Conservation Photography

Imagery from places I am passionate about preserving;  It has been an honor to be able to share pictures and stories from some of the most spectacular places left on earth.  I have put my body and soul on the line to raise awareness and share the spectacular from the farthest flung wilderness areas.  This is the front lines of conservation photography where massive industrial scale projects threaten irreplaceable gems.  Thanks to all who have supported my efforts.

Bristol Bay-Pebble Mine

With the support of Orvis and individuals via a Kickstarter campaign, I spent three months photographing the Bristol Bay region. The full commitment to accomplish this took me from source to sea on multiple rivers, timing locations to coincide with the peak of these legendary salmon runs.  This was done solo, out of a pack raft in the most remote and dangerous locations imaginable. The photos I captured have been featured prominently by innumerable environmental groups and Save Bristol Bay has relied heavily on my images to further the cause. Pebble Mine threatens the Native Subsistence culture of a whole region, a sustainable commercial fishing economy, world class sportfishing, and the ecological gem which is this planets last remaining mega salmon run.  


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An ongoing passion to document the last remaining natives.  Spanning from New Mexico to Alaska, these holdouts exist in only 5% of their original range.  The golden hues and splash red is a sure sign you have found your way into a slice of remaining wilderness.


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Smith River, Montana

A stunning recreational, archaeological, and environmental resource.  The Smith faces a myriad of challenges ranging from dewatering, to ORV use, cattle grazing and the big one, a massive mine that threatens to dewater and pollute this invaluable river corridor.  With the help of concerned people and American Rivers I have been fortunate to spend multiple weeks documenting my backyard river canyon.  

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Olympic Peninsula

     A biological gem, this is simply the most productive temperate rain forest on earth.  Logging, over fishing, dams have all contributed to fish runs being a shadow of their former selves.            

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 Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

North America’s most remote Wilderness; the mighty Brooks Ranges and the Arctic plain feature massive herds of caribou, runs of arctic Char, Grizzly bear, and huge flocks of migratory birds. With the support of Patagonia and supporters I headed to this imperiled region to bring back images in support of preserving this unparalleled region. A true throwback to the ice age, a place of solitude worth preserving forever.  Any trip to the North Slope is a serious undertaking, wild and remote, I spent a month packrafting from the headwaters to the Arctic Ocean.

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Bridger Bowl

 The leading community-run non-profit ski area in the country.  Bridger Bowl has forsaken the real estate model of ski resort development and puts the environment, skiing, affordability, accessibility for all, and fun before all else.

Standing Rock

A soul wrenching journey to where social justice issues and environmental concerns meet. I went here on my own accord.


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 Where this takes me from here is up to all of you.  I dream of someday making it back to Bristol Bay; the Tongass is a place that deserves two summers of my efforts; the northwest is where I grew up and certain stocks of the iconic wild steelhead are on their way to extinction; the planet’s largest golden trout residing high in the Wind River range of Wyoming (a sufferfest of epic proportions); maybe even a trip to Bolivia to photograph ancient ruins of baffling origins. My dreams and heart have always been much larger than my bank account and I thanks everyone who has helped my down this path.

Patrick Clayton