“Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching – even when doing the wrong thing is legal.” – Aldo Leopold
It’s an Earth Day like no other as the majority of us continue to shelter in place during this Covid-19 pandemic. We won’t be celebrating together in groups or marches this year, but we can still turn our focus to caring for this one and only planet that we have. Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the first anniversary of the Nature First photography movement. I have mentioned before that I am a community advocate for the Rocky Mountain region for Nature First and I am so thankful to have a role where I can make a difference in protecting our natural world. If you haven’t signed up yet to join the movement, please consider doing so on Earth Day here. If you are a member and post on social media today or join today, please use #NFEarthDay so that we can find and feature some of your photos and posts.
This year, Earth Day feels extra special as I am missing our natural world so much right now. I have been photographing birds, foxes, flowers and snow from my house, but I long for the days where I can get back to the mountains, beach, watch wildlife, hike and photograph nature. As I look toward the future, I want to be sure that my focus continues to be on making wise choices that protect our wild places and the wildlife that live there. That includes following all Leave No Trace principles and Nature First principles listed below.
THE NATURE FIRST PRINCIPLES
- Prioritize the well-being of nature over photography.
- Educate yourself about the places you photograph.
- Reflect on the possible impact of your actions.
- Use discretion if sharing locations.
- Know and follow rules and regulations.
- Always follow Leave No Trace principles and strive to leave places better than you found them.
- Actively promote and educate others about these principles
I hope you enjoy a selection of some photos from the last few years in celebration of this special day. We will all get back out in nature soon enough, let’s just make sure we do it the right way. Thanks for reading everyone – Happy Earth Day!