interactions.  A number of families have lost pets because of poisonous snakebites.
In rural areas, fear of snake encounters influences daily life. Many carry a snake stick even when walking the roads. This stick varies in length and width, but must be quite sturdy and at least 4 feet long. Farm hands put on thick hunting boots or cowboy boots before heading out to harvest crops.
When farmers traverse the thick vines of their watermelon fields, it is with a slow, cautious gait and a watchful gaze. The stick is used to rustle the vines along the path. Summer is not only prime harvesting season, but it is also prime snake season. If residents come upon a non-poisonous snake, such as the rat snake or corn snake, they usually toss it aside with the stick. These snakes are known to eat vermin, so they often prove more useful than harmful.
Venomous snakes are subject to a very different treatment. Those who live in snake country will tell you that there is an art to killing a snake. If you are in a car, you have to brake just as you run over the snake, reverse your car, and repeat.  When using a stick, you must aim solely for head. If you are using a pistol, ensure that you are a safe distance away and that you aim at an angle that minimizes the risk of ricochet. They see the killing of poisonous snakes as a moral obligation, especially if the reptiles are near homes or communities. In doing so, they feel that they are potentially saving a life.
After killing the snake, the man or woman gathers the dead snake and takes it to show to relatives and friends. The circle of spectators will closely examine the dead snake, comment on its size, and ask where it was killed. They will discuss how the weather has affected hunting patterns and growth.  The owner of the dead snake will usually take the rattles as a keepsake. Part warning and part boast, this display reminds children and adults alike that they must be careful in their comings and goings because danger lurks all around.
Guide Notes: All photos were taken by April Dobbins in Greensboro, Alabama.
Copperhead – Killed after emerging from under a porch.
Water Moccasin above, Rattlesnake below. A man killed the water moccasin while he was fishing. He discovered the snake on the bank beside him. The snake was eating the man’s catch.
Dr. T’s Snake-A-Way – Snake repellent on a porch.
Stuffed Snake on a Bedside Table – Stuffed Rattlesnake in a Bedroom.
Rattlesnake in a Driveway – my daughter examines a dead rattlesnake in a driveway.
° ° °
April Dobbins is a Guide to Alabama and the Southeast. Born and raised in Alabama, she is a writer and photographer. Though she has lived just about everywhere, she can’t seem to shake her Southern.  She currently resides in Miami, Florida, and is at work on Alabamaland, a documentary project about African-American farm life in rural Alabama.
Find her on Tumblr at aprilartiste.tumblr.com and on her website at aprildobbins.com.
Zoom Info
SNAKES - CENTRAL ALABAMA 

Forty odd species of harmless and beneficial snakes and three types of poisonous reptiles—the coral, the moccasin, and the rattler—live in Alabama.
—Alabama: A Guide to the Deep South (WPA, 1941) 

Rural Alabamians have long grappled with the presence of poisonous snakes.  With the exception of the coral snake, the majority of these deadly reptiles are pit vipers, which means that they have heat-sensitive organs (or pits) on their heads and moveable fangs—both of which enable them to target warm-blooded creatures with uncanny accuracy.  Rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths are Alabama’s pit vipers. 
In central Alabama, the most commonly encountered pit vipers are copperheads and rattlesnakes. To escape the sweltering summer heat, snakes nest in places that are cool, quiet, and dark.  The raised wooden porches typical of older Southern homes happen to meet these specifications, and as a result, facilitate unwanted interactions.  A number of families have lost pets because of poisonous snakebites.
In rural areas, fear of snake encounters influences daily life. Many carry a snake stick even when walking the roads. This stick varies in length and width, but must be quite sturdy and at least 4 feet long. Farm hands put on thick hunting boots or cowboy boots before heading out to harvest crops.
When farmers traverse the thick vines of their watermelon fields, it is with a slow, cautious gait and a watchful gaze. The stick is used to rustle the vines along the path. Summer is not only prime harvesting season, but it is also prime snake season. If residents come upon a non-poisonous snake, such as the rat snake or corn snake, they usually toss it aside with the stick. These snakes are known to eat vermin, so they often prove more useful than harmful.
Venomous snakes are subject to a very different treatment. Those who live in snake country will tell you that there is an art to killing a snake. If you are in a car, you have to brake just as you run over the snake, reverse your car, and repeat.  When using a stick, you must aim solely for head. If you are using a pistol, ensure that you are a safe distance away and that you aim at an angle that minimizes the risk of ricochet. They see the killing of poisonous snakes as a moral obligation, especially if the reptiles are near homes or communities. In doing so, they feel that they are potentially saving a life.
After killing the snake, the man or woman gathers the dead snake and takes it to show to relatives and friends. The circle of spectators will closely examine the dead snake, comment on its size, and ask where it was killed. They will discuss how the weather has affected hunting patterns and growth.  The owner of the dead snake will usually take the rattles as a keepsake. Part warning and part boast, this display reminds children and adults alike that they must be careful in their comings and goings because danger lurks all around.
Guide Notes: All photos were taken by April Dobbins in Greensboro, Alabama.
Copperhead – Killed after emerging from under a porch.
Water Moccasin above, Rattlesnake below. A man killed the water moccasin while he was fishing. He discovered the snake on the bank beside him. The snake was eating the man’s catch.
Dr. T’s Snake-A-Way – Snake repellent on a porch.
Stuffed Snake on a Bedside Table – Stuffed Rattlesnake in a Bedroom.
Rattlesnake in a Driveway – my daughter examines a dead rattlesnake in a driveway.
° ° °
April Dobbins is a Guide to Alabama and the Southeast. Born and raised in Alabama, she is a writer and photographer. Though she has lived just about everywhere, she can’t seem to shake her Southern.  She currently resides in Miami, Florida, and is at work on Alabamaland, a documentary project about African-American farm life in rural Alabama.
Find her on Tumblr at aprilartiste.tumblr.com and on her website at aprildobbins.com.
Zoom Info
SNAKES - CENTRAL ALABAMA 

Forty odd species of harmless and beneficial snakes and three types of poisonous reptiles—the coral, the moccasin, and the rattler—live in Alabama.
—Alabama: A Guide to the Deep South (WPA, 1941) 

Rural Alabamians have long grappled with the presence of poisonous snakes.  With the exception of the coral snake, the majority of these deadly reptiles are pit vipers, which means that they have heat-sensitive organs (or pits) on their heads and moveable fangs—both of which enable them to target warm-blooded creatures with uncanny accuracy.  Rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths are Alabama’s pit vipers. 
In central Alabama, the most commonly encountered pit vipers are copperheads and rattlesnakes. To escape the sweltering summer heat, snakes nest in places that are cool, quiet, and dark.  The raised wooden porches typical of older Southern homes happen to meet these specifications, and as a result, facilitate unwanted interactions.  A number of families have lost pets because of poisonous snakebites.
In rural areas, fear of snake encounters influences daily life. Many carry a snake stick even when walking the roads. This stick varies in length and width, but must be quite sturdy and at least 4 feet long. Farm hands put on thick hunting boots or cowboy boots before heading out to harvest crops.
When farmers traverse the thick vines of their watermelon fields, it is with a slow, cautious gait and a watchful gaze. The stick is used to rustle the vines along the path. Summer is not only prime harvesting season, but it is also prime snake season. If residents come upon a non-poisonous snake, such as the rat snake or corn snake, they usually toss it aside with the stick. These snakes are known to eat vermin, so they often prove more useful than harmful.
Venomous snakes are subject to a very different treatment. Those who live in snake country will tell you that there is an art to killing a snake. If you are in a car, you have to brake just as you run over the snake, reverse your car, and repeat.  When using a stick, you must aim solely for head. If you are using a pistol, ensure that you are a safe distance away and that you aim at an angle that minimizes the risk of ricochet. They see the killing of poisonous snakes as a moral obligation, especially if the reptiles are near homes or communities. In doing so, they feel that they are potentially saving a life.
After killing the snake, the man or woman gathers the dead snake and takes it to show to relatives and friends. The circle of spectators will closely examine the dead snake, comment on its size, and ask where it was killed. They will discuss how the weather has affected hunting patterns and growth.  The owner of the dead snake will usually take the rattles as a keepsake. Part warning and part boast, this display reminds children and adults alike that they must be careful in their comings and goings because danger lurks all around.
Guide Notes: All photos were taken by April Dobbins in Greensboro, Alabama.
Copperhead – Killed after emerging from under a porch.
Water Moccasin above, Rattlesnake below. A man killed the water moccasin while he was fishing. He discovered the snake on the bank beside him. The snake was eating the man’s catch.
Dr. T’s Snake-A-Way – Snake repellent on a porch.
Stuffed Snake on a Bedside Table – Stuffed Rattlesnake in a Bedroom.
Rattlesnake in a Driveway – my daughter examines a dead rattlesnake in a driveway.
° ° °
April Dobbins is a Guide to Alabama and the Southeast. Born and raised in Alabama, she is a writer and photographer. Though she has lived just about everywhere, she can’t seem to shake her Southern.  She currently resides in Miami, Florida, and is at work on Alabamaland, a documentary project about African-American farm life in rural Alabama.
Find her on Tumblr at aprilartiste.tumblr.com and on her website at aprildobbins.com.
Zoom Info

SNAKES - CENTRAL ALABAMA 

Forty odd species of harmless and beneficial snakes and three types of poisonous reptiles—the coral, the moccasin, and the rattler—live in Alabama.

—Alabama: A Guide to the Deep South (WPA, 1941) 

Rural Alabamians have long grappled with the presence of poisonous snakes.  With the exception of the coral snake, the majority of these deadly reptiles are pit vipers, which means that they have heat-sensitive organs (or pits) on their heads and moveable fangs—both of which enable them to target warm-blooded creatures with uncanny accuracy.  Rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths are Alabama’s pit vipers

In central Alabama, the most commonly encountered pit vipers are copperheads and rattlesnakes. To escape the sweltering summer heat, snakes nest in places that are cool, quiet, and dark.  The raised wooden porches typical of older Southern homes happen to meet these specifications, and as a result, facilitate unwanted interactions.  A number of families have lost pets because of poisonous snakebites.

In rural areas, fear of snake encounters influences daily life. Many carry a snake stick even when walking the roads. This stick varies in length and width, but must be quite sturdy and at least 4 feet long. Farm hands put on thick hunting boots or cowboy boots before heading out to harvest crops.

When farmers traverse the thick vines of their watermelon fields, it is with a slow, cautious gait and a watchful gaze. The stick is used to rustle the vines along the path. Summer is not only prime harvesting season, but it is also prime snake season. If residents come upon a non-poisonous snake, such as the rat snake or corn snake, they usually toss it aside with the stick. These snakes are known to eat vermin, so they often prove more useful than harmful.

Venomous snakes are subject to a very different treatment. Those who live in snake country will tell you that there is an art to killing a snake. If you are in a car, you have to brake just as you run over the snake, reverse your car, and repeat.  When using a stick, you must aim solely for head. If you are using a pistol, ensure that you are a safe distance away and that you aim at an angle that minimizes the risk of ricochet. They see the killing of poisonous snakes as a moral obligation, especially if the reptiles are near homes or communities. In doing so, they feel that they are potentially saving a life.

After killing the snake, the man or woman gathers the dead snake and takes it to show to relatives and friends. The circle of spectators will closely examine the dead snake, comment on its size, and ask where it was killed. They will discuss how the weather has affected hunting patterns and growth.  The owner of the dead snake will usually take the rattles as a keepsake. Part warning and part boast, this display reminds children and adults alike that they must be careful in their comings and goings because danger lurks all around.

Guide Notes: All photos were taken by April Dobbins in Greensboro, Alabama.

  1. Copperhead – Killed after emerging from under a porch.
  2. Water Moccasin above, Rattlesnake below. A man killed the water moccasin while he was fishing. He discovered the snake on the bank beside him. The snake was eating the man’s catch.
  3. Dr. T’s Snake-A-Way – Snake repellent on a porch.
  4. Stuffed Snake on a Bedside Table – Stuffed Rattlesnake in a Bedroom.
  5. Rattlesnake in a Driveway – my daughter examines a dead rattlesnake in a driveway.

° ° °

April Dobbins is a Guide to Alabama and the Southeast. Born and raised in Alabama, she is a writer and photographer. Though she has lived just about everywhere, she can’t seem to shake her Southern.  She currently resides in Miami, Florida, and is at work on Alabamaland, a documentary project about African-American farm life in rural Alabama.

Find her on Tumblr at aprilartiste.tumblr.com and on her website at aprildobbins.com.

LOCAL FLORA - PORTLAND, OREGON 

The woods of Oregon are a wonderland of overwhelming proportions. The eye, always drawn to the distant snow-capped peaks, sweeps over magnificent verdant blankets that cover the lower hills and spread back in tiers over higher hills and far up the mountainsides. From the heights, the forest far below is an undulating layer of dark green, sparkling with gem-like lakes and silvery streams, which stretches far off into a horizon serrated with the silhouette of distant trees. 

