Platte Basin Timelapse Project
In 2011, Mike and veteran NET film producer Michael Farrell joined forces to examine and document the growing demands of agriculture, municipalities, power generation, recreation and wildlife on the Platte Basin. The keystone of their collaboration is the Platte Basin Timelapse Project (PBT), a private/public partnership with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Nebraska Educational Telecommunications, as well as support from numerous other organizations. By compressing time through timelapse camera technology, we can show the river’s processes in ways that we cannot normally perceive them. And in doing so, inspire a conversation about, and increases our understanding and appreciation of this river that is the lifeblood of our region.
Great Plains: America’s Lingering Wild
When I am photographing prairie wildlife, I often feel like I am chasing ghosts. Photographing the survivors of prairie species whose numbers have been decimated, or all but eliminated from these wide-open spaces. Even on the Platte River, where 500,000 sandhill cranes and millions of ducks and geese find critical refuge each spring, there is the underlying reality that only a fraction of the habitat remains that existed a century ago. – Michael Forsberg
From 2005-2009, Forsberg traveled 100,000 miles crisscrossing the Plains from Canada to Mexico working on a book called Great Plains: America’s Lingering Wild. The main goal of the book project was to put a face on and build appreciation of what many from the outside looking in consider “flyover country.” It explores the wildlife, habitats and conservation challenges in the heart of the continent. The Great Plains – America’s Lingering Wild exhibition opened at Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska in February 2010. It has since traveled to locations across the United States.
In November 2012, the documentary film Great Plains-America’s Lingering Wild was released on NET, Nebraska’s PBS television station. It was released to a national audience by PBS in September, 2013. In the film, Forsberg examines what wildness remains in the Great Plains of North America. Featuring brilliant and stunning imagery, Forsberg meets a host of dedicated people working to keep the wildness alive. The documentary is a co-production of NET Television and Michael Forsberg Photography.
In 1999, Forsberg embarked on a five-year personal mission to photograph and write a book documenting the migration of Sandhill Cranes, On Ancient Wings: The Sandhill Cranes of North America. His goal was to connect the lives of the cranes and their habits across the continent from western Alaska to Cuba. Self-published in 2004, the book was the result of a five-year personal journey of 65,000 miles, 1,000 rolls of film, three 100-page journals, two file drawers jammed full of research and 13 locations in four countries. With stunningly beautiful photography, On Ancient Wings and its accompanying exhibition presents sandhills in their wild, but increasingly compromised habitats today.
Forsberg was also included in the PBS documentary Crane Song, which weaves together striking visuals and majestic sounds of the sandhill cranes’ journey with the stories and insights of the people who observe these creatures, as well as landowners endeavoring to ensure a habitat that is welcoming to cranes.