Is “public trust” an oxymoron these days?

In Magazine by Christine BenedettiLeave a Comment

Aspen Film and Wilderness Workshop Present Virtual Screening of Public Lands Documentary

“Public Trust” Released in Advance of National Public Lands Day
Aspen, Colo.

— In a time of growing polarization, Americans still share something in common: 640 million acres of public land—but even these are under threat. In partnership, Aspen Film and Wilderness Workshop present “Public Trust,” an award-winning documentary by Patagonia that explores three conflicts on public lands, and makes a case for the continued protection of America’s most spectacular assets.

The film toured the festival circuit earlier this year, winning numerous awards including MountainFilm’s Audience Award and a DocLands Official Selection.

Viewers will receive exclusive access to stream the film Sept. 23-26. National Public Lands Day is Saturday, Sept. 26. The screening is free of charge with a suggested donation of $20, which directly benefits both local nonprofits.

Register and donate here.

Attendees will also receive a link to recorded panel discussion featuring Angelo Baca, a cultural activist, scholar, filmmaker and a doctoral student in anthropology at New York University who is featured in the
film; Judy Fox-Perry, a rancher in the Thompson Divide, and local public lands advocate; and moderator Will Roush, Wilderness Workshop’s executive director.

The film examines three specific issues—a national monument in the Utah desert, a proposed mine in the Boundary Waters, and oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—to examine how private interests
are competing with public demand to protect these areas that are strongholds against climate change, sacred to native people, home to wildlife and intrinsic to our national identity. It is directed by David Garrett Byars (“No Man’s Land”) and produced by Yvon Chouinard, Robert Redford and Jeremy Hunter Rubingh.

“Aspen Film is proud to be able partner with Wilderness Workshop, an esteemed area nonprofit, to shed light on such a salient issue as the preservation of public land. This partnership is a perfect example of
how film is able to illustrate a real-life situation, offer solutions and explain what is at stake,” says Aspen Film Executive + Artistic Director, Susan Wrubel. “‘Public Trust’ is not only a well-made and special film, but also one that informs and advocates for the people who have dedicated their lives to ensuring the duration of some of the most fragile and special places in our nation.”

Wilderness Workshop is the conservation watchdog of nearly 4 million acres of public lands in western Colorado. Using science, the law and grassroots activism, WW works to keep the White River National Forest and nearby BLM lands more or less “as is” and, where possible, to restore wildness to this nationally important landscape. Founded in 1967, the Wilderness Workshop has earned a national reputation for passionate advocacy, grassroots effectiveness, and scientific authority. It is the only nonprofit organization that’s devoted to protecting these particular public lands on a full-time basis.

Established in 1979, Aspen Film is one of Colorado’s most active film arts organizations, presenting dynamic programs and featured guest artists throughout the year. Internationally recognized, Aspen Film organizes a major film event in every season, along with an extensive education program: Aspen Filmfest, Academy Screenings, Aspen Shortsfest and FilmEducates. With a mission to enlighten, enrich, educate and entertain through film, Aspen Film stimulates thought, encourages dialogue and broadens understanding of our world and selves through the diverse
spectrum of ideas presented by filmmakers worldwide.