Pre-Law Wastelands

In the 1940s, no environmental laws protected Southern Illinois from coal miners who cleared forests, dug up the earth and changed the entire landscape without regard to the impact on water, air or life. The Pre-Law Wastelands panoramas focus on these historic strip-mine lands and the scars that remain. (continued below…)

Panoramas: 360 degree panoramas of abandoned and reclaimed mine lands of Southern Illinois

Installation views: View the “Pre-Law” panorama’s installed in various galleries across the country.

B&W Portfolio: Gelatin silver prints of various locations being reclaimed in the Southern Illinois Landscape

In photographing these “Pre-Law” sites, it is my intention to remind the viewer how things were before the Clean Air act, the Clean Water act and other environmental protections were enacted. These legislative milestones have stopped similar environmental destruction from continuing. Current political leaders are trying to repeal these laws and other environmental safeguards causing my photography to become more urgent. Through my installations I create a reminder of why such regulations should continue in force.

Sites such as those in my photographs need to stay fresh in our memory. When our political leaders claim protective policies and regulations are not needed, my work stands as proof otherwise. This work graphically demonstrates the importance of modern environmental laws in ensuring that the nation’s most valuable natural resources will be enjoyed by all future generations.