Oregon: End of the Trail (WPA, 1940)

Guide Notes:

1: Basil, Late Summer, Portland, OR.

2: Smoke Bush, Portland, OR.

3: Grasses, Portland, OR.

4: Houseplant, Portland, OR.

5: Japanese Maple, Autumn, Portland, OR. 

6: Weeds along the Columbia River, Portland, OR.

7: Trees along the Columbia, Portland, OR.

8: Branches, Portland, OR. 

9: Grasses, Sauvie Island, OR.

10: Tree, Vines and Fence, Portland, OR. 

All Images © Robert Pallesen, All Rights Reserved.

* * *

Robert Pallesen is a fine art photographer currently living in Portland, OR. Pallesen’s work investigates the transient nature of the landscape and our relationship with it. His photographs are featured in the Humble Arts Foundation Collector’s Guide to Emerging Art Photography as well as Various Photographs, published by TV books. Pallesen’s work has been exhibited at Pushdot Studios, Newspace Center of Photography, San Francisco Camerawork, The New York Photo Festival, Pierro Gallery and CGR gallery in New York. His work is currently on view at The BlueSky Gallery in Portland as part of the Northwest Drawers program.

You can view more work by Robert Pallesen at his website and blog.

This dispatch arrived care of THE AMERICAN GUIDE submission page. Be a guide yourself and send a post from your state: theamericanguide.org/submit. 

Ironton Interviews

395 Plays

PROPOSED RAM COAL TERMINAL - IRONTON, LOUISIANA (cont’d)

Coal power plants may make the most financial sense to build, but perhaps the least environmental sense. Emissions from coal plants are one of the largest sources of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. On a global scale, the World Bank and the Obama administration are making moves to shift foreign energy development away from coal-fired plants, but the domestic coal industry maintains powerful champions in the U.S. Congress. The huge piles of coal sprawling along the Mississippi River near Ironton bear testament to that fervent support. 

But even with Congressional proponents, the long-term survival of coal as a profitable export seems dim to community activists in Ironton. They see the RAM terminal as a last-gasp effort to squeeze what remaining profit margins exist in an industry where production is so linked to ecological destruction that eventually the limit will be reached. Ironton residents feel stuck in the middle—presented with vague promises of new jobs that will somehow offset the continued environmental degradation of their soil, water and air; long term sustainability traded for short term economic gains. 

The geographic distribution of industry has changed within the United States. Sixty years ago, the port of New Orleans would have been the logical place to locate an export terminal of any kind. But scarce industrial land in the city, not to mention the much stronger political will of the population to oppose an environmentally questionable development, makes constructing a project like a coal terminal difficult in areas with larger populations. Over the past 50 years, manufacturing and industry have preferred to build such things in rural areas. Industrializing rural communities is attractive to companies for several reasons—the land is cheaper, the labor is cheaper, and the political landscape easier to navigate. Such small communities also tend to have less access to media, or to organizations dedicated to environmental or governmental watchdogging, many of which are based in cities.

Ironton, however, is fighting back. A coalition of local leaders, organizers and media makers from around the region are raising their voices against the RAM project. Audrey Trufant Salvant is among them. To hear both Audrey and another Ironton resident, Cornell Battle, speak about Ironton and their struggle against the RAM coal terminal, please listen to the interview montage above.

Find Part 1 of this feature, including images of Ironton, here.

* * *

Darin Acosta has spent his entire life exploring and documenting the wetlands, oil infrastructure and forgotten blight of South Louisiana and studied urban and environmental planning at the University of New Orleans. Breonne DeDecker was born near the headwaters of the Mississippi River and now resides at the end of it. She has degrees in photography and sustainable development. 

Their current work, The Airline is a Very Long Road, is an experimental biography of Louisiana, which you can find at airlinehighway.tumblr.com.

PROPOSED RAM COAL TERMINAL - IRONTON, LOUISIANA
Audrey Trufant Salvant’s father is buried less than 50 feet from her front door, in a little mausoleum that sits like an ornament in her yard. As we walk towards it, we pass no fence, road, or anything else to signify that we’ve left her property and entered a communal gravesite. She stops a few feet before the tomb and begins to speak above the wind of a coming storm that passes through the scattered single-wides of the town. Her family, she explains, has been living in Ironton for five generations. “This is home for me,” she says. “My dad’s buried here. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”
Ironton is a tiny working class black community, just three large blocks spread out along the natural levee of the Mississippi River in the coastal parish of Plaquemines. There are perhaps 60 standing structures in the whole town, many of them mobile homes placed among the devastated ruins of Hurricane Isaac. Standing at the grave, Audrey boasts about the pastoral appeal of the town. We glance around and see small homes, thick woods just upriver, and open fields that run along the distant highway. A slim boy in sportsman’s camo hikes his way over the nearby levee to hunt the batture woods along the Mississippi River. A neighbor nods to us as he washes his car. For all the industry that’s encroaching on this hidden place, you’d never know it just by looking. 
The Phillips 66 Alliance oil refinery is located less than two miles upriver; and the Myrtle Grove Midstream Terminal—a mid-river grain elevator—less than two miles towards the coast. A coal export terminal, characterized by massive piles of exposed coal, is three miles downriver. United Bulk, another enormous open air terminal, is right across the river from that. On rainy days, pet coke and coal runs visibly from these terminal sites and into nearby ditches and waterways. Scott Eustis, an environmental wetlands specialist who oversees coastal use permits for the Gulf Restoration Network, captured this image, showing coal runoff making its way into the Mississippi River. On dry days, the wind catches sheets of pulverized mineral dust from the massive piles that sit bare along the river and spreads them for miles around. A film of grain, coal, and particulate from other surrounding industries is evident everywhere in Ironton: on cars, on porches, and inside homes. This dust, many environmentalists and residents worry, contributes to asthma rates in the community.
After returning to Audrey’s house, we settle around her dining room table as she laments the coal-dust piles, smoke stacks, and grain elevators that surround her community on all sides. “We feel that it’s environmental racism,” she says after a pause. “You don’t see this kind of thing anywhere else in the parish other than black communities. I mean,” she stands up to run her finger along the chandelier that hangs above the table, and holds out her hand to reveal a thick cake of dark grey dust on her fingertip, “I justed dusted this thing last week.”
And the situation, she fears, may soon get worse. In 2011, RAM Terminals LLC bought 602 acres of land just north of Ironton with the goal of building yet another coal exporting facility, significantly increasing the amount of coal surrounding the community. Air monitoring by community members indicates that the air particulate pollution levels in and around Ironton are already higher than what is deemed safe by international standards. There is tangible anxiety that the construction of yet another open-air coal terminal will only continue this trend.
RAM also plans the extension of a local railroad line to make transportation faster and easier. This would mean open coal cars traveling throughout Plaquemines Parish, potentially contributing to the dust and overall air pollution. The company and the local government have not yet decided where the new rail line will go, but during a community meeting convened to discuss the plan, two of the three options presented to the community would have the train routed directly through the heart of Ironton, yards away from residences.
As this drama plays out in the small Louisiana parish of Plaquemines, domestic and international demand priorities within the coal industry are shifting. The U.S. is slowly phasing out coal-fired power plants, while coal consumption in other regions of the globe is on the rise. Coal is one of the cheapest energy sources available, and many developing nations argue that it is the fastest way to modernize their infrastructure and bring power to their population. Rapid industrialization in Asia, especially in China and India, means that the long-term survival of the U.S. coal industry is increasingly linked to consumers thousands of miles away.
Read more and hear from Ironton residents in Part 2.
* * *
Darin Acosta has spent his entire life exploring and documenting the wetlands, oil infrastructure and forgotten blight of South Louisiana and studied urban and environmental planning at the University of New Orleans. Breonne DeDecker was born near the headwaters of the Mississippi River and now resides at the end of it. She has degrees in photography and sustainable development. 

Their current work, The Airline is a Very Long Road, is an experimental biography of Louisiana, which you can find at airlinehighway.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
PROPOSED RAM COAL TERMINAL - IRONTON, LOUISIANA
Audrey Trufant Salvant’s father is buried less than 50 feet from her front door, in a little mausoleum that sits like an ornament in her yard. As we walk towards it, we pass no fence, road, or anything else to signify that we’ve left her property and entered a communal gravesite. She stops a few feet before the tomb and begins to speak above the wind of a coming storm that passes through the scattered single-wides of the town. Her family, she explains, has been living in Ironton for five generations. “This is home for me,” she says. “My dad’s buried here. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”
Ironton is a tiny working class black community, just three large blocks spread out along the natural levee of the Mississippi River in the coastal parish of Plaquemines. There are perhaps 60 standing structures in the whole town, many of them mobile homes placed among the devastated ruins of Hurricane Isaac. Standing at the grave, Audrey boasts about the pastoral appeal of the town. We glance around and see small homes, thick woods just upriver, and open fields that run along the distant highway. A slim boy in sportsman’s camo hikes his way over the nearby levee to hunt the batture woods along the Mississippi River. A neighbor nods to us as he washes his car. For all the industry that’s encroaching on this hidden place, you’d never know it just by looking. 
The Phillips 66 Alliance oil refinery is located less than two miles upriver; and the Myrtle Grove Midstream Terminal—a mid-river grain elevator—less than two miles towards the coast. A coal export terminal, characterized by massive piles of exposed coal, is three miles downriver. United Bulk, another enormous open air terminal, is right across the river from that. On rainy days, pet coke and coal runs visibly from these terminal sites and into nearby ditches and waterways. Scott Eustis, an environmental wetlands specialist who oversees coastal use permits for the Gulf Restoration Network, captured this image, showing coal runoff making its way into the Mississippi River. On dry days, the wind catches sheets of pulverized mineral dust from the massive piles that sit bare along the river and spreads them for miles around. A film of grain, coal, and particulate from other surrounding industries is evident everywhere in Ironton: on cars, on porches, and inside homes. This dust, many environmentalists and residents worry, contributes to asthma rates in the community.
After returning to Audrey’s house, we settle around her dining room table as she laments the coal-dust piles, smoke stacks, and grain elevators that surround her community on all sides. “We feel that it’s environmental racism,” she says after a pause. “You don’t see this kind of thing anywhere else in the parish other than black communities. I mean,” she stands up to run her finger along the chandelier that hangs above the table, and holds out her hand to reveal a thick cake of dark grey dust on her fingertip, “I justed dusted this thing last week.”
And the situation, she fears, may soon get worse. In 2011, RAM Terminals LLC bought 602 acres of land just north of Ironton with the goal of building yet another coal exporting facility, significantly increasing the amount of coal surrounding the community. Air monitoring by community members indicates that the air particulate pollution levels in and around Ironton are already higher than what is deemed safe by international standards. There is tangible anxiety that the construction of yet another open-air coal terminal will only continue this trend.
RAM also plans the extension of a local railroad line to make transportation faster and easier. This would mean open coal cars traveling throughout Plaquemines Parish, potentially contributing to the dust and overall air pollution. The company and the local government have not yet decided where the new rail line will go, but during a community meeting convened to discuss the plan, two of the three options presented to the community would have the train routed directly through the heart of Ironton, yards away from residences.
As this drama plays out in the small Louisiana parish of Plaquemines, domestic and international demand priorities within the coal industry are shifting. The U.S. is slowly phasing out coal-fired power plants, while coal consumption in other regions of the globe is on the rise. Coal is one of the cheapest energy sources available, and many developing nations argue that it is the fastest way to modernize their infrastructure and bring power to their population. Rapid industrialization in Asia, especially in China and India, means that the long-term survival of the U.S. coal industry is increasingly linked to consumers thousands of miles away.
Read more and hear from Ironton residents in Part 2.
* * *
Darin Acosta has spent his entire life exploring and documenting the wetlands, oil infrastructure and forgotten blight of South Louisiana and studied urban and environmental planning at the University of New Orleans. Breonne DeDecker was born near the headwaters of the Mississippi River and now resides at the end of it. She has degrees in photography and sustainable development. 

