Walk the Burn
This project started as a story Lisa had pitched to an outdoor magazine who was interested in seeing the completed piece; a 30-day study of a controlled burn area for a photo/text article. However, along with the regrowth of the study area, something unexpected happened: a book idea grew out of the regrowth of Walk the Burn, and Lisa started an eagle nest study, and a couple of other projects.
The goal was to find a new species every day. Lisa spent over 600 consecutive days, driving to and from the former town of Beaver, Minnesota; documenting life as she found it on land the state purchased to become part of the wildlife refuge.
Over the seven seasons, Lisa burned out many DSLR cameras, lenses, flash cards that couldn't keep up with her shooting – over a million images – to record her stories in the valley, or the weather elements.
Walk the Burn documents the life as Lisa found it, a study of the flora and fauna and the regrowth of the land over time; and the harassment Lisa endured while trying to record it.
Under the advisement from two editors, one who shared with Lisa a spiritual message that Lisa would understand, in time, what to include in the book. The second editor believed Lisa should disclose the controlled burn and regrowth portion of the only. Lisa held the book back, for the past decade, to think over it.
This book has been on hold because Lisa couldn't release the book as it was, not with 80% of it destroyed by a group of people whose purposeful and willful destruction of her projects: people who followed her steps, left bullet shells and casings at her daily stops, chopped down or completely off the study plants and trees; they placed dead animal parts (heads and guts) killed subjects; they tampered with her truck, destroyed the life she found and documented while trying to scare her off the land.
She prayed and thought deeply what she should do with the book. Over time, she began to understand the deeper meaning of her project, the one her first editor told her she would. After much prayer, she decided to publish the book showing what she found, daily, the good and the bad, wasn't that the point?
Do you let bullies destroy the good in your heart and the beauty around it? By not publishing the book, she was only fueling the eternal rot in their hearts; the confused fury in their minds; people that continued to harass her on other documentaries for 15 years.
This book discloses both the beauty and the pure evil minds of people involved who did everything possible to destroy every step of her work, to protect their "projects": starting with the first bullet shell placed in front of one of her daily stops.
Lisa designed two covers for this book. One cover pictures the flames lapping the trees and may have been the obvious choice. However, in Lisa's 680+ days in the Whitewater Valley, thorough her experience, it was the clouded version that presented itself first while she walked, daily. It pictures what she saw: the view of people who pretended to be friends clouding her view, when, in reality looking through the flames offered the a clearer view, it didn't picture or mirror her true experience.
As time moved thorough her thoughts, and she decided the photo with the flames made it the right cover choice, the one that she first saw, leaving the smoky version of her days, behind on the back cover.
This is one of the several documentaries Lisa recorded in the Whitewater Valley of Minnesota.