Photographer Shares Images Of Penokee Hills In New Book

Joel Austin Has Spent Three Years Taking Pictures Of Penokees


A photographer who spent three years taking pictures of the Penokee Hills in Northern Wisconsin is touring the state and discussing his new book, “Discovering the Penokees.”

Joel Austin moved to the small Bayfield County community of Moquah a few years ago. He discovered the Penokee Hills about an hour southeast of his new home and spent about three years taking photos of the area during every season. He says he finds the area incredible.

“It’s got lakes, it’s got trout streams – there’s almost everything you can reasonably hope for,” said Austin. “There’s not one place that really stands out, it’s that there’s so many nice places really chose together.”

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“Discovering the Penokees” includes 100 of Austin’s photos, and also features essays written by others. He hopes the publication helps show that supporters and opponents of the proposed Gogebic Taconite mine near Mellen want the same thing.

“When it comes down to it, they have a common interest,” said Austin. “They both want a healthy community. They shouldn’t be fighting.”

Austin says the iron ore mine would provide some jobs, but he asks whether it would bring economic health to the area.

Austin is meeting with groups around the states, promoting his book. He will be at the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee on Tuesday night.