Outdoors

Wild & Scenic

By activists, for activists

Attend

What: Wild & Scenic Film Festival

When: 6 pm Fri., Oct. 11

Where: Lincoln Theatre, Mount Vernon

Cost: $15-$25

Info: http://www.lincolntheatre.org

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Five species of salmon and three species of seagoing trout make their way through the Skagit River watershed each year and, since 1990, the Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group has been working to involve communities in habitat restoration and watershed stewardship in order to enhance their dwindling populations.

As stewards of the land who are dedicated to restoring salmon for future generations, SFEG knows that sometimes it’s better to show people than to tell them about why they should care about the environment. It’s one reason they host a showing of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival at the Lincoln Theatre every year.

Described as being a film festival “by activists for activists,” the event put on by the South Yuba River Citizen’s League—who hold their flagship festival in Nevada City in January—takes its message on the road to more than 250 events each year, partnering with entities such as the Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group who are already working to protect and restore the important places in their communities. In doing so, they help generate funds and increase awareness for grassroots environmental causes.

Although the films are often beautifully shot and interesting to watch, they’re also an urgent call to action for a planet in peril. A glance at the short films on this year’s roster covers an array of concerns.

In Hear the Call: Salmon Nation, singer Ashleigh Ball of Hey Ocean! travels with filmmaker Josh Thome to the remote coast of British Columbia. There, marine biologist Alexandra Morton and First Nations Chief Ernest Alfred are on the front lines of a battle that will decide the fate of wild salmon and the coastal ecosystem that depends on them.

Ben Moon’s Grizzly Country follows author and naturalist Doug Peacock, a Vietnam veteran who has spent years in the wilds of Montana and Wyoming observing grizzly bears and changing his life by fighting for the animals and their habitat and protection. Another animal-focused short, Great Old Broads for Wolves addresses a group of women fighting to keep southwestern Colorado’s wilderness an intact and natural environment.

Also on the lineup are films about hibernating animals (L’orchestre D’hibernation Animaux), interplanetary intrigue (A New View of the Moon and Moonline), ways to mitigate climate change (Blue Carbon), scientists investigating the principal tributary of the Amazon (Confluir), and others.

To find about more about local issues before addressing the global ones, show up early for a pre-film reception, have a drink, listen to music and get details about how you can help SFEG continue their environmental activism. Maybe you’ll even be inspired to make a movie about it.

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