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Trout Unlimited: December 2021

Trout Unlimited Senior Producer Honored by OWAA
Reprinted with permission from Trout Unlimited

As editor-in-chief at Trout Unlimited, I am grateful every day for the talent I get to work with, and every once in a while, I can’t help but trumpet the accomplishments of one of our own. Not just as a matter of pride, but also so our audience and would-be contributors understand just how high the bar is set.

Photographer and filmmaker Joshua Duplechian is such a person. As the senior producer for Trout Unlimited, he is charged with telling the Trout Unlimited story, one campaign and grassroots member at a time. He has formerly been team photographer for the Colorado Rockies team, and worked for ESPN, the New York Times, the Denver Post, the former Rocky Mountain News, the NCAA and others. He’s covered the X Games and the NCAA Final Four, and his work for TU has earned the highest accolades within the outdoor media community.

He was recently honored by the Outdoor Writers Association of America with first-place “Excellence in Craft” honors for the photo essay for Querencia, which appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of Trout Magazine; www.tu.org/magazine
This photo essay about Questa, New Mexico, was compiled by Josh Duplechian and Toner Mitchell and appeared in the winter edition of the TU magazine (https://www.tu.org/querencia/) and was featured in the 12-minute video they produced to tell the Questa story (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3UoEJ-zZAw).

Questa is “querencia,” defined as a sanctuary, a place where one feels secure, from which one’s strength of character is drawn, or simply, “a love of place.” The message in both is more than just about fishing. The narrative of the locals interviewed (Malaquias Rael, Chris Michael, Lori and George Rael, Mayor Mark Gallegos, Cynthia Rael-Vigil, and more) reflects a community in renewal, one with a long history of overcoming adversity, and one that continues to survive and thrive, much like the indigenous Rio Grande cutthroat trout that is native to the Questa area.

Trout Unlimited recognized the parallels; the article explains that “what began [for them] as a project to enhance Questa’s outdoor economy—addressing fishing tourism and additional river restoration projects—became a study into the breadth of cultural traditions held dear by the village and communities like it.” Wildlife biologist Talisa Fuentes, Taos Pueblo expressed it perfectly, “it is important in realizing not only the value of what you have but in protecting it.”
This article and video do both.