New Documentary Exposes Destructive Tar Sands Mining Plans in Utah
Last Rush for the Wild West Screens in Moscow on February 23
An award-winning, documentary film that exposes plans to strip mine vast landscapes in the upper reaches of the Colorado River watershed in Utah will screen at 7 pm on Monday, February 23, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Palouse, 420 East Second Street in Moscow, Idaho. The Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition (PESC) and Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) will provide snacks and beverages and accept donations for this co-hosted event that is free and open to the public.
Last Rush for the Wild West: Tar Sands, Oil Shale, and the American Frontier earned the Audience Appeal Award at the 2014 Moab International Film Festival, and EcoWatch named the movie one of the Ten Best Eco-Docs of 2014. The film highlights industry efforts already underway to strip mine almost one million acres of tar sands and oil shale deposits across eastern Utah and Colorado and Wyoming. Potential strip mines would overuse and pollute the delicate Colorado River watershed, on which 36 million people living in downstream, drought-stricken areas depend for drinking water, agriculture, and recreation.
The film’s director, Jennifer Ekstrom, will attend this Moscow premier to introduce the film and host a post-screening, question-and-answer session. Before turning to filmmaking in 2012, Jennifer was born and raised in eastern Washington and has worked as communications director for the statewide Wild Washington Campaign, which met initial success with the designation of the Wild Sky Wilderness near Index, Washington. Besides assisting several citizen initiative, electoral political, and education campaigns promoting sound environmental and social policies on clean air, smart growth, health care, and the minimum wage, Jennifer recently served as the waterkeeper and executive director for Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper in Sandpoint, Idaho. Along with Pat Rathmann of PESC and Helen Yost of WIRT, she was among the first Idahoans to participate in the indigenous-led Tar Sands Healing Walk near Fort McMurray, Alberta, during August 2012.
“Making this film has opened my eyes to the magnitude of destruction on the horizon, if strip mining for tar sands and oil shale is allowed to gain momentum in America,” said Jennifer Ekstrom, producer and director of the film. “The massive strip mines already approved by the state of Utah are setting the stage for what could be one of the most damaging and polluting industrial complexes in our nation. Utah’s approval process did absolutely nothing to protect public health or the environment, but there is still time to stop these devastating projects before it’s too late.”
“Last Rush for the Wild West presents a compelling look at an issue that is important to all Americans, but especially citizens on the frontlines of fossil fuel infrastructure expansion” said Helen Yost of WIRT and Pat Rathmann of PESC. “We are pleased to co-host this screening and help foster public awareness about this unprecedented threat to our cherished, publicly owned landscapes, water, air, and climate.”
This feature documentary highlights a resolute contingent of Utah citizens and local experts, as well as indigenous leaders from tar sands impacted communities in Alberta, Canada, as they encourage American taxpayers and voters to stand up with them to stop this impending disaster. For further information, please view the film’s website and trailer at Last Rush for the Wild West.