Their current work, The Airline is a Very Long Road, is an experimental biography of Louisiana, which you can find at airlinehighway.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
PROPOSED RAM COAL TERMINAL - IRONTON, LOUISIANA
Audrey Trufant Salvant’s father is buried less than 50 feet from her front door, in a little mausoleum that sits like an ornament in her yard. As we walk towards it, we pass no fence, road, or anything else to signify that we’ve left her property and entered a communal gravesite. She stops a few feet before the tomb and begins to speak above the wind of a coming storm that passes through the scattered single-wides of the town. Her family, she explains, has been living in Ironton for five generations. “This is home for me,” she says. “My dad’s buried here. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”
Ironton is a tiny working class black community, just three large blocks spread out along the natural levee of the Mississippi River in the coastal parish of Plaquemines. There are perhaps 60 standing structures in the whole town, many of them mobile homes placed among the devastated ruins of Hurricane Isaac. Standing at the grave, Audrey boasts about the pastoral appeal of the town. We glance around and see small homes, thick woods just upriver, and open fields that run along the distant highway. A slim boy in sportsman’s camo hikes his way over the nearby levee to hunt the batture woods along the Mississippi River. A neighbor nods to us as he washes his car. For all the industry that’s encroaching on this hidden place, you’d never know it just by looking. 
The Phillips 66 Alliance oil refinery is located less than two miles upriver; and the Myrtle Grove Midstream Terminal—a mid-river grain elevator—less than two miles towards the coast. A coal export terminal, characterized by massive piles of exposed coal, is three miles downriver. United Bulk, another enormous open air terminal, is right across the river from that. On rainy days, pet coke and coal runs visibly from these terminal sites and into nearby ditches and waterways. Scott Eustis, an environmental wetlands specialist who oversees coastal use permits for the Gulf Restoration Network, captured this image, showing coal runoff making its way into the Mississippi River. On dry days, the wind catches sheets of pulverized mineral dust from the massive piles that sit bare along the river and spreads them for miles around. A film of grain, coal, and particulate from other surrounding industries is evident everywhere in Ironton: on cars, on porches, and inside homes. This dust, many environmentalists and residents worry, contributes to asthma rates in the community.
After returning to Audrey’s house, we settle around her dining room table as she laments the coal-dust piles, smoke stacks, and grain elevators that surround her community on all sides. “We feel that it’s environmental racism,” she says after a pause. “You don’t see this kind of thing anywhere else in the parish other than black communities. I mean,” she stands up to run her finger along the chandelier that hangs above the table, and holds out her hand to reveal a thick cake of dark grey dust on her fingertip, “I justed dusted this thing last week.”
And the situation, she fears, may soon get worse. In 2011, RAM Terminals LLC bought 602 acres of land just north of Ironton with the goal of building yet another coal exporting facility, significantly increasing the amount of coal surrounding the community. Air monitoring by community members indicates that the air particulate pollution levels in and around Ironton are already higher than what is deemed safe by international standards. There is tangible anxiety that the construction of yet another open-air coal terminal will only continue this trend.
RAM also plans the extension of a local railroad line to make transportation faster and easier. This would mean open coal cars traveling throughout Plaquemines Parish, potentially contributing to the dust and overall air pollution. The company and the local government have not yet decided where the new rail line will go, but during a community meeting convened to discuss the plan, two of the three options presented to the community would have the train routed directly through the heart of Ironton, yards away from residences.
As this drama plays out in the small Louisiana parish of Plaquemines, domestic and international demand priorities within the coal industry are shifting. The U.S. is slowly phasing out coal-fired power plants, while coal consumption in other regions of the globe is on the rise. Coal is one of the cheapest energy sources available, and many developing nations argue that it is the fastest way to modernize their infrastructure and bring power to their population. Rapid industrialization in Asia, especially in China and India, means that the long-term survival of the U.S. coal industry is increasingly linked to consumers thousands of miles away.
Read more and hear from Ironton residents in Part 2.
* * *
Darin Acosta has spent his entire life exploring and documenting the wetlands, oil infrastructure and forgotten blight of South Louisiana and studied urban and environmental planning at the University of New Orleans. Breonne DeDecker was born near the headwaters of the Mississippi River and now resides at the end of it. She has degrees in photography and sustainable development. 

Their current work, The Airline is a Very Long Road, is an experimental biography of Louisiana, which you can find at airlinehighway.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
PROPOSED RAM COAL TERMINAL - IRONTON, LOUISIANA
Audrey Trufant Salvant’s father is buried less than 50 feet from her front door, in a little mausoleum that sits like an ornament in her yard. As we walk towards it, we pass no fence, road, or anything else to signify that we’ve left her property and entered a communal gravesite. She stops a few feet before the tomb and begins to speak above the wind of a coming storm that passes through the scattered single-wides of the town. Her family, she explains, has been living in Ironton for five generations. “This is home for me,” she says. “My dad’s buried here. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”
Ironton is a tiny working class black community, just three large blocks spread out along the natural levee of the Mississippi River in the coastal parish of Plaquemines. There are perhaps 60 standing structures in the whole town, many of them mobile homes placed among the devastated ruins of Hurricane Isaac. Standing at the grave, Audrey boasts about the pastoral appeal of the town. We glance around and see small homes, thick woods just upriver, and open fields that run along the distant highway. A slim boy in sportsman’s camo hikes his way over the nearby levee to hunt the batture woods along the Mississippi River. A neighbor nods to us as he washes his car. For all the industry that’s encroaching on this hidden place, you’d never know it just by looking. 
The Phillips 66 Alliance oil refinery is located less than two miles upriver; and the Myrtle Grove Midstream Terminal—a mid-river grain elevator—less than two miles towards the coast. A coal export terminal, characterized by massive piles of exposed coal, is three miles downriver. United Bulk, another enormous open air terminal, is right across the river from that. On rainy days, pet coke and coal runs visibly from these terminal sites and into nearby ditches and waterways. Scott Eustis, an environmental wetlands specialist who oversees coastal use permits for the Gulf Restoration Network, captured this image, showing coal runoff making its way into the Mississippi River. On dry days, the wind catches sheets of pulverized mineral dust from the massive piles that sit bare along the river and spreads them for miles around. A film of grain, coal, and particulate from other surrounding industries is evident everywhere in Ironton: on cars, on porches, and inside homes. This dust, many environmentalists and residents worry, contributes to asthma rates in the community.
After returning to Audrey’s house, we settle around her dining room table as she laments the coal-dust piles, smoke stacks, and grain elevators that surround her community on all sides. “We feel that it’s environmental racism,” she says after a pause. “You don’t see this kind of thing anywhere else in the parish other than black communities. I mean,” she stands up to run her finger along the chandelier that hangs above the table, and holds out her hand to reveal a thick cake of dark grey dust on her fingertip, “I justed dusted this thing last week.”
And the situation, she fears, may soon get worse. In 2011, RAM Terminals LLC bought 602 acres of land just north of Ironton with the goal of building yet another coal exporting facility, significantly increasing the amount of coal surrounding the community. Air monitoring by community members indicates that the air particulate pollution levels in and around Ironton are already higher than what is deemed safe by international standards. There is tangible anxiety that the construction of yet another open-air coal terminal will only continue this trend.
RAM also plans the extension of a local railroad line to make transportation faster and easier. This would mean open coal cars traveling throughout Plaquemines Parish, potentially contributing to the dust and overall air pollution. The company and the local government have not yet decided where the new rail line will go, but during a community meeting convened to discuss the plan, two of the three options presented to the community would have the train routed directly through the heart of Ironton, yards away from residences.
As this drama plays out in the small Louisiana parish of Plaquemines, domestic and international demand priorities within the coal industry are shifting. The U.S. is slowly phasing out coal-fired power plants, while coal consumption in other regions of the globe is on the rise. Coal is one of the cheapest energy sources available, and many developing nations argue that it is the fastest way to modernize their infrastructure and bring power to their population. Rapid industrialization in Asia, especially in China and India, means that the long-term survival of the U.S. coal industry is increasingly linked to consumers thousands of miles away.
Read more and hear from Ironton residents in Part 2.
* * *
Darin Acosta has spent his entire life exploring and documenting the wetlands, oil infrastructure and forgotten blight of South Louisiana and studied urban and environmental planning at the University of New Orleans. Breonne DeDecker was born near the headwaters of the Mississippi River and now resides at the end of it. She has degrees in photography and sustainable development. 

Their current work, The Airline is a Very Long Road, is an experimental biography of Louisiana, which you can find at airlinehighway.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
PROPOSED RAM COAL TERMINAL - IRONTON, LOUISIANA
Audrey Trufant Salvant’s father is buried less than 50 feet from her front door, in a little mausoleum that sits like an ornament in her yard. As we walk towards it, we pass no fence, road, or anything else to signify that we’ve left her property and entered a communal gravesite. She stops a few feet before the tomb and begins to speak above the wind of a coming storm that passes through the scattered single-wides of the town. Her family, she explains, has been living in Ironton for five generations. “This is home for me,” she says. “My dad’s buried here. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”
Ironton is a tiny working class black community, just three large blocks spread out along the natural levee of the Mississippi River in the coastal parish of Plaquemines. There are perhaps 60 standing structures in the whole town, many of them mobile homes placed among the devastated ruins of Hurricane Isaac. Standing at the grave, Audrey boasts about the pastoral appeal of the town. We glance around and see small homes, thick woods just upriver, and open fields that run along the distant highway. A slim boy in sportsman’s camo hikes his way over the nearby levee to hunt the batture woods along the Mississippi River. A neighbor nods to us as he washes his car. For all the industry that’s encroaching on this hidden place, you’d never know it just by looking. 
The Phillips 66 Alliance oil refinery is located less than two miles upriver; and the Myrtle Grove Midstream Terminal—a mid-river grain elevator—less than two miles towards the coast. A coal export terminal, characterized by massive piles of exposed coal, is three miles downriver. United Bulk, another enormous open air terminal, is right across the river from that. On rainy days, pet coke and coal runs visibly from these terminal sites and into nearby ditches and waterways. Scott Eustis, an environmental wetlands specialist who oversees coastal use permits for the Gulf Restoration Network, captured this image, showing coal runoff making its way into the Mississippi River. On dry days, the wind catches sheets of pulverized mineral dust from the massive piles that sit bare along the river and spreads them for miles around. A film of grain, coal, and particulate from other surrounding industries is evident everywhere in Ironton: on cars, on porches, and inside homes. This dust, many environmentalists and residents worry, contributes to asthma rates in the community.
After returning to Audrey’s house, we settle around her dining room table as she laments the coal-dust piles, smoke stacks, and grain elevators that surround her community on all sides. “We feel that it’s environmental racism,” she says after a pause. “You don’t see this kind of thing anywhere else in the parish other than black communities. I mean,” she stands up to run her finger along the chandelier that hangs above the table, and holds out her hand to reveal a thick cake of dark grey dust on her fingertip, “I justed dusted this thing last week.”
And the situation, she fears, may soon get worse. In 2011, RAM Terminals LLC bought 602 acres of land just north of Ironton with the goal of building yet another coal exporting facility, significantly increasing the amount of coal surrounding the community. Air monitoring by community members indicates that the air particulate pollution levels in and around Ironton are already higher than what is deemed safe by international standards. There is tangible anxiety that the construction of yet another open-air coal terminal will only continue this trend.
RAM also plans the extension of a local railroad line to make transportation faster and easier. This would mean open coal cars traveling throughout Plaquemines Parish, potentially contributing to the dust and overall air pollution. The company and the local government have not yet decided where the new rail line will go, but during a community meeting convened to discuss the plan, two of the three options presented to the community would have the train routed directly through the heart of Ironton, yards away from residences.
As this drama plays out in the small Louisiana parish of Plaquemines, domestic and international demand priorities within the coal industry are shifting. The U.S. is slowly phasing out coal-fired power plants, while coal consumption in other regions of the globe is on the rise. Coal is one of the cheapest energy sources available, and many developing nations argue that it is the fastest way to modernize their infrastructure and bring power to their population. Rapid industrialization in Asia, especially in China and India, means that the long-term survival of the U.S. coal industry is increasingly linked to consumers thousands of miles away.
Read more and hear from Ironton residents in Part 2.
* * *
Darin Acosta has spent his entire life exploring and documenting the wetlands, oil infrastructure and forgotten blight of South Louisiana and studied urban and environmental planning at the University of New Orleans. Breonne DeDecker was born near the headwaters of the Mississippi River and now resides at the end of it. She has degrees in photography and sustainable development. 

