Environmental Conservation through the Eyes of a Photographer

In 2017 I was introduced to the Pacific Crest Trail through one of my favorite places in the United States, Cascade Locks, Oregon.

I had been visiting the area for a couple years and I instantly fell in love with the Columbia River Gorge.

It was the news about the Eagle Creek fire that I fully introduced me to the PCT community. Heart broken I set out to find ways to give back to the community. I became a trail angel for the Shasta/Trinity sections, joining in on the adventure, learning as much as I could and taking portraits of hikers along the way.

I realized how fragile the trails were and how much impact we had on the beautiful landscapes. I was still completing my undergrad in the environmental sciences at the time, but I already knew that soon enough I would set out to complete the entire Pacific Crest Trail.

My 2022 PCT Thru-Hike Project

A couple years later, here I am ready to start my journey. March 5, 2022 will be my start date. I have been physically and mentally prepared for years, and it is finally the right time. As a professional landscape/adventure photographer I am of course excited to take some of the best photos of my entire career. But as an environmentalist I am more excited to promote sustainability and conservation on trail.

I have seen the devastation that climate change and human activity has had on our trails, and I want to set out to make us more aware of the impact we have as hikers. I trust that most of us are practicing Leave No Trace, following fire safety, and doing as much as we can to take care of the trail, but it saddens me to see each year folks who could care less about the beautiful environment they are lucky to get to explore.

For the last year I have talked to some of the outdoor recreation industry leaders, the community members, and the hikers themselves about how we can be better stewards of the environment. I started a project to promote the importance of environmental conservation, and specifically highlight the beautiful landscapes that are found on the Pacific Crest Trail. Like the old adage states, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Follow along @roamwiththomas & @thomasallie.photo as I explore sustainable thru-hiking methods and share ways we can be better stewards of the environment.

Exploring Pinnacles National Park

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