Located off the southeast coast of Alaska, Bristol Bay is known for its pristine waters, world-class fisheries and stunning beauty. Bristol Bay’s natural beauty helps drive the local economy through tourism, and commercial and recreational fishing. Bristol Bay provides important habitat for many species, including the threatened Stellar’s eider, sea otters, seals, walruses, Beluga and Killer whales.

Today, President Obama designated the waters of Bristol Bay as off limits from future oil and gas development — a step that will help the region’s economic and cultural heritage. Watch this video to see this action is important.

Read Secretary Jewell’s response: http://on.doi.gov/1GNfmuq

Top photo of the Unimak Island, Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge by Kristine Sowl, usfws.

Bottom photo of a humpback whale surrounded by Shearwaters by Brenda Rone, NOAA.

With its 800,000 acres, spanning two deserts and three of California’s ecoregions, Joshua Tree National Park offers visitors endless opportunities for exploration and discovery. Pictured here is the park’s iconic Joshua Tree. Photo by Robb Hannwacker, National Park Service.

Broken Mountain

Those of you who have following my work for some time now will know that I have a… fondness for unusual geography. During me and Lisabet’s expedition down Glen Etive, I spotted this rather unusual peak that I wanted to find a good composition for. It looks like the remnants of a huge landslip, leaving behind this small peak that juts out from the main mountain. It is known as An Grianan (494m/1621ft), joined with the main ridge of Beinn Ceitlein (pronounced Ben CESH-tlen, meaning “Caitlin’s Hill”: 834m/2,736ft), itself a subsidiary of Stob Dubh (pronounced Stob DOO, meaning “The Dark Peak”: 883m/2896ft).

Glen Etive, Argyll & Bute, Highlands, Scotland.

If you like the way my photos look, I have a free HDR photography tutorial using free and open-source software, so it costs you nothing!

Full-res versions of the photo for personal PC/mobile wallpaper use, as well as enquiries for prints, are available by request, just ask me.

“Broken Mountain” by Ian Hex of LightSweep is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on a work at http://www.lightsweep.co.uk.

“The great fact in life, the always possible escape from dullness, was the lake. The sun rose out of it, the day began there; it wa s like an open door that nobody could shut. The land and all its dreariness could never close in on you. You had only to look at the lake, and you knew you would soon be free.”

Willa Cather