Their current work, The Airline is a Very Long Road, is an experimental biography of Louisiana, which you can find at airlinehighway.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
PROPOSED RAM COAL TERMINAL - IRONTON, LOUISIANA
Audrey Trufant Salvant’s father is buried less than 50 feet from her front door, in a little mausoleum that sits like an ornament in her yard. As we walk towards it, we pass no fence, road, or anything else to signify that we’ve left her property and entered a communal gravesite. She stops a few feet before the tomb and begins to speak above the wind of a coming storm that passes through the scattered single-wides of the town. Her family, she explains, has been living in Ironton for five generations. “This is home for me,” she says. “My dad’s buried here. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”
Ironton is a tiny working class black community, just three large blocks spread out along the natural levee of the Mississippi River in the coastal parish of Plaquemines. There are perhaps 60 standing structures in the whole town, many of them mobile homes placed among the devastated ruins of Hurricane Isaac. Standing at the grave, Audrey boasts about the pastoral appeal of the town. We glance around and see small homes, thick woods just upriver, and open fields that run along the distant highway. A slim boy in sportsman’s camo hikes his way over the nearby levee to hunt the batture woods along the Mississippi River. A neighbor nods to us as he washes his car. For all the industry that’s encroaching on this hidden place, you’d never know it just by looking. 
The Phillips 66 Alliance oil refinery is located less than two miles upriver; and the Myrtle Grove Midstream Terminal—a mid-river grain elevator—less than two miles towards the coast. A coal export terminal, characterized by massive piles of exposed coal, is three miles downriver. United Bulk, another enormous open air terminal, is right across the river from that. On rainy days, pet coke and coal runs visibly from these terminal sites and into nearby ditches and waterways. Scott Eustis, an environmental wetlands specialist who oversees coastal use permits for the Gulf Restoration Network, captured this image, showing coal runoff making its way into the Mississippi River. On dry days, the wind catches sheets of pulverized mineral dust from the massive piles that sit bare along the river and spreads them for miles around. A film of grain, coal, and particulate from other surrounding industries is evident everywhere in Ironton: on cars, on porches, and inside homes. This dust, many environmentalists and residents worry, contributes to asthma rates in the community.
After returning to Audrey’s house, we settle around her dining room table as she laments the coal-dust piles, smoke stacks, and grain elevators that surround her community on all sides. “We feel that it’s environmental racism,” she says after a pause. “You don’t see this kind of thing anywhere else in the parish other than black communities. I mean,” she stands up to run her finger along the chandelier that hangs above the table, and holds out her hand to reveal a thick cake of dark grey dust on her fingertip, “I justed dusted this thing last week.”
And the situation, she fears, may soon get worse. In 2011, RAM Terminals LLC bought 602 acres of land just north of Ironton with the goal of building yet another coal exporting facility, significantly increasing the amount of coal surrounding the community. Air monitoring by community members indicates that the air particulate pollution levels in and around Ironton are already higher than what is deemed safe by international standards. There is tangible anxiety that the construction of yet another open-air coal terminal will only continue this trend.
RAM also plans the extension of a local railroad line to make transportation faster and easier. This would mean open coal cars traveling throughout Plaquemines Parish, potentially contributing to the dust and overall air pollution. The company and the local government have not yet decided where the new rail line will go, but during a community meeting convened to discuss the plan, two of the three options presented to the community would have the train routed directly through the heart of Ironton, yards away from residences.
As this drama plays out in the small Louisiana parish of Plaquemines, domestic and international demand priorities within the coal industry are shifting. The U.S. is slowly phasing out coal-fired power plants, while coal consumption in other regions of the globe is on the rise. Coal is one of the cheapest energy sources available, and many developing nations argue that it is the fastest way to modernize their infrastructure and bring power to their population. Rapid industrialization in Asia, especially in China and India, means that the long-term survival of the U.S. coal industry is increasingly linked to consumers thousands of miles away.
Read more and hear from Ironton residents in Part 2.
* * *
Darin Acosta has spent his entire life exploring and documenting the wetlands, oil infrastructure and forgotten blight of South Louisiana and studied urban and environmental planning at the University of New Orleans. Breonne DeDecker was born near the headwaters of the Mississippi River and now resides at the end of it. She has degrees in photography and sustainable development. 

Their current work, The Airline is a Very Long Road, is an experimental biography of Louisiana, which you can find at airlinehighway.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
PROPOSED RAM COAL TERMINAL - IRONTON, LOUISIANA
Audrey Trufant Salvant’s father is buried less than 50 feet from her front door, in a little mausoleum that sits like an ornament in her yard. As we walk towards it, we pass no fence, road, or anything else to signify that we’ve left her property and entered a communal gravesite. She stops a few feet before the tomb and begins to speak above the wind of a coming storm that passes through the scattered single-wides of the town. Her family, she explains, has been living in Ironton for five generations. “This is home for me,” she says. “My dad’s buried here. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”
Ironton is a tiny working class black community, just three large blocks spread out along the natural levee of the Mississippi River in the coastal parish of Plaquemines. There are perhaps 60 standing structures in the whole town, many of them mobile homes placed among the devastated ruins of Hurricane Isaac. Standing at the grave, Audrey boasts about the pastoral appeal of the town. We glance around and see small homes, thick woods just upriver, and open fields that run along the distant highway. A slim boy in sportsman’s camo hikes his way over the nearby levee to hunt the batture woods along the Mississippi River. A neighbor nods to us as he washes his car. For all the industry that’s encroaching on this hidden place, you’d never know it just by looking. 
The Phillips 66 Alliance oil refinery is located less than two miles upriver; and the Myrtle Grove Midstream Terminal—a mid-river grain elevator—less than two miles towards the coast. A coal export terminal, characterized by massive piles of exposed coal, is three miles downriver. United Bulk, another enormous open air terminal, is right across the river from that. On rainy days, pet coke and coal runs visibly from these terminal sites and into nearby ditches and waterways. Scott Eustis, an environmental wetlands specialist who oversees coastal use permits for the Gulf Restoration Network, captured this image, showing coal runoff making its way into the Mississippi River. On dry days, the wind catches sheets of pulverized mineral dust from the massive piles that sit bare along the river and spreads them for miles around. A film of grain, coal, and particulate from other surrounding industries is evident everywhere in Ironton: on cars, on porches, and inside homes. This dust, many environmentalists and residents worry, contributes to asthma rates in the community.
After returning to Audrey’s house, we settle around her dining room table as she laments the coal-dust piles, smoke stacks, and grain elevators that surround her community on all sides. “We feel that it’s environmental racism,” she says after a pause. “You don’t see this kind of thing anywhere else in the parish other than black communities. I mean,” she stands up to run her finger along the chandelier that hangs above the table, and holds out her hand to reveal a thick cake of dark grey dust on her fingertip, “I justed dusted this thing last week.”
And the situation, she fears, may soon get worse. In 2011, RAM Terminals LLC bought 602 acres of land just north of Ironton with the goal of building yet another coal exporting facility, significantly increasing the amount of coal surrounding the community. Air monitoring by community members indicates that the air particulate pollution levels in and around Ironton are already higher than what is deemed safe by international standards. There is tangible anxiety that the construction of yet another open-air coal terminal will only continue this trend.
RAM also plans the extension of a local railroad line to make transportation faster and easier. This would mean open coal cars traveling throughout Plaquemines Parish, potentially contributing to the dust and overall air pollution. The company and the local government have not yet decided where the new rail line will go, but during a community meeting convened to discuss the plan, two of the three options presented to the community would have the train routed directly through the heart of Ironton, yards away from residences.
As this drama plays out in the small Louisiana parish of Plaquemines, domestic and international demand priorities within the coal industry are shifting. The U.S. is slowly phasing out coal-fired power plants, while coal consumption in other regions of the globe is on the rise. Coal is one of the cheapest energy sources available, and many developing nations argue that it is the fastest way to modernize their infrastructure and bring power to their population. Rapid industrialization in Asia, especially in China and India, means that the long-term survival of the U.S. coal industry is increasingly linked to consumers thousands of miles away.
Read more and hear from Ironton residents in Part 2.
* * *
Darin Acosta has spent his entire life exploring and documenting the wetlands, oil infrastructure and forgotten blight of South Louisiana and studied urban and environmental planning at the University of New Orleans. Breonne DeDecker was born near the headwaters of the Mississippi River and now resides at the end of it. She has degrees in photography and sustainable development. 

Their current work, The Airline is a Very Long Road, is an experimental biography of Louisiana, which you can find at airlinehighway.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
PROPOSED RAM COAL TERMINAL - IRONTON, LOUISIANA
Audrey Trufant Salvant’s father is buried less than 50 feet from her front door, in a little mausoleum that sits like an ornament in her yard. As we walk towards it, we pass no fence, road, or anything else to signify that we’ve left her property and entered a communal gravesite. She stops a few feet before the tomb and begins to speak above the wind of a coming storm that passes through the scattered single-wides of the town. Her family, she explains, has been living in Ironton for five generations. “This is home for me,” she says. “My dad’s buried here. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”
Ironton is a tiny working class black community, just three large blocks spread out along the natural levee of the Mississippi River in the coastal parish of Plaquemines. There are perhaps 60 standing structures in the whole town, many of them mobile homes placed among the devastated ruins of Hurricane Isaac. Standing at the grave, Audrey boasts about the pastoral appeal of the town. We glance around and see small homes, thick woods just upriver, and open fields that run along the distant highway. A slim boy in sportsman’s camo hikes his way over the nearby levee to hunt the batture woods along the Mississippi River. A neighbor nods to us as he washes his car. For all the industry that’s encroaching on this hidden place, you’d never know it just by looking. 
The Phillips 66 Alliance oil refinery is located less than two miles upriver; and the Myrtle Grove Midstream Terminal—a mid-river grain elevator—less than two miles towards the coast. A coal export terminal, characterized by massive piles of exposed coal, is three miles downriver. United Bulk, another enormous open air terminal, is right across the river from that. On rainy days, pet coke and coal runs visibly from these terminal sites and into nearby ditches and waterways. Scott Eustis, an environmental wetlands specialist who oversees coastal use permits for the Gulf Restoration Network, captured this image, showing coal runoff making its way into the Mississippi River. On dry days, the wind catches sheets of pulverized mineral dust from the massive piles that sit bare along the river and spreads them for miles around. A film of grain, coal, and particulate from other surrounding industries is evident everywhere in Ironton: on cars, on porches, and inside homes. This dust, many environmentalists and residents worry, contributes to asthma rates in the community.
After returning to Audrey’s house, we settle around her dining room table as she laments the coal-dust piles, smoke stacks, and grain elevators that surround her community on all sides. “We feel that it’s environmental racism,” she says after a pause. “You don’t see this kind of thing anywhere else in the parish other than black communities. I mean,” she stands up to run her finger along the chandelier that hangs above the table, and holds out her hand to reveal a thick cake of dark grey dust on her fingertip, “I justed dusted this thing last week.”
And the situation, she fears, may soon get worse. In 2011, RAM Terminals LLC bought 602 acres of land just north of Ironton with the goal of building yet another coal exporting facility, significantly increasing the amount of coal surrounding the community. Air monitoring by community members indicates that the air particulate pollution levels in and around Ironton are already higher than what is deemed safe by international standards. There is tangible anxiety that the construction of yet another open-air coal terminal will only continue this trend.
RAM also plans the extension of a local railroad line to make transportation faster and easier. This would mean open coal cars traveling throughout Plaquemines Parish, potentially contributing to the dust and overall air pollution. The company and the local government have not yet decided where the new rail line will go, but during a community meeting convened to discuss the plan, two of the three options presented to the community would have the train routed directly through the heart of Ironton, yards away from residences.
As this drama plays out in the small Louisiana parish of Plaquemines, domestic and international demand priorities within the coal industry are shifting. The U.S. is slowly phasing out coal-fired power plants, while coal consumption in other regions of the globe is on the rise. Coal is one of the cheapest energy sources available, and many developing nations argue that it is the fastest way to modernize their infrastructure and bring power to their population. Rapid industrialization in Asia, especially in China and India, means that the long-term survival of the U.S. coal industry is increasingly linked to consumers thousands of miles away.
Read more and hear from Ironton residents in Part 2.
* * *
Darin Acosta has spent his entire life exploring and documenting the wetlands, oil infrastructure and forgotten blight of South Louisiana and studied urban and environmental planning at the University of New Orleans. Breonne DeDecker was born near the headwaters of the Mississippi River and now resides at the end of it. She has degrees in photography and sustainable development. 

