‘The Wild’ sheds light on battle to save Alaskan salmon fishery from mine proposal
Free screening Tuesday at Carbondale's Third Street Center
A popular Roaring Fork Valley fish vendor who has a vested interest in protecting Alaska’s wild salmon fisheries wants people to know about a free documentary film screening in Carbondale next week.
Kaleb Walker owns Kalebs Katch — a mainstay at summer farmers markets in the area — with his wife Sol Walker. He is one of the major sponsors bringing director Mark Titus’s “The Wild” to the Third Street Center for a 6:30 p.m. showing Tuesday, March 10.
It’s the third film in a series of documentaries calling attention to threats to Alaska’s fisheries, following “Red Gold” and picking up where the 2014 award-winning film “The Breach” left off.
The Wild shines a light on the proposed Pebble Mine, which is potentially the largest open-pit mine in North America, and would be located at the headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska — the largest wild sockeye salmon fishery in the world.
“This mine has been an ongoing controversy for well over a decade and something I as an Alaska fisherman and Colorado business owner have been fighting for 10 years,” Walker said. “The documentary explains how, in the past few years, things have been fast-tracked politically and through inadequate EPA assessments to break ground. The Bristol Bay Watershed was almost protected with the Clean Water Act, but that has now been pushed aside.”
Walker started commercially fishing for sockeye salmon in Bristol Bay in 2008. His seafood business had its humble beginnings at the Glenwood Springs Saturday Farmers’ Market in 2009. He can now be found at summer markets from Aspen to the Front Range.
Walker said the fight against the Pebble Mine has some parallels to Glenwood Springs’ fight against the proposed expansion of the Rocky Mountain Industrials limestone quarry north of town.
“With all of the talk about the limestone mine in Glenwood these days, I feel like there are a lot of similarities that hit home with locals right now with this documentary” he said.
The slogan for The Wild is, “How do You Save what You Love?”
“Human impacts over the last several hundred years have negatively affected the salmon fisheries throughout the world,” Walker said. “The East Coast stocks have been wiped out, and in the West dams have become a major issue.”
Titus will be available by video after the Carbondale screening for a question-and-answer session. There will also be appetizers and door prizes, including a chance to win some sockeye salmon.
The film is also being screened on March 11 at the Edwards Riverwalk Theater for the Walking Mountains Sustainable Film Series.
For more information about the film, visit http://www.thewildfilm.com
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Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs will present an interactive webcast, “Extreme Fire,” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday as part of its free speaker series, The Gift of Education.