The government’s shutdown but our activism isn’t

By: Chris Talbot-Heindl, January 23, 2019

The government has been shut down for over a month. Deadlines for comment and protest periods have come and gone with no real guidance as to if they will be extended when the government does reopen. National parks are being trashed; Joshua Trees are being chopped down; and science and research has ceased on our public lands.

It’s easy to feel dejected.

But tomorrow, we plan to celebrate.

Tomorrow, Rocky Mountain Wild will host the Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Denver at the Mayan Theatre. The evening will begin at 5:30 pm with an opening reception featuring nine different silent auction packages, a raffle for some great items, some plush stuffed American pikas to adopt (to help fund the citizen science program the Front Range Pika Project), a chance to speak to some of the filmmakers from our local film Sacred Strides, and most important of all: the opportunity to make a real difference in our Citizens Action Hub.

Tomorrow, we plan to take action.

The Citizens Action Hub will feature local direct actions from local environmental organizations. Attendees will be able to sign a petition to show their support for wildlife crossing structures that help species whose habitats are fragmented by highways, and take part in other meaningful actions from local groups like National Parks Conservation Association and the Center for Biological Diversity.

Following the opening reception, Rocky Mountain Wild has chosen to screen nine films from the Wild & Scenic Film Festival’s suite of films that celebrate the outdoors, including our public lands.

Tomorrow, we plan to be inspired.

A Letter to Congress
A Letter to Congress, by Chris Newman, Amani King, and Dalia Burde

The films were specifically selected to inspire and motivate attendees and Rocky Mountain Wild staff alike to continue the cause to keep the Rocky Mountains wild. “A Letter to Congress” features Wallace Stegner’s 1960 letter to Congress about the importance of wilderness and preserving our most valuable heritage – our public lands – which couldn’t be more timely as our public lands have recently been leased at an alarming rate for oil and gas development.

The “(unofficial) History of the National Parks” explains the history of the national parks – well as much as it can in four minutes – and its importance to species, but also the unsung history of its dedication to social justice.

Sacred Strides
Sacred Strides, by Forest Woodward, Marie Sullivan, and Anna Callaghan

Our local film “Sacred Strides” is an emotional look at the sacred indigenous sites that make up the Bears Ears National Monument and the Sacred Strides Healing Prayer Run, when a group of tribes put their differences aside and came together to run 800 miles to Bears Ears and sent a message of unity.

Our government may be shut down, but we are not. We plan to celebrate, take action, and be inspired by the people and organizations who participate in, protect, and conserve our public lands with their feet, their voice, their actions, and their science.

We hope that you’ll join us.

Furloughed Government Workers: we have some complimentary seats reserved for you! If you would like to come to the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, please email Chris. They will be allotted on a first-come, first-served basis while tickets last.

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A huge thank you to our sponsors, without whom this event would not be possible:

Be Hippy LogoCenter for Biological Diversity LogoColorado Office of Film, Television, and Media LogoThe Wilderness Society logo

Colorado EcoWomen
Conservation Colorado
Defenders of Wildlife
Denver Zoo
Fall Into Place Organizing
National Parks Conservation Association
People and Pollinators Action Network
Wild Connections
WildEarth Guardians
Women of Denver

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