Monday, July 12, 2010

Dispatches from the field_Miguel Angel de la Cueva_Sierras La Giganta y Guadalupe

iLCP photographer Miguel Angel de la Cueva just finished his explorations of Baja California's must rugged mountain ranges La Giganta y Guadalupe along with Mexico's most acomplished ecologist Exequiel Ezcurra and Western States Award Winner author Bruce Berger, for 13 months they unveiled relic forests and exuberant oases hidden in remote mountain tops and canyons, the inaccessibility of this places kept this ecosystems pristine , out of reach from cattle, loggers ,copper mining projects and even unregulated tourism, the purpose of this project is to create a book that will support the creation of a 1,500,000 acres Biosphere Reserve.

This survey required complex logistics and mule rides sometimes up to 4 weeks long surveying volcanic peaks in the 5000 to 7000 feet range and canyons up to 2000 feet deep, the photographs and writtings are being used now by Niparaja NGO , the Northwest Center for Biological Research CIBNOR and CONANP (Mexico's National Comission for Natural Protected Areas) in public, government forums and meetings to enforce the creation of this Reserve.

Among the biodiversity that this mountain ranges hold there's a sub species of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis weemsi) which is listed as highly endangered by the IUCN, an endemic subspecies of poplar tree named G├╝eribo and a parasite purple spike orchid , its cultural heritage includes 7.500 + year old cave paintings sites.

This is the first time this sky islands are photographed and brought to light, Baja California and its famous coastline have been under a huge amount of pressure due to mega tourism and residential developments with huge thirst for fresh water, protecting this mountain ranges and their valuable resources is a must.

The book La Giganta y Guadalupe will be presented between september and october 2010, an upcoming website of this project will be launched soon, for more information on how to support this iniciative please contact and visit Miguel's website.

Photographer Miguel Angel de la Cueva has been exploring the Baja California peninsula for the last 8 years, his book Oasis of Stone, a representation of Baja California's deserts was a silver Award Winner

in ExpoBook America NY 2006, he also has participated in 3 iLCP RAVES.

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