Their current work, The Airline is a Very Long Road, is an experimental biography of Louisiana, which you can find at airlinehighway.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
PROPOSED RAM COAL TERMINAL - IRONTON, LOUISIANA
Audrey Trufant Salvant’s father is buried less than 50 feet from her front door, in a little mausoleum that sits like an ornament in her yard. As we walk towards it, we pass no fence, road, or anything else to signify that we’ve left her property and entered a communal gravesite. She stops a few feet before the tomb and begins to speak above the wind of a coming storm that passes through the scattered single-wides of the town. Her family, she explains, has been living in Ironton for five generations. “This is home for me,” she says. “My dad’s buried here. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”
Ironton is a tiny working class black community, just three large blocks spread out along the natural levee of the Mississippi River in the coastal parish of Plaquemines. There are perhaps 60 standing structures in the whole town, many of them mobile homes placed among the devastated ruins of Hurricane Isaac. Standing at the grave, Audrey boasts about the pastoral appeal of the town. We glance around and see small homes, thick woods just upriver, and open fields that run along the distant highway. A slim boy in sportsman’s camo hikes his way over the nearby levee to hunt the batture woods along the Mississippi River. A neighbor nods to us as he washes his car. For all the industry that’s encroaching on this hidden place, you’d never know it just by looking. 
The Phillips 66 Alliance oil refinery is located less than two miles upriver; and the Myrtle Grove Midstream Terminal—a mid-river grain elevator—less than two miles towards the coast. A coal export terminal, characterized by massive piles of exposed coal, is three miles downriver. United Bulk, another enormous open air terminal, is right across the river from that. On rainy days, pet coke and coal runs visibly from these terminal sites and into nearby ditches and waterways. Scott Eustis, an environmental wetlands specialist who oversees coastal use permits for the Gulf Restoration Network, captured this image, showing coal runoff making its way into the Mississippi River. On dry days, the wind catches sheets of pulverized mineral dust from the massive piles that sit bare along the river and spreads them for miles around. A film of grain, coal, and particulate from other surrounding industries is evident everywhere in Ironton: on cars, on porches, and inside homes. This dust, many environmentalists and residents worry, contributes to asthma rates in the community.
After returning to Audrey’s house, we settle around her dining room table as she laments the coal-dust piles, smoke stacks, and grain elevators that surround her community on all sides. “We feel that it’s environmental racism,” she says after a pause. “You don’t see this kind of thing anywhere else in the parish other than black communities. I mean,” she stands up to run her finger along the chandelier that hangs above the table, and holds out her hand to reveal a thick cake of dark grey dust on her fingertip, “I justed dusted this thing last week.”
And the situation, she fears, may soon get worse. In 2011, RAM Terminals LLC bought 602 acres of land just north of Ironton with the goal of building yet another coal exporting facility, significantly increasing the amount of coal surrounding the community. Air monitoring by community members indicates that the air particulate pollution levels in and around Ironton are already higher than what is deemed safe by international standards. There is tangible anxiety that the construction of yet another open-air coal terminal will only continue this trend.
RAM also plans the extension of a local railroad line to make transportation faster and easier. This would mean open coal cars traveling throughout Plaquemines Parish, potentially contributing to the dust and overall air pollution. The company and the local government have not yet decided where the new rail line will go, but during a community meeting convened to discuss the plan, two of the three options presented to the community would have the train routed directly through the heart of Ironton, yards away from residences.
As this drama plays out in the small Louisiana parish of Plaquemines, domestic and international demand priorities within the coal industry are shifting. The U.S. is slowly phasing out coal-fired power plants, while coal consumption in other regions of the globe is on the rise. Coal is one of the cheapest energy sources available, and many developing nations argue that it is the fastest way to modernize their infrastructure and bring power to their population. Rapid industrialization in Asia, especially in China and India, means that the long-term survival of the U.S. coal industry is increasingly linked to consumers thousands of miles away.
Read more and hear from Ironton residents in Part 2.
* * *
Darin Acosta has spent his entire life exploring and documenting the wetlands, oil infrastructure and forgotten blight of South Louisiana and studied urban and environmental planning at the University of New Orleans. Breonne DeDecker was born near the headwaters of the Mississippi River and now resides at the end of it. She has degrees in photography and sustainable development. 

Their current work, The Airline is a Very Long Road, is an experimental biography of Louisiana, which you can find at airlinehighway.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
PROPOSED RAM COAL TERMINAL - IRONTON, LOUISIANA
Audrey Trufant Salvant’s father is buried less than 50 feet from her front door, in a little mausoleum that sits like an ornament in her yard. As we walk towards it, we pass no fence, road, or anything else to signify that we’ve left her property and entered a communal gravesite. She stops a few feet before the tomb and begins to speak above the wind of a coming storm that passes through the scattered single-wides of the town. Her family, she explains, has been living in Ironton for five generations. “This is home for me,” she says. “My dad’s buried here. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”
Ironton is a tiny working class black community, just three large blocks spread out along the natural levee of the Mississippi River in the coastal parish of Plaquemines. There are perhaps 60 standing structures in the whole town, many of them mobile homes placed among the devastated ruins of Hurricane Isaac. Standing at the grave, Audrey boasts about the pastoral appeal of the town. We glance around and see small homes, thick woods just upriver, and open fields that run along the distant highway. A slim boy in sportsman’s camo hikes his way over the nearby levee to hunt the batture woods along the Mississippi River. A neighbor nods to us as he washes his car. For all the industry that’s encroaching on this hidden place, you’d never know it just by looking. 
The Phillips 66 Alliance oil refinery is located less than two miles upriver; and the Myrtle Grove Midstream Terminal—a mid-river grain elevator—less than two miles towards the coast. A coal export terminal, characterized by massive piles of exposed coal, is three miles downriver. United Bulk, another enormous open air terminal, is right across the river from that. On rainy days, pet coke and coal runs visibly from these terminal sites and into nearby ditches and waterways. Scott Eustis, an environmental wetlands specialist who oversees coastal use permits for the Gulf Restoration Network, captured this image, showing coal runoff making its way into the Mississippi River. On dry days, the wind catches sheets of pulverized mineral dust from the massive piles that sit bare along the river and spreads them for miles around. A film of grain, coal, and particulate from other surrounding industries is evident everywhere in Ironton: on cars, on porches, and inside homes. This dust, many environmentalists and residents worry, contributes to asthma rates in the community.
After returning to Audrey’s house, we settle around her dining room table as she laments the coal-dust piles, smoke stacks, and grain elevators that surround her community on all sides. “We feel that it’s environmental racism,” she says after a pause. “You don’t see this kind of thing anywhere else in the parish other than black communities. I mean,” she stands up to run her finger along the chandelier that hangs above the table, and holds out her hand to reveal a thick cake of dark grey dust on her fingertip, “I justed dusted this thing last week.”
And the situation, she fears, may soon get worse. In 2011, RAM Terminals LLC bought 602 acres of land just north of Ironton with the goal of building yet another coal exporting facility, significantly increasing the amount of coal surrounding the community. Air monitoring by community members indicates that the air particulate pollution levels in and around Ironton are already higher than what is deemed safe by international standards. There is tangible anxiety that the construction of yet another open-air coal terminal will only continue this trend.
RAM also plans the extension of a local railroad line to make transportation faster and easier. This would mean open coal cars traveling throughout Plaquemines Parish, potentially contributing to the dust and overall air pollution. The company and the local government have not yet decided where the new rail line will go, but during a community meeting convened to discuss the plan, two of the three options presented to the community would have the train routed directly through the heart of Ironton, yards away from residences.
As this drama plays out in the small Louisiana parish of Plaquemines, domestic and international demand priorities within the coal industry are shifting. The U.S. is slowly phasing out coal-fired power plants, while coal consumption in other regions of the globe is on the rise. Coal is one of the cheapest energy sources available, and many developing nations argue that it is the fastest way to modernize their infrastructure and bring power to their population. Rapid industrialization in Asia, especially in China and India, means that the long-term survival of the U.S. coal industry is increasingly linked to consumers thousands of miles away.
Read more and hear from Ironton residents in Part 2.
* * *
Darin Acosta has spent his entire life exploring and documenting the wetlands, oil infrastructure and forgotten blight of South Louisiana and studied urban and environmental planning at the University of New Orleans. Breonne DeDecker was born near the headwaters of the Mississippi River and now resides at the end of it. She has degrees in photography and sustainable development. 

Their current work, The Airline is a Very Long Road, is an experimental biography of Louisiana, which you can find at airlinehighway.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info

PROPOSED RAM COAL TERMINAL - IRONTON, LOUISIANA

Audrey Trufant Salvant’s father is buried less than 50 feet from her front door, in a little mausoleum that sits like an ornament in her yard. As we walk towards it, we pass no fence, road, or anything else to signify that we’ve left her property and entered a communal gravesite. She stops a few feet before the tomb and begins to speak above the wind of a coming storm that passes through the scattered single-wides of the town. Her family, she explains, has been living in Ironton for five generations. “This is home for me,” she says. “My dad’s buried here. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”

Ironton is a tiny working class black community, just three large blocks spread out along the natural levee of the Mississippi River in the coastal parish of Plaquemines. There are perhaps 60 standing structures in the whole town, many of them mobile homes placed among the devastated ruins of Hurricane Isaac. Standing at the grave, Audrey boasts about the pastoral appeal of the town. We glance around and see small homes, thick woods just upriver, and open fields that run along the distant highway. A slim boy in sportsman’s camo hikes his way over the nearby levee to hunt the batture woods along the Mississippi River. A neighbor nods to us as he washes his car. For all the industry that’s encroaching on this hidden place, you’d never know it just by looking.

The Phillips 66 Alliance oil refinery is located less than two miles upriver; and the Myrtle Grove Midstream Terminal—a mid-river grain elevator—less than two miles towards the coast. A coal export terminal, characterized by massive piles of exposed coal, is three miles downriver. United Bulk, another enormous open air terminal, is right across the river from that. On rainy days, pet coke and coal runs visibly from these terminal sites and into nearby ditches and waterways. Scott Eustis, an environmental wetlands specialist who oversees coastal use permits for the Gulf Restoration Network, captured this image, showing coal runoff making its way into the Mississippi River. On dry days, the wind catches sheets of pulverized mineral dust from the massive piles that sit bare along the river and spreads them for miles around. A film of grain, coal, and particulate from other surrounding industries is evident everywhere in Ironton: on cars, on porches, and inside homes. This dust, many environmentalists and residents worry, contributes to asthma rates in the community.

After returning to Audrey’s house, we settle around her dining room table as she laments the coal-dust piles, smoke stacks, and grain elevators that surround her community on all sides. “We feel that it’s environmental racism,” she says after a pause. “You don’t see this kind of thing anywhere else in the parish other than black communities. I mean,” she stands up to run her finger along the chandelier that hangs above the table, and holds out her hand to reveal a thick cake of dark grey dust on her fingertip, “I justed dusted this thing last week.”

And the situation, she fears, may soon get worse. In 2011, RAM Terminals LLC bought 602 acres of land just north of Ironton with the goal of building yet another coal exporting facility, significantly increasing the amount of coal surrounding the community. Air monitoring by community members indicates that the air particulate pollution levels in and around Ironton are already higher than what is deemed safe by international standards. There is tangible anxiety that the construction of yet another open-air coal terminal will only continue this trend.

RAM also plans the extension of a local railroad line to make transportation faster and easier. This would mean open coal cars traveling throughout Plaquemines Parish, potentially contributing to the dust and overall air pollution. The company and the local government have not yet decided where the new rail line will go, but during a community meeting convened to discuss the plan, two of the three options presented to the community would have the train routed directly through the heart of Ironton, yards away from residences.

As this drama plays out in the small Louisiana parish of Plaquemines, domestic and international demand priorities within the coal industry are shifting. The U.S. is slowly phasing out coal-fired power plants, while coal consumption in other regions of the globe is on the rise. Coal is one of the cheapest energy sources available, and many developing nations argue that it is the fastest way to modernize their infrastructure and bring power to their population. Rapid industrialization in Asia, especially in China and India, means that the long-term survival of the U.S. coal industry is increasingly linked to consumers thousands of miles away.

Read more and hear from Ironton residents in Part 2.

* * *

Darin Acosta has spent his entire life exploring and documenting the wetlands, oil infrastructure and forgotten blight of South Louisiana and studied urban and environmental planning at the University of New Orleans. Breonne DeDecker was born near the headwaters of the Mississippi River and now resides at the end of it. She has degrees in photography and sustainable development. 

Their current work, The Airline is a Very Long Road, is an experimental biography of Louisiana, which you can find at airlinehighway.tumblr.com.

HETCH HETCHY, CALIFORNIA 
A venture to California’s Hetch Hetchy Valley —
It was once described by naturalist John Muir as being even more beautiful than Yosemite Valley. When it was dammed to provide water for the Bay Area urban areas, Muir protested:

That anyone would try to destroy [Hetch Hetchy Valley] seems; incredible; but sad experience shows that there are people good enough and bad enough for anything. The proponents of the dam scheme bring forward a lot of bad arguments to prove that the only righteous thing to do with the people’s parks is to destroy them bit by bit as they are able. Their arguments are curiously like those of the devil, devised for the destruction of the first garden. . . .
These temple destroyers, devotees of ravaging commercialism, seem to have a perfect contempt for Nature, and, instead of lifting their eyes to the God of the mountains, lift them to the Almighty Dollar.
Dam Hetch Hetchy! As well dam for water-tanks the people’s cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man.

The Hetch Hetchy Valley has been flooded for 100 years.
* * *
Maxwell K. Tattnall is the English moniker for a travelling student who temporarily lives in California. She fell in love with the American landscapes and when Maxwell isn’t studying or working inside a room for days on end, she is roaming the mountains, forests or shores.” Follow her on Tumblr at blog.bitbonton.com.
This dispatch arrived care of THE AMERICAN GUIDE submission page. Be a guide yourself and send a post from your state: theamericanguide.org/submit.
Zoom Info
HETCH HETCHY, CALIFORNIA 
A venture to California’s Hetch Hetchy Valley —
It was once described by naturalist John Muir as being even more beautiful than Yosemite Valley. When it was dammed to provide water for the Bay Area urban areas, Muir protested:

That anyone would try to destroy [Hetch Hetchy Valley] seems; incredible; but sad experience shows that there are people good enough and bad enough for anything. The proponents of the dam scheme bring forward a lot of bad arguments to prove that the only righteous thing to do with the people’s parks is to destroy them bit by bit as they are able. Their arguments are curiously like those of the devil, devised for the destruction of the first garden. . . .
These temple destroyers, devotees of ravaging commercialism, seem to have a perfect contempt for Nature, and, instead of lifting their eyes to the God of the mountains, lift them to the Almighty Dollar.
Dam Hetch Hetchy! As well dam for water-tanks the people’s cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man.

