iLCP photographer Miguel Angel de la Cueva just finished his explorations of Baja California’s must rugged and pristine mountain ranges Sierras La Giganta y Guadalupe along with one of Mexico’s most accomplished ecologist Exequiel Ezcurra and Western States Award Winner author Bruce Berger, for 13 months they unveiled relic forests and exuberant oases hidden in remote mountain tops and canyons, the inaccessibility of this places kept this ecosystems pristine , out of reach from cattle, loggers ,copper mining projects and even unregulated tourism, the purpose of this project is to create a book that will promote the conservation of this 650,000 acres natural area.
This survey required complex logistics and mule rides sometimes up to 4 weeks long surveying volcanic peaks in the 5000 to 7000 feet range and canyons up to 2000 feet deep, the photographs and writings are being used now by Niparaja NGO , the Northwest Center for Biological Research CIBNOR and CONANP (Mexico’s National Commission for Natural Protected Areas) in public, government forums and meetings to enforce the creation of a new Biosphere Reserve.
Among the biodiversity that this mountain ranges hold there’s a sub species of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis weemsi) which is listed as highly endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an endemic subspecies of poplar tree named Güeribo and a parasite purple spike orchid , its cultural heritage includes 7.500 + year old cave paintings sites and relic ranch culture.
This is the first time this sky islands are photographed and brought to light, Baja California and its famous coastline have been under a huge amount of pressure due to mega tourism and residential developments with huge thirst for fresh water, protecting this mountain ranges and their valuable resources is a must.
The book La Giganta y Guadalupe will be presented early 2011 along with a traveling exhibit , an upcoming website of this project will be launched soon, for more information on how to support this initiative please send an email to [email protected] and visit Miguel’s website. www.miguelangeldelacueva.com.