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'5,000 Miles of Wild': New Film Celebrates Wild and Scenic Rivers
By Amy Souers Kober
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act—a landmark law protecting outstanding, free-flowing rivers nationwide. As part of our celebration of this milestone, we are releasing a new film on Tuesday, 5,000 Miles of Wild.
Combining stunning scenery with insightful commentary on the state of river conservation from Senator Tom Udall, Ted Roosevelt IV, American Rivers President Bob Irvin, Rio Grande Riverkeeper Jen Pelz, river guide Austin Torios and others, this film is a powerful call to action for protecting our country's remaining wild rivers for future generations.
The film was shot earlier this year by filmmaker Ben Masters during a trip on the Wild and Scenic Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park. A New Yorker story, published in May, captures some "behind the scenes" of the film shoot and details the issues facing the river.
Aerial of Big Bend National Park and the Rio GrandeBen Masters
It was an honor to have Senator Udall from New Mexico with us on the trip. In the film, he talks about his his father Stewart Udall, who was secretary of the interior under President Johnson, and integral to creating the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Ted Roosevelt IV, whose great-grandfather was the 26th president of the U.S., shares his perspective on our nation's conservation history and advice for today's river advocates.
We want this film to broaden awareness about the importance of protecting wild rivers, and spark positive action: viewers can visit www.5000miles.org to sign a petition supporting protection of 5,000 new miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers nationwide.
There are a million reasons why we need more Wild and Scenic Rivers. To see some examples, read through the personal stories shared on the 5,000 Miles of Wild site, then share your own.
"We need to be doing more, not less, to protect the rivers that give us clean drinking water, unsurpassed recreation opportunities, fish and wildlife habitat, and connections to culture and our shared heritage," said David Moryc, senior director of river protection for American Rivers.
"Together with our partners and supporters, we are advancing vision for the next 50 years of river protection in our country."
The official anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act is Oct. 2, 2018.
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Tuna auctions are a tourist spectacle in Tokyo. Outside the city's most famous fish market, long queues of visitors hoping for a glimpse of the action begin to form at 5 a.m. The attraction is so popular that last October the Tsukiji fish market, in operation since 1935, moved out from the city center to the district of Toyosu to cope with the crowds.
gmnicholas / E+ / Getty Images
Kristan Porter grew up in a fishing family in the fishing community of Cutler, Maine, where he says all roads lead to one career path: fishing. (Porter's father was the family's lone exception. He suffered from terrible seasickness, and so became a carpenter.) The 49-year-old, who has been working on boats since he was a kid and fishing on his own since 1991, says that the recent warming of Maine's cool coastal waters has yielded unprecedented lobster landings.
The climate crisis is getting costly. Some of the world's largest companies expect to take over one trillion in losses due to climate change. Insurers are increasingly jittery and the world's largest firm has warned that the cost of premiums may soon be unaffordable for most people. Historic flooding has wiped out farmers in the Midwest.
Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.
'We Should Be Retreating Already From the Coastline,' Scientist Suggests After Finding Warm Waters Below Greenland
By Johnny Wood
The Ganges is a lifeline for the people of India, spiritually and economically. On its journey from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, it supports fishermen, farmers and an abundance of wildlife.
The river and its tributaries touch the lives of roughly 500 million people. But having flowed for millennia, today it is reaching its capacity for human and industrial waste, while simultaneously being drained for agriculture and municipal use.
Here are some of the challenges the river faces.
By Jake Johnson
As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.
Speaking during a conference in Washington, DC in June, Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), touted "model legislation" that states across the nation have passed in recent months.
AFPM represents a number of major fossil fuel giants, including Chevron, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.
"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Morgan, citing Dakota Access Pipeline protests as the motivation behind the aggressive lobbying effort. "We're up to nine states that have passed laws that are substantially close to the model policy that you have in your packet."
Big Oil is now using its political power to try and criminalize protests of oil & gas infrastructure.— Friends of the Earth (@foe_us) August 19, 2019
"This legislation has potential to punish public participation and mischaracterize advocacy protected by the First Amendment."https://t.co/bmiHjONEhy
The audio recording comes just months after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law legislation that would punish anti-pipeline demonstrators with up to 10 years in prison, a move environmentalists condemned as a flagrant attack on free expression.
"Big Oil is hijacking our legislative system," Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network said after the Texas Senate passed the bill in May.
As The Intercept's Lee Fang reported Monday, the model legislation Morgan cited in his remarks "has been introduced in various forms in 22 states and passed in ... Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota."
"The AFPM lobbyist also boasted that the template legislation has enjoyed bipartisan support," according to Fang. "In Louisiana, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the version of the bill there, which is being challenged by the Center for Constitutional Rights. Even in Illinois, Morgan noted, 'We almost got that across the finish line in a very Democratic-dominated legislature.' The bill did not pass as it got pushed aside over time constraints at the end of the legislative session."
Many of the state bills restricting the right to protest have been "drafted by companies and passed through groups like ALEC, the secretive group of corporate lobbyists trying to rewrite state laws to benefit corporations over people." @greenpeaceusa https://t.co/ZxpTjWdrwT— Stand Up To ALEC (@StandUpToALEC) May 6, 2019
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.