The Hetch Hetchy Valley has been flooded for 100 years.
* * *
Maxwell K. Tattnall is the English moniker for a travelling student who temporarily lives in California. She fell in love with the American landscapes and when Maxwell isn’t studying or working inside a room for days on end, she is roaming the mountains, forests or shores.” Follow her on Tumblr at blog.bitbonton.com.
This dispatch arrived care of THE AMERICAN GUIDE submission page. Be a guide yourself and send a post from your state: theamericanguide.org/submit.
Zoom Info
HETCH HETCHY, CALIFORNIA 
A venture to California’s Hetch Hetchy Valley —
It was once described by naturalist John Muir as being even more beautiful than Yosemite Valley. When it was dammed to provide water for the Bay Area urban areas, Muir protested:

That anyone would try to destroy [Hetch Hetchy Valley] seems; incredible; but sad experience shows that there are people good enough and bad enough for anything. The proponents of the dam scheme bring forward a lot of bad arguments to prove that the only righteous thing to do with the people’s parks is to destroy them bit by bit as they are able. Their arguments are curiously like those of the devil, devised for the destruction of the first garden. . . .
These temple destroyers, devotees of ravaging commercialism, seem to have a perfect contempt for Nature, and, instead of lifting their eyes to the God of the mountains, lift them to the Almighty Dollar.
Dam Hetch Hetchy! As well dam for water-tanks the people’s cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man.

The Hetch Hetchy Valley has been flooded for 100 years.
* * *
Maxwell K. Tattnall is the English moniker for a travelling student who temporarily lives in California. She fell in love with the American landscapes and when Maxwell isn’t studying or working inside a room for days on end, she is roaming the mountains, forests or shores.” Follow her on Tumblr at blog.bitbonton.com.
This dispatch arrived care of THE AMERICAN GUIDE submission page. Be a guide yourself and send a post from your state: theamericanguide.org/submit.
Zoom Info

HETCH HETCHY, CALIFORNIA 

A venture to California’s Hetch Hetchy Valley —

It was once described by naturalist John Muir as being even more beautiful than Yosemite Valley. When it was dammed to provide water for the Bay Area urban areas, Muir protested:

That anyone would try to destroy [Hetch Hetchy Valley] seems; incredible; but sad experience shows that there are people good enough and bad enough for anything. The proponents of the dam scheme bring forward a lot of bad arguments to prove that the only righteous thing to do with the people’s parks is to destroy them bit by bit as they are able. Their arguments are curiously like those of the devil, devised for the destruction of the first garden. . . .

These temple destroyers, devotees of ravaging commercialism, seem to have a perfect contempt for Nature, and, instead of lifting their eyes to the God of the mountains, lift them to the Almighty Dollar.

Dam Hetch Hetchy! As well dam for water-tanks the people’s cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man.

The Hetch Hetchy Valley has been flooded for 100 years.

* * *

Maxwell K. Tattnall is the English moniker for a travelling student who temporarily lives in California. She fell in love with the American landscapes and when Maxwell isn’t studying or working inside a room for days on end, she is roaming the mountains, forests or shores.” Follow her on Tumblr at blog.bitbonton.com.

This dispatch arrived care of THE AMERICAN GUIDE submission page. Be a guide yourself and send a post from your state: theamericanguide.org/submit.

TENNESSEE WATERSHED 

Photographer Jeff Rich is recording American watersheds for his WPA style project, The Watershed Project. He sends photos from the Tennessee River for AG Week Field Assignment #8: Waterways:

The French Broad is one of two major tributaries to the Tennessee River. Continuing down the system of watersheds that make up the southeastern quarter of the Mississippi River Basin, this portion of the Watershed project examines the Tennessee River Basin. A system of rivers that is for the most part controlled and ultimately harnessed by the Tennessee Valley Authority. A government organization started in 1933 that provides flood control, navigation on the rivers, economic development, and finally electric power production. The TVA operates nearly 50 dams in the Tennessee Watershed, as well as 18 power plants, and 3 nuclear plants.

The original Tennessee guidebook writes of The Tennessee Valley Authority: 

The Tennessee Valley Authority was created by Congress in 1933 to develop the Tennessee River system in the interest of navigation, flood control, and national defense, and to generate and sell surplus electricity to avert waste of water power. … In its program for flood and navigation control, for land reclamation, and for cheap electric light and power the TVA is substituting order and design for haphazard, unplanned, and unintegrated development. Through its social and educational activities it is bringing to this region a consciousness of its own rich natural and human resources. … For this, as well as its more tangible objectives, the TVA is of national importance.

Tennessee, A Guide To the State (WPA, 1939)

Guide Note:See more of The Watershed Project here.

° ° °

Jeff Rich is a photographer based in Iowa City. His work focuses on water issues ranging from recreation and sustainability to exploitation and abuse. Jeff currently teaches photography at The University of Iowa. He also produces “Eyes on the South" for The Oxford American.

Follow him on his website at jeffreyrich.com and on Twitter at @jeffreymrich.

McCOY, WASHINGTON

Swinging southeast, State 3 winds around the slopes of low hills that are cultivated to their very summits. On every hand is evidence of the stability of agriculture in this region: except for an occasional splash of yellow-blooming mustard, the fields are almost free of weeds; houses, barns, and outbuildings are neat and substantial; fence posts are erect and securely set and the strands of barbed wire are taut; new automobiles and trucks are seen very frequently.
—Washington: A Guide to the Evergreen State (WPA, 1941)

The McCoy, Washington, scene as described by Northwesterner Brendan O’Donnell for #AmericanGuideWeek Field Assignment #10: Products and Manufacturing/Industry:

McCoy, Washington, is a spot on Highway 271 (formerly State 3) between Oakesdale and Rosalia in Whitman County. The hills are still cultivated to their very summits, but the machine agriculture that dominates the Palouse has all but obviated the need for barns, outbuildings, fence posts, and barbed wire. 
Looming over the hills on Naff Ridge, just to the south of 271, are the swirling blades and austere white towers of the Palouse Hills Wind Project. The wind is converted into electricity that’s sold elsewhere; the local grid is still mostly powered by hydro-power from the Snake and Columbia rivers.
At McCoy, the tall, boxy, aluminum-clad 1940’s-era grain elevator stands within sight of the new McCoy Grain Terminal. Grain from all over the Palouse is trucked to the Terminal, where it is then dumped into 110-car unit grain trains destined for Portland, Longview, Kalama, Tacoma, and other Northwest ports. There, the crop is transfered to the holds of ships bound for Asia. Their work thus exported, the locals stock their pantries with food grown elsewhere down at Crossett’s Food Market in Oakesdale.

° ° °
Brendan O’Donnell grew up in New York City and Maine, and along the way has called many places home. He’s settled in north Idaho on the eastern edge of the Palouse with his wife and children on a small farm. The Pacific Northwest is his favorite place to have ever called home. 
Follow on Tumblr at onthathill.tumblr.com and on Twitter @BCODonnell. 
Zoom Info
McCOY, WASHINGTON

Swinging southeast, State 3 winds around the slopes of low hills that are cultivated to their very summits. On every hand is evidence of the stability of agriculture in this region: except for an occasional splash of yellow-blooming mustard, the fields are almost free of weeds; houses, barns, and outbuildings are neat and substantial; fence posts are erect and securely set and the strands of barbed wire are taut; new automobiles and trucks are seen very frequently.
—Washington: A Guide to the Evergreen State (WPA, 1941)

The McCoy, Washington, scene as described by Northwesterner Brendan O’Donnell for #AmericanGuideWeek Field Assignment #10: Products and Manufacturing/Industry:

McCoy, Washington, is a spot on Highway 271 (formerly State 3) between Oakesdale and Rosalia in Whitman County. The hills are still cultivated to their very summits, but the machine agriculture that dominates the Palouse has all but obviated the need for barns, outbuildings, fence posts, and barbed wire. 
Looming over the hills on Naff Ridge, just to the south of 271, are the swirling blades and austere white towers of the Palouse Hills Wind Project. The wind is converted into electricity that’s sold elsewhere; the local grid is still mostly powered by hydro-power from the Snake and Columbia rivers.
At McCoy, the tall, boxy, aluminum-clad 1940’s-era grain elevator stands within sight of the new McCoy Grain Terminal. Grain from all over the Palouse is trucked to the Terminal, where it is then dumped into 110-car unit grain trains destined for Portland, Longview, Kalama, Tacoma, and other Northwest ports. There, the crop is transfered to the holds of ships bound for Asia. Their work thus exported, the locals stock their pantries with food grown elsewhere down at Crossett’s Food Market in Oakesdale.

° ° °
Brendan O’Donnell grew up in New York City and Maine, and along the way has called many places home. He’s settled in north Idaho on the eastern edge of the Palouse with his wife and children on a small farm. The Pacific Northwest is his favorite place to have ever called home. 
Follow on Tumblr at onthathill.tumblr.com and on Twitter @BCODonnell. 
Zoom Info
McCOY, WASHINGTON

Swinging southeast, State 3 winds around the slopes of low hills that are cultivated to their very summits. On every hand is evidence of the stability of agriculture in this region: except for an occasional splash of yellow-blooming mustard, the fields are almost free of weeds; houses, barns, and outbuildings are neat and substantial; fence posts are erect and securely set and the strands of barbed wire are taut; new automobiles and trucks are seen very frequently.
—Washington: A Guide to the Evergreen State (WPA, 1941)

The McCoy, Washington, scene as described by Northwesterner Brendan O’Donnell for #AmericanGuideWeek Field Assignment #10: Products and Manufacturing/Industry:

McCoy, Washington, is a spot on Highway 271 (formerly State 3) between Oakesdale and Rosalia in Whitman County. The hills are still cultivated to their very summits, but the machine agriculture that dominates the Palouse has all but obviated the need for barns, outbuildings, fence posts, and barbed wire. 
Looming over the hills on Naff Ridge, just to the south of 271, are the swirling blades and austere white towers of the Palouse Hills Wind Project. The wind is converted into electricity that’s sold elsewhere; the local grid is still mostly powered by hydro-power from the Snake and Columbia rivers.
At McCoy, the tall, boxy, aluminum-clad 1940’s-era grain elevator stands within sight of the new McCoy Grain Terminal. Grain from all over the Palouse is trucked to the Terminal, where it is then dumped into 110-car unit grain trains destined for Portland, Longview, Kalama, Tacoma, and other Northwest ports. There, the crop is transfered to the holds of ships bound for Asia. Their work thus exported, the locals stock their pantries with food grown elsewhere down at Crossett’s Food Market in Oakesdale.

° ° °
Brendan O’Donnell grew up in New York City and Maine, and along the way has called many places home. He’s settled in north Idaho on the eastern edge of the Palouse with his wife and children on a small farm. The Pacific Northwest is his favorite place to have ever called home. 
Follow on Tumblr at onthathill.tumblr.com and on Twitter @BCODonnell. 
Zoom Info
McCOY, WASHINGTON

Swinging southeast, State 3 winds around the slopes of low hills that are cultivated to their very summits. On every hand is evidence of the stability of agriculture in this region: except for an occasional splash of yellow-blooming mustard, the fields are almost free of weeds; houses, barns, and outbuildings are neat and substantial; fence posts are erect and securely set and the strands of barbed wire are taut; new automobiles and trucks are seen very frequently.
—Washington: A Guide to the Evergreen State (WPA, 1941)

The McCoy, Washington, scene as described by Northwesterner Brendan O’Donnell for #AmericanGuideWeek Field Assignment #10: Products and Manufacturing/Industry:

McCoy, Washington, is a spot on Highway 271 (formerly State 3) between Oakesdale and Rosalia in Whitman County. The hills are still cultivated to their very summits, but the machine agriculture that dominates the Palouse has all but obviated the need for barns, outbuildings, fence posts, and barbed wire. 
Looming over the hills on Naff Ridge, just to the south of 271, are the swirling blades and austere white towers of the Palouse Hills Wind Project. The wind is converted into electricity that’s sold elsewhere; the local grid is still mostly powered by hydro-power from the Snake and Columbia rivers.
At McCoy, the tall, boxy, aluminum-clad 1940’s-era grain elevator stands within sight of the new McCoy Grain Terminal. Grain from all over the Palouse is trucked to the Terminal, where it is then dumped into 110-car unit grain trains destined for Portland, Longview, Kalama, Tacoma, and other Northwest ports. There, the crop is transfered to the holds of ships bound for Asia. Their work thus exported, the locals stock their pantries with food grown elsewhere down at Crossett’s Food Market in Oakesdale.

