Public Trust Film

[Photo from imdb.com]

Do you care about public lands and believe conservation should be emphasized in their management? Then this virtual event is for you.

Castle Valley resident Harry Holland has organized a free online screening of the film “Public Trust,” on Thursday, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. The event will be live-streamed with a panel discussion with representatives from several local environmental groups.

“Public Trust” focuses mostly on three places: Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument, Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. In each area, significant conservation policies put in place during the Obama Administration are being rolled back under the current administration. The film contends this is contrary to the interests and wishes of the majority of Americans.

Holland said he got the idea to screen the film from a fellow Castle Valley resident who had seen the film and thought it would be of interest to others in the area because it talks about issues and struggles related to Bears Ears National Monument.

The panel discussion will include Nate Vosburg from the Rural Utah Project, Sarah Fields from Uranium Watch, Neal Clark from the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and John Weisheit from Living Rivers. They will speak about their organizations and what they are working on regarding public lands.

“Southeast Utah has some pretty amazing individuals and organizations that are dedicated to protecting this area,” Holland said. “I thought this would be a good opportunity for some of them to let an audience know what they’re doing right here in the Moab area.”

“Public Lands” is the second full-length feature from director David Garrett Byars, who previously directed 2017’s “No Man's Land,” a documentary about the 2016 occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, and “Recapture,” a short documentary chronicling the attempt of conservative activists to reclaim a road through the federally-managed Recapture Canyon in San Juan County.

The film was produced in collaboration with Patagonia, whose website says the film uses “extensive research and interviews with tribal leaders, government whistleblowers, journalists and historians” to “follow the people who are fighting back against the destruction of public lands and the forces they are up against.”

While Holland is a member of the Castle Valley Town Council, he said that due to the film possibly being controversial, he wants to be clear that he is organizing it as a resident and not a council member.

Those interested in attending should email Holland at publiclandsutah@gmail.com. Participants will be emailed a link to a Zoom meeting for the live panel that starts at 7 p.m. and a separate link to watch the movie following the panel at 7:45 p.m.