Aloha ʻĀina: Panther Creek Falls

11138090_10153370819949201_8305962658228471833_nThis is a much more subtle and less seen view of Panther Creek Falls. A lot has been written in the past few weeks about the ecological damage that has been done to many of these areas in the Pacific Northwest by folks who just seem so focused on visiting the area and getting the shots that they completely forget the notion of conservation and treading lightly. It had been around a year since my last trip to the falls and I honestly couldn’t believe the amount of new trails, stripped moss and disrepair in the area. We take photos of these areas because we think they are absolutely beautiful and convey an emotion and a very strong connection with the land and to show others the beauty that may not be able to see in person. The other side to that message is that our photos often draw hundreds of people to these areas who may not fully understand just how fragile the land or ʻĀina is. I think it’s very important for anyone that visits to realize that these places have a finite lifespan given the amount of traffic they receive and if we want future generations to enjoy these areas we need to do our part to tread lightly, educate the public as much as possible and respect the lands.

The phrase Aloha ʻĀina is close to my heart for many reasons and I think it’s especially true in this day and age. It essentially means “love of the land” and is a central ancient Hawaiian ideology conserved by many native Hawaiians today including members of my family that still reside in the islands. Those two words embody the connection that the Hawaiian people have with the lands in which they live. Respect the land and it will give back so much more. Much aloha everyone and tread lightly!

Panther Creek Falls, WA


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