° ° °
Brendan O’Donnell grew up in New York City and Maine, and along the way has called many places home. He’s settled in north Idaho on the eastern edge of the Palouse with his wife and children on a small farm. The Pacific Northwest is his favorite place to have ever called home. 
Follow on Tumblr at onthathill.tumblr.com and on Twitter @BCODonnell. 
Zoom Info
McCOY, WASHINGTON

Swinging southeast, State 3 winds around the slopes of low hills that are cultivated to their very summits. On every hand is evidence of the stability of agriculture in this region: except for an occasional splash of yellow-blooming mustard, the fields are almost free of weeds; houses, barns, and outbuildings are neat and substantial; fence posts are erect and securely set and the strands of barbed wire are taut; new automobiles and trucks are seen very frequently.
—Washington: A Guide to the Evergreen State (WPA, 1941)

The McCoy, Washington, scene as described by Northwesterner Brendan O’Donnell for #AmericanGuideWeek Field Assignment #10: Products and Manufacturing/Industry:

McCoy, Washington, is a spot on Highway 271 (formerly State 3) between Oakesdale and Rosalia in Whitman County. The hills are still cultivated to their very summits, but the machine agriculture that dominates the Palouse has all but obviated the need for barns, outbuildings, fence posts, and barbed wire. 
Looming over the hills on Naff Ridge, just to the south of 271, are the swirling blades and austere white towers of the Palouse Hills Wind Project. The wind is converted into electricity that’s sold elsewhere; the local grid is still mostly powered by hydro-power from the Snake and Columbia rivers.
At McCoy, the tall, boxy, aluminum-clad 1940’s-era grain elevator stands within sight of the new McCoy Grain Terminal. Grain from all over the Palouse is trucked to the Terminal, where it is then dumped into 110-car unit grain trains destined for Portland, Longview, Kalama, Tacoma, and other Northwest ports. There, the crop is transfered to the holds of ships bound for Asia. Their work thus exported, the locals stock their pantries with food grown elsewhere down at Crossett’s Food Market in Oakesdale.

° ° °
Brendan O’Donnell grew up in New York City and Maine, and along the way has called many places home. He’s settled in north Idaho on the eastern edge of the Palouse with his wife and children on a small farm. The Pacific Northwest is his favorite place to have ever called home. 
Follow on Tumblr at onthathill.tumblr.com and on Twitter @BCODonnell. 
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McCOY, WASHINGTON

Swinging southeast, State 3 winds around the slopes of low hills that are cultivated to their very summits. On every hand is evidence of the stability of agriculture in this region: except for an occasional splash of yellow-blooming mustard, the fields are almost free of weeds; houses, barns, and outbuildings are neat and substantial; fence posts are erect and securely set and the strands of barbed wire are taut; new automobiles and trucks are seen very frequently.
—Washington: A Guide to the Evergreen State (WPA, 1941)

The McCoy, Washington, scene as described by Northwesterner Brendan O’Donnell for #AmericanGuideWeek Field Assignment #10: Products and Manufacturing/Industry:

McCoy, Washington, is a spot on Highway 271 (formerly State 3) between Oakesdale and Rosalia in Whitman County. The hills are still cultivated to their very summits, but the machine agriculture that dominates the Palouse has all but obviated the need for barns, outbuildings, fence posts, and barbed wire. 
Looming over the hills on Naff Ridge, just to the south of 271, are the swirling blades and austere white towers of the Palouse Hills Wind Project. The wind is converted into electricity that’s sold elsewhere; the local grid is still mostly powered by hydro-power from the Snake and Columbia rivers.
At McCoy, the tall, boxy, aluminum-clad 1940’s-era grain elevator stands within sight of the new McCoy Grain Terminal. Grain from all over the Palouse is trucked to the Terminal, where it is then dumped into 110-car unit grain trains destined for Portland, Longview, Kalama, Tacoma, and other Northwest ports. There, the crop is transfered to the holds of ships bound for Asia. Their work thus exported, the locals stock their pantries with food grown elsewhere down at Crossett’s Food Market in Oakesdale.

° ° °
Brendan O’Donnell grew up in New York City and Maine, and along the way has called many places home. He’s settled in north Idaho on the eastern edge of the Palouse with his wife and children on a small farm. The Pacific Northwest is his favorite place to have ever called home. 
Follow on Tumblr at onthathill.tumblr.com and on Twitter @BCODonnell. 
Zoom Info
McCOY, WASHINGTON

Swinging southeast, State 3 winds around the slopes of low hills that are cultivated to their very summits. On every hand is evidence of the stability of agriculture in this region: except for an occasional splash of yellow-blooming mustard, the fields are almost free of weeds; houses, barns, and outbuildings are neat and substantial; fence posts are erect and securely set and the strands of barbed wire are taut; new automobiles and trucks are seen very frequently.
—Washington: A Guide to the Evergreen State (WPA, 1941)

The McCoy, Washington, scene as described by Northwesterner Brendan O’Donnell for #AmericanGuideWeek Field Assignment #10: Products and Manufacturing/Industry:

McCoy, Washington, is a spot on Highway 271 (formerly State 3) between Oakesdale and Rosalia in Whitman County. The hills are still cultivated to their very summits, but the machine agriculture that dominates the Palouse has all but obviated the need for barns, outbuildings, fence posts, and barbed wire. 
Looming over the hills on Naff Ridge, just to the south of 271, are the swirling blades and austere white towers of the Palouse Hills Wind Project. The wind is converted into electricity that’s sold elsewhere; the local grid is still mostly powered by hydro-power from the Snake and Columbia rivers.
At McCoy, the tall, boxy, aluminum-clad 1940’s-era grain elevator stands within sight of the new McCoy Grain Terminal. Grain from all over the Palouse is trucked to the Terminal, where it is then dumped into 110-car unit grain trains destined for Portland, Longview, Kalama, Tacoma, and other Northwest ports. There, the crop is transfered to the holds of ships bound for Asia. Their work thus exported, the locals stock their pantries with food grown elsewhere down at Crossett’s Food Market in Oakesdale.

° ° °
Brendan O’Donnell grew up in New York City and Maine, and along the way has called many places home. He’s settled in north Idaho on the eastern edge of the Palouse with his wife and children on a small farm. The Pacific Northwest is his favorite place to have ever called home. 
Follow on Tumblr at onthathill.tumblr.com and on Twitter @BCODonnell. 
Zoom Info
McCOY, WASHINGTON

Swinging southeast, State 3 winds around the slopes of low hills that are cultivated to their very summits. On every hand is evidence of the stability of agriculture in this region: except for an occasional splash of yellow-blooming mustard, the fields are almost free of weeds; houses, barns, and outbuildings are neat and substantial; fence posts are erect and securely set and the strands of barbed wire are taut; new automobiles and trucks are seen very frequently.
—Washington: A Guide to the Evergreen State (WPA, 1941)

The McCoy, Washington, scene as described by Northwesterner Brendan O’Donnell for #AmericanGuideWeek Field Assignment #10: Products and Manufacturing/Industry:

McCoy, Washington, is a spot on Highway 271 (formerly State 3) between Oakesdale and Rosalia in Whitman County. The hills are still cultivated to their very summits, but the machine agriculture that dominates the Palouse has all but obviated the need for barns, outbuildings, fence posts, and barbed wire. 
Looming over the hills on Naff Ridge, just to the south of 271, are the swirling blades and austere white towers of the Palouse Hills Wind Project. The wind is converted into electricity that’s sold elsewhere; the local grid is still mostly powered by hydro-power from the Snake and Columbia rivers.
At McCoy, the tall, boxy, aluminum-clad 1940’s-era grain elevator stands within sight of the new McCoy Grain Terminal. Grain from all over the Palouse is trucked to the Terminal, where it is then dumped into 110-car unit grain trains destined for Portland, Longview, Kalama, Tacoma, and other Northwest ports. There, the crop is transfered to the holds of ships bound for Asia. Their work thus exported, the locals stock their pantries with food grown elsewhere down at Crossett’s Food Market in Oakesdale.

° ° °
Brendan O’Donnell grew up in New York City and Maine, and along the way has called many places home. He’s settled in north Idaho on the eastern edge of the Palouse with his wife and children on a small farm. The Pacific Northwest is his favorite place to have ever called home. 
Follow on Tumblr at onthathill.tumblr.com and on Twitter @BCODonnell. 
Zoom Info
McCOY, WASHINGTON

Swinging southeast, State 3 winds around the slopes of low hills that are cultivated to their very summits. On every hand is evidence of the stability of agriculture in this region: except for an occasional splash of yellow-blooming mustard, the fields are almost free of weeds; houses, barns, and outbuildings are neat and substantial; fence posts are erect and securely set and the strands of barbed wire are taut; new automobiles and trucks are seen very frequently.
—Washington: A Guide to the Evergreen State (WPA, 1941)

The McCoy, Washington, scene as described by Northwesterner Brendan O’Donnell for #AmericanGuideWeek Field Assignment #10: Products and Manufacturing/Industry:

McCoy, Washington, is a spot on Highway 271 (formerly State 3) between Oakesdale and Rosalia in Whitman County. The hills are still cultivated to their very summits, but the machine agriculture that dominates the Palouse has all but obviated the need for barns, outbuildings, fence posts, and barbed wire. 
Looming over the hills on Naff Ridge, just to the south of 271, are the swirling blades and austere white towers of the Palouse Hills Wind Project. The wind is converted into electricity that’s sold elsewhere; the local grid is still mostly powered by hydro-power from the Snake and Columbia rivers.
At McCoy, the tall, boxy, aluminum-clad 1940’s-era grain elevator stands within sight of the new McCoy Grain Terminal. Grain from all over the Palouse is trucked to the Terminal, where it is then dumped into 110-car unit grain trains destined for Portland, Longview, Kalama, Tacoma, and other Northwest ports. There, the crop is transfered to the holds of ships bound for Asia. Their work thus exported, the locals stock their pantries with food grown elsewhere down at Crossett’s Food Market in Oakesdale.

° ° °
Brendan O’Donnell grew up in New York City and Maine, and along the way has called many places home. He’s settled in north Idaho on the eastern edge of the Palouse with his wife and children on a small farm. The Pacific Northwest is his favorite place to have ever called home. 
Follow on Tumblr at onthathill.tumblr.com and on Twitter @BCODonnell. 
Zoom Info

McCOY, WASHINGTON

Swinging southeast, State 3 winds around the slopes of low hills that are cultivated to their very summits. On every hand is evidence of the stability of agriculture in this region: except for an occasional splash of yellow-blooming mustard, the fields are almost free of weeds; houses, barns, and outbuildings are neat and substantial; fence posts are erect and securely set and the strands of barbed wire are taut; new automobiles and trucks are seen very frequently.

—Washington: A Guide to the Evergreen State (WPA, 1941)

The McCoy, Washington, scene as described by Northwesterner Brendan O’Donnell for #AmericanGuideWeek Field Assignment #10: Products and Manufacturing/Industry:

McCoy, Washington, is a spot on Highway 271 (formerly State 3) between Oakesdale and Rosalia in Whitman County. The hills are still cultivated to their very summits, but the machine agriculture that dominates the Palouse has all but obviated the need for barns, outbuildings, fence posts, and barbed wire. 

Looming over the hills on Naff Ridge, just to the south of 271, are the swirling blades and austere white towers of the Palouse Hills Wind Project. The wind is converted into electricity that’s sold elsewhere; the local grid is still mostly powered by hydro-power from the Snake and Columbia rivers.

At McCoy, the tall, boxy, aluminum-clad 1940’s-era grain elevator stands within sight of the new McCoy Grain Terminal. Grain from all over the Palouse is trucked to the Terminal, where it is then dumped into 110-car unit grain trains destined for Portland, Longview, Kalama, Tacoma, and other Northwest ports. There, the crop is transfered to the holds of ships bound for Asia. Their work thus exported, the locals stock their pantries with food grown elsewhere down at Crossett’s Food Market in Oakesdale.

° ° °

Brendan O’Donnell grew up in New York City and Maine, and along the way has called many places home. He’s settled in north Idaho on the eastern edge of the Palouse with his wife and children on a small farm. The Pacific Northwest is his favorite place to have ever called home. 

