In the lush Tongass rainforest of Alaska, there’s a remarkable connection between salmon and trees that photographer Amy Gulick has captured through her conservation photography project titled “Salmon in the Trees.” Her stunning images have brought to light a fascinating ecological phenomenon that has long been overlooked.
For centuries, the native Tlingit people of the region have known about the connection between salmon and trees, but it wasn’t until recently that scientists began to study it. What they discovered was nothing short of extraordinary. Salmon, it turns out, are not just a vital food source for humans and animals, but also an important nutrient source for the trees that grow in the Tongass forest.
As salmon swim upstream to spawn and die, they bring with them nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus that are essential for the growth of trees. These nutrients are absorbed by the forest floor and are then taken up by the roots of trees. In fact, up to 25% of the nitrogen in the foliage of trees in the Tongass forest comes from the bodies of salmon.
This incredible ecological relationship inspired Amy Gulick to embark on a project that would document this unique phenomenon through her photography. Through her lens, she captures the stunning beauty of the Tongass forest, the majesty of the salmon that swim upstream to spawn, and the vital connection between these two natural wonders.
One of Gulick’s most captivating images features a tree in the Tongass forest that has been completely uprooted by a massive salmon that had become trapped in the tree’s roots. The image is a powerful testament to the importance of the connection between salmon and trees in the region.
But Gulick’s project goes beyond just stunning images. She’s also using her photography to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the Tongass forest and its delicate ecosystem. The Tongass is the largest remaining temperate rainforest in the world, and it’s home to an incredible array of wildlife, including brown bears, bald eagles, and wolves.
Unfortunately, the Tongass is also under threat from logging and other forms of development. Gulick’s project aims to draw attention to the importance of protecting this unique ecosystem and to inspire people to take action to preserve it.
One of the ways Gulick is doing this is by sharing her images and stories with the public through exhibitions, presentations, and her book “Salmon in the Trees: Life in Alaska’s Tongass Rainforest.” Her book is a stunning tribute to the beauty and diversity of the Tongass forest, and it’s a powerful reminder of why it’s so important to protect this incredible natural wonder.
Through her project, Gulick is helping to change the way people think about the relationship between humans and nature. She’s showing us that we’re not just visitors to this planet, but that we’re part of a delicate ecosystem that we must respect and protect.
Gulick’s work has also inspired others to take action to protect the Tongass forest. In 2020, the United States government announced that it would restore protections for the Tongass that had been removed by the previous administration. This decision was a victory for conservationists who had been fighting to protect the Tongass for years.
But the fight is not over yet. There are still those who would like to see the Tongass opened up for more logging and development. That’s why Gulick’s work is so important. By reminding us of the incredible beauty and ecological importance of the Tongass, she’s helping to inspire a new generation of conservationists to fight for its protection.
Amy Gulick’s “Salmon in the Trees” conservation photography project is a remarkable tribute to the connection between salmon and trees in the Tongass rainforest of Alaska. Her stunning images capture the beauty and diversity of this unique ecosystem, and they remind us of the importance of protecting it for generations to come. Through her work, Gulick has not only brought attention to the ecological relationship between salmon and trees but also to the broader importance of preserving our natural world.
Her images are not just aesthetically beautiful but also tell a story of the interdependence of nature and the need for human intervention to protect it. The photographs are a visual representation of the Tongass forest, the beauty and the biodiversity of the forest and the salmon, and how they are connected. It is through the eyes of Amy Gulick that we get to see the importance of this relationship, and the photographs are the language that she uses to convey the message.
Gulick’s photography project is a powerful tool for conservation and education. It has inspired people to become involved in protecting the Tongass forest, not just in Alaska but across the world. The project has brought the Tongass forest to life, and through it, people can understand how important it is to protect not just the Tongass forest but also all of the world’s natural wonders.
Conservation photography has the power to transform the way we view the world and inspire us to take action. Gulick’s work is a powerful example of this, and her images are a testament to the importance of the Tongass rainforest ecosystem. They serve as a reminder that our actions can have a positive impact on the world around us.Salmon in The Trees