The Air We Breathe

I live on the edge of the earth’s largest contiguous temperate rainforest that connects with over 25 million acres of federally protected wild land. Annual precipitation ranges from 25 to 140 inches along this coastal panhandle. It is here that water defines our identity, our way of life, our values, and our survival. Some would argue it is salmon that defines Southeast Alaska as the bounty of nutrient-rich tidal inlets and glacier-fed rivers and streams have provided ample human habitation for thousands of years. Sacred Tlingit song and dance about salmon abundance and return has been passed down for hundreds of years. Salmon fill our freezers and shelves, fuel our regional economy and culture, feed our families and the bears which ultimately feed the forest to complete an inexhaustible cycle of nutrients. As an artist in Alaska, salmon seem an obvious theme to base research on. As I began sifting through the ecological significance of salmon for my own survival,

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