Follow on Tumblr at onthathill.tumblr.com and on Twitter @BCODonnell. 
AMERICAN WETLANDS AT RISK

The same favorable geographic conditions that gave the Delaware territory a varied and luxuriant flora also made the peninsula a special haven for wild life. … The United States Biological Survey in 1937 purchased 12,000 acres of marsh and upland on the Delaware Bay east of Leipsic, and established the Bombay Hook Migratory Wild Fowl Preserve. The chief importance of this refuge, on the eastern “flyway” used by migratory wildfowl, is as a feeding ground and resting area for wild ducks and geese.
—Delaware, A Guide To the First State (WPA, 1938)

America’s wetlands can take your breath away, but these gorgeous images from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photographers should remind us of what we have to lose. Valerie Fellows of USFWS sends this dispatch for American Guide Field Assignment #5 - National Parks, Monuments and Landmarks and Field Assignment #8 - Waterways:

According to a new report, the United States is losing coastal wetlands at an alarming rate. The report, Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Coastal Watersheds of the Conterminous United States 2004 to 2009, states that more than 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands are being lost each year, totaling 360,720 acres in a 5 year span. 
The Gulf Coast lost the most coastal wetlands, 257,150 acres, followed by the Atlantic Coast which lost 111,960 acres and the Pacific Coast with 5,220 acres. Although the losses along the Pacific Coast were small in comparison to the others, they represent an important component of coastal wetlands in this region, which has a predominantly high, rocky coastline. On the other hand, the watersheds of the Great Lakes region had a net gain in wetland area of 13,610 acres. 
 The loss of wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico is attributed mostly to saltwater wetlands from coastal storms, in combination with freshwater wetland losses in both the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.Large losses of freshwater, forested wetland areas were attributed to urban and rural development and some forestry practices.
Without these wetlands, we risk losing habitat that is vital to the survival of diverse fish and wildlife species. Wetlands also help sustain the nation’s $646 billion dollar outdoor recreation industry, improve water quality, and protect coastal communities from the effects of severe storms—making their loss cause for concern.

Photos:
1. Wetlands at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware. (Tim Williams/USFWS)
2. Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia is home to bald eagles, bottle-nosed dolphins, wild ponies and waterfowl flocks. (Steve Hillebrand/USFWS)
3. View of seabird colonies from the Crook Point Unit of Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. (Roy W. Lowe/USFWS)
* * *
Open Spaces , is the blog from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They’re dedicated to the conservation, protection and enhancement of fish, wildlife and plants, and their habitats. Follow them on Tumblr at fws.tumblr.com and on Twitter at USFWSHQ, like them on Facebook,  and visit them on the web at fws.gov. (But more importantly, visit them in person by enjoying one of the country’s 560 refuges or 38 wetland management districts.)
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AMERICAN WETLANDS AT RISK

The same favorable geographic conditions that gave the Delaware territory a varied and luxuriant flora also made the peninsula a special haven for wild life. … The United States Biological Survey in 1937 purchased 12,000 acres of marsh and upland on the Delaware Bay east of Leipsic, and established the Bombay Hook Migratory Wild Fowl Preserve. The chief importance of this refuge, on the eastern “flyway” used by migratory wildfowl, is as a feeding ground and resting area for wild ducks and geese.

Delaware, A Guide To the First State (WPA, 1938)

America’s wetlands can take your breath away, but these gorgeous images from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photographers should remind us of what we have to lose. Valerie Fellows of USFWS sends this dispatch for American Guide Field Assignment #5 - National Parks, Monuments and Landmarks and Field Assignment #8 - Waterways:

According to a new report, the United States is losing coastal wetlands at an alarming rate. The report, Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Coastal Watersheds of the Conterminous United States 2004 to 2009, states that more than 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands are being lost each year, totaling 360,720 acres in a 5 year span.

The Gulf Coast lost the most coastal wetlands, 257,150 acres, followed by the Atlantic Coast which lost 111,960 acres and the Pacific Coast with 5,220 acres. Although the losses along the Pacific Coast were small in comparison to the others, they represent an important component of coastal wetlands in this region, which has a predominantly high, rocky coastline. On the other hand, the watersheds of the Great Lakes region had a net gain in wetland area of 13,610 acres.

 The loss of wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico is attributed mostly to saltwater wetlands from coastal storms, in combination with freshwater wetland losses in both the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.Large losses of freshwater, forested wetland areas were attributed to urban and rural development and some forestry practices.

Without these wetlands, we risk losing habitat that is vital to the survival of diverse fish and wildlife species. Wetlands also help sustain the nation’s $646 billion dollar outdoor recreation industry, improve water quality, and protect coastal communities from the effects of severe storms—making their loss cause for concern.

Photos:

1. Wetlands at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware. (Tim Williams/USFWS)

2. Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia is home to bald eagles, bottle-nosed dolphins, wild ponies and waterfowl flocks. (Steve Hillebrand/USFWS)

3. View of seabird colonies from the Crook Point Unit of Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. (Roy W. Lowe/USFWS)

* * *

Open Spaces , is the blog from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They’re dedicated to the conservation, protection and enhancement of fish, wildlife and plants, and their habitats. Follow them on Tumblr at fws.tumblr.com and on Twitter at USFWSHQ, like them on Facebook,  and visit them on the web at fws.gov. (But more importantly, visit them in person by enjoying one of the country’s 560 refuges or 38 wetland management districts.)

FRENCH CREEK - CUSTER STATE PARK, SOUTH DAKOTA

Custer State Park, one of the largest State parks in the United States, contains more features of unusual interest than any similar area in the Black Hills. To name a few of them, there is the State Game Lodge that became the Summer White House in 1927, when occupied by the late President and Mrs. Coolidge; Mt. Rushmore, on whose granite face Gutzon Borglum is carving the likeness of four of the greatest Presidents; beautiful Sylvan Lake and Harney Peak, with its tree-shaded trail connecting the two; Legion Lake with its attractive lodge and surroundings; Mt. Coolidge, with its thrilling approach and wonderful view; and the incomparable Needles, those granite spires and minarets, like so many fingers pointing skyward above the trees.
° ° °
(Near Custer and Deadwood, SD.) In 1874 Custer’s expedition discovered gold on French Creek, near where Custer stands. At once various parties set out for the Hills, but many were turned back by the soldiers since this was at that time Indian country. But in the fall of 1875 the Government, after a fruitless parley with the Indians, no longer offered any objections to the entry of white gold seekers and the latter poured into the Hills from every direction in the turbid flood which only a gold rush knows. 
—A SOUTH DAKOTA GUIDE (WPA, 1938) 

South Dakotan Maria Moutsoglou mapped the long and bending French Creek for #AmericanGuideWeek Field Assignment #8: Waterways. She writes of her expedition: 

French Creek trail: dangerous at the best of times, downright treacherous at high water or in rain. The trail is unmarked, and after a couple of miles, there is no visibly trodden footpath. One must either brave the stream and sharp rocks, or bushwhack the banks. I have never seen anyone deep into the French Creek trail, so if you’re looking for adventure and solitude, French Creek is the way to go.

* * *
Maria Moutsoglou is a true-blue South Dakotan. She’s a biophysics graduate student at South Dakota State University and has penchant for exploring America. Follow her on Tumblr at fuckyeahsouthdakota. Find her writing on Tumblr at entangled.tumblr.com. 
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FRENCH CREEK - CUSTER STATE PARK, SOUTH DAKOTA

Custer State Park, one of the largest State parks in the United States, contains more features of unusual interest than any similar area in the Black Hills. To name a few of them, there is the State Game Lodge that became the Summer White House in 1927, when occupied by the late President and Mrs. Coolidge; Mt. Rushmore, on whose granite face Gutzon Borglum is carving the likeness of four of the greatest Presidents; beautiful Sylvan Lake and Harney Peak, with its tree-shaded trail connecting the two; Legion Lake with its attractive lodge and surroundings; Mt. Coolidge, with its thrilling approach and wonderful view; and the incomparable Needles, those granite spires and minarets, like so many fingers pointing skyward above the trees.
° ° °
(Near Custer and Deadwood, SD.) In 1874 Custer’s expedition discovered gold on French Creek, near where Custer stands. At once various parties set out for the Hills, but many were turned back by the soldiers since this was at that time Indian country. But in the fall of 1875 the Government, after a fruitless parley with the Indians, no longer offered any objections to the entry of white gold seekers and the latter poured into the Hills from every direction in the turbid flood which only a gold rush knows. 
—A SOUTH DAKOTA GUIDE (WPA, 1938) 

South Dakotan Maria Moutsoglou mapped the long and bending French Creek for #AmericanGuideWeek Field Assignment #8: Waterways. She writes of her expedition: 

French Creek trail: dangerous at the best of times, downright treacherous at high water or in rain. The trail is unmarked, and after a couple of miles, there is no visibly trodden footpath. One must either brave the stream and sharp rocks, or bushwhack the banks. I have never seen anyone deep into the French Creek trail, so if you’re looking for adventure and solitude, French Creek is the way to go.

* * *
Maria Moutsoglou is a true-blue South Dakotan. She’s a biophysics graduate student at South Dakota State University and has penchant for exploring America. Follow her on Tumblr at fuckyeahsouthdakota. Find her writing on Tumblr at entangled.tumblr.com. 
Zoom Info
FRENCH CREEK - CUSTER STATE PARK, SOUTH DAKOTA

Custer State Park, one of the largest State parks in the United States, contains more features of unusual interest than any similar area in the Black Hills. To name a few of them, there is the State Game Lodge that became the Summer White House in 1927, when occupied by the late President and Mrs. Coolidge; Mt. Rushmore, on whose granite face Gutzon Borglum is carving the likeness of four of the greatest Presidents; beautiful Sylvan Lake and Harney Peak, with its tree-shaded trail connecting the two; Legion Lake with its attractive lodge and surroundings; Mt. Coolidge, with its thrilling approach and wonderful view; and the incomparable Needles, those granite spires and minarets, like so many fingers pointing skyward above the trees.
° ° °
(Near Custer and Deadwood, SD.) In 1874 Custer’s expedition discovered gold on French Creek, near where Custer stands. At once various parties set out for the Hills, but many were turned back by the soldiers since this was at that time Indian country. But in the fall of 1875 the Government, after a fruitless parley with the Indians, no longer offered any objections to the entry of white gold seekers and the latter poured into the Hills from every direction in the turbid flood which only a gold rush knows. 
—A SOUTH DAKOTA GUIDE (WPA, 1938) 

South Dakotan Maria Moutsoglou mapped the long and bending French Creek for #AmericanGuideWeek Field Assignment #8: Waterways. She writes of her expedition: 

French Creek trail: dangerous at the best of times, downright treacherous at high water or in rain. The trail is unmarked, and after a couple of miles, there is no visibly trodden footpath. One must either brave the stream and sharp rocks, or bushwhack the banks. I have never seen anyone deep into the French Creek trail, so if you’re looking for adventure and solitude, French Creek is the way to go.

* * *
Maria Moutsoglou is a true-blue South Dakotan. She’s a biophysics graduate student at South Dakota State University and has penchant for exploring America. Follow her on Tumblr at fuckyeahsouthdakota. Find her writing on Tumblr at entangled.tumblr.com. 
Zoom Info

FRENCH CREEK - CUSTER STATE PARK, SOUTH DAKOTA

Custer State Park, one of the largest State parks in the United States, contains more features of unusual interest than any similar area in the Black Hills. To name a few of them, there is the State Game Lodge that became the Summer White House in 1927, when occupied by the late President and Mrs. Coolidge; Mt. Rushmore, on whose granite face Gutzon Borglum is carving the likeness of four of the greatest Presidents; beautiful Sylvan Lake and Harney Peak, with its tree-shaded trail connecting the two; Legion Lake with its attractive lodge and surroundings; Mt. Coolidge, with its thrilling approach and wonderful view; and the incomparable Needles, those granite spires and minarets, like so many fingers pointing skyward above the trees.

° ° °

(Near Custer and Deadwood, SD.) In 1874 Custer’s expedition discovered gold on French Creek, near where Custer stands. At once various parties set out for the Hills, but many were turned back by the soldiers since this was at that time Indian country. But in the fall of 1875 the Government, after a fruitless parley with the Indians, no longer offered any objections to the entry of white gold seekers and the latter poured into the Hills from every direction in the turbid flood which only a gold rush knows. 

A SOUTH DAKOTA GUIDE (WPA, 1938) 

South Dakotan Maria Moutsoglou mapped the long and bending French Creek for #AmericanGuideWeek Field Assignment #8: Waterways. She writes of her expedition: 

French Creek trail: dangerous at the best of times, downright treacherous at high water or in rain. The trail is unmarked, and after a couple of miles, there is no visibly trodden footpath. One must either brave the stream and sharp rocks, or bushwhack the banks. I have never seen anyone deep into the French Creek trail, so if you’re looking for adventure and solitude, French Creek is the way to go.

* * *

Maria Moutsoglou is a true-blue South Dakotan. She’s a biophysics graduate student at South Dakota State University and has penchant for exploring America. Follow her on Tumblr at fuckyeahsouthdakota. Find her writing on Tumblr at entangled.tumblr.com

WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
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WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
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WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info

WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…

—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.