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    Patagonia's Rio Baker - What Will Be Lost

    BELTRA_0001 On the heels of our latest (and final) update from the Rios Libres team, we have this information from our friends at the International League of Conservation Photographers who are working hard to fight dams on the Rio Baker in Chile. Understanding the importance of images in environmental debates, the League of Conservation Photographers use their time and expertise to, as their mission states, "bring conservation into focus."

    Noel Vidal, a quiet man from the small coastal village of Caleta Tortel,near the mouth of the Rio Baker in Chile, sums it up best  "Las presas son el principio del fin para Patagonia." - "The dams are the beginning of the end for Patagonia."

    Enel, a multinational company, plans to build 5 massive dams on two of Chile's most pristine rivers - the Rio Baker and the Rio Pascua. The dams will flood 11,000 acres of wild land, displace families, and bring 1200 miles of 200 foot high transmission lines to the wild south.  These dams will provoke a development rush in Patagonia, stripping the region of its wild character.

    The International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) iLCP in partnership with The Patagonian Foundation (TPF) and support from Patagonia,Inc. dispatched a team of renowned photographers and photo activists (Daniel Beltra, Jack Dykinga, Jeff Foott, Bridget Besaw, and Ruth Cohen) to document the landscapes, wildlife, and cultures of the Aysen Region as part of a RAVE or Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition to aid the ongoing campaign against the proposed dams.

    Visit their website and the Sin Represas website at to learn more about the issue.

    Hit the jump for more photos from the group's recent RAVE to Patagonia.

    [Aysen, Chile. February 17th 2010. The confluence of rivers Baker and Nef where one of the big dams for Hidroaysen is projected..©Daniel Beltra]

    Aysen, Chile. February 15th 2010. Headwaters of the Pascua River as seen from a flight above the areas that will be affected by the Hydroaysen project. The project hopes to build a series of dams on the Pascua and Baker Rivers. ©Daniel Beltra

    Aysen, Chile. February 15th 2010. Baker River estuary area seen from a flight above the areas that will be affected by the Hydroaysen project. ©Daniel Beltra.

    Guanacos onthe grasslands of the Chacabuco. Copyright© Jack Dykinga, all rights reserved.

    Aysen, Chile. February 20th 2010.On the Estancia Chacabuco, the future Patagonia National Park. ©Daniel Beltra

    Rio el Salto flowing into Rio Baker. Copyright © Jack Dykinga, all rights reserved

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