Run Wild Run Free: 50 Years of Wild and Scenic Rivers
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Directed by: Shane Anderson
Released: 2020 (educational)
Year of Production: 2018
Running Time: 44 min
Subtitle Options: English Closed Captions
Subjects: Environmental Studies
Over 60 years ago America was in the peak of the industrial revolution and the nations waterways were dying from dams, water diversions and pollution. The plight of America's rivers caught the attention of twin brothers and renowned wildlife biologists John and Frank Craighead after witnessing the demise of their childhood river the Potomac in Maryland and after hearing of dam proposals on Montana's most wild river where they were studying grizzly bears on the verge of extinction, they knew something must be done as the titans of industry pushed west.
The brothers drafted a river classification system with the hope to protect what remained of wild rivers. Their tenacity and determination was carried to the halls of congress by courageous bi-partisan leaders in the 1960’s where the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was signed into law by president Lyndon Johnson.
The Act has literally saved hundreds of America's iconic rivers and streams from dams, over development and natural resource extraction and 50 years later 289 waterways have been protected totaling over 14 thousand miles. But with over 2.9 million miles of waterways in the country the balance the Craighead brothers were seeking is far from being reached.
Run Wild Run Free takes the viewer through the history to the present of Wild and Scenic as told through experts, grassroots organizers, white water enthusiasts, and members of the Nez Perce tribe in Idaho.
Today in a polarized political climate new designations and river protections have stalled even though there is no time in history more important then now to protect our freshwater ecosystems. We hope this film will inspire and educate people across the country to protect their home river under Wild and Scenic so we can continue this important legacy for future generations to come.
Official Selection of the Wild and Scenic Film Festival 2019 and Colorado Environmental Film Festival 2019
About the filmmaker
Shane Anderson is a former professional downhill skier turned documentary filmmaker.
He has produced all of Pacific Rivers’ films thus far, plus other short and full-length films, commercials, and more. He joined our board in late 2014. That same year he released a feature-length film titled Wild Reverence about the decline of wild steelhead in the Northwest.
His interest in film began in 1998; he worked in the film and television industry in Los Angeles for eight years; and in 2012, he began his own production company, North Fork Studios, which merges his love of the outdoors with his love of visual storytelling and production.