Photographer Eirik Johnson spent three years traveling around Washington, Oregon, and Northern California, focusing on the region’s tenuous relationship between natural resource industries--particularly logging and fishing--and the communities that rely upon them. The resulting images are gathered in Sawdust Mountain, a photographic exploration of a Pacific Northwest that reveals a landscape pervaded by uncertainty, as boomtowns decline in line with the environmental riches that support them.
Johnson, who spent time during childhood hunting for mushrooms in the Cascade and Olympic mountains, describes his photographs as a “melancholy love letter of sorts, my own personal ramblings about a region with which I still very much identify.” Beneath this personal approach is a documentary mission, one that records the fraught relationship between the Northwestern environment and the people that live in it.
The Sawdust Mountain photographs are collected in a 2009 book published by Aperture. You can buy it here.