Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wilde gets wild on wilderness

Presentation on Alaska’s salmon and bears is close to Idaho


By SABINA DANA PLASSE
Express Staff Writer

Sockeye salmon migrate upstream in Alaska. Some sockeye also migrate through Idaho to Redfish Lake. Photo by Buck Wilde

"Salmon are the last symbol of iconic untamed water," said Buck Wilde. "It's easy for anyone to come to Idaho's pristine wilderness and think everything is wonderful."

Wilde is a wildlife photographer. He will give a presentation at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum on Friday, March 18, on the relationship between salmon and bears from his experiences and adventures in Alaskan headwaters.

He said the images he will show reflect Redfish Lake's ecosystem from the days of explorer Alexander Ross when sockeye salmon fought the rapids and headed upstream to their final destination only to face a possible death from hungry grizzly bears.

"I'm trying to put together a picture of what Redfish Lake looked like when the red salmon would return in great numbers," Wilde said. "In Alaska, it's off the charts. Fish return by the millions."

Wilde said the recent increase of salmon returns in Alaska has been somewhat of a mystery. He said it could be related to something out at sea.

"Don't let last summer fool you," he said.

He said salmon are on the brink of extinction and conservation is needed.

"When there's a good healthy salmon run, bears survive," he said. "Not all grizzly bears have the opportunity to fish on salmon. Most grizzly bears die in hibernation or starve to death in spring."

Wilde has been leading filmmakers into bear country in Alaska for 20 years, and his vocation isn't without controversy. Outdoor enthusiasts will find his safety principals interesting.

Idaho Rivers United will present "Wilde About Wilderness" with Buck Wilde on Friday, March 18, at 6 p.m. at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum. Tickets are $10 available at the door. A post-show reception will take place at the Roosevelt Grille in Ketchum. For details, call (800) 574-7381.

Signed artist proofs from Wilde's forthcoming grizzly photo book will be on display and for sale in the nexStage Theatre lobby before the show begins.

Sabina Dana Plasse: splasse@mtexpress.com




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