Portrait of a changing landscape | PostIndependent.com

Portrait of a changing landscape

Don’t label Mark Harvey an environmentalist.If anything, call him a conservationist – or a maybe just a documentary director and producer.”I’m just a regular person who cares about the land where he grew up,” said Harvey, a Roaring Fork Valley native and resident.Harvey combines his humble respect for the land and filmmaking skills in his first full-length feature, “A Land out of Time.” The Maroon Creek Productions film documents oil and gas drilling in the West, touching down as close to home as the Roan Plateau. “The reason I made this film is because I sensed a backlash from hunters and fishermen, ranchers and recreationalists who are expressing their unhappiness of how quickly their favorite places are being developed for drilling. People are waking up to this and they’re not going to take it lying down.”One such principal player in the film is Randy Udall, of Carbondale, an energy analyst and director of CORE (Community Office for Resource Efficiency). Harvey said Udall’s role in the film shows energy conservation is not only important in this day and age, but possible.”He knows the numbers, and he knows his information,” Harvey said. “Randy has worked hard to educate cities and counties on the local level about energy conservation. And he has worked very hard to see that people get cash back for doing things like installing solar panels in homes.”Another of the film’s principals is Wyoming rancher Tom Bell. Bell is founder of the High Country News, a bi-weekly paper that reports on the West’s natural resources, public lands, and environmental news.

“Tom Bell fought valiantly in World War II, was really a war hero. After coming back to Wyoming after the war, he has spent a lifetime trying to conserve the wildlands of Wyoming,” Harvey said. “Tom has spent his whole life fighting courageously, despite character assassination. He has never flinched.”Ranchers such as Bell – not leery of voicing opinions on the federal government’s leasing of 35 million acres of public land for oil and gas development – can be powerful politically, Harvey said. “The people who have been living on the land for several generations, they understand the rhythms of the land. They understand how delicate the lands are, more than people in cities,” Harvey said. “You can see how much they love these places, and that when people tear it up, they feel it to the core. They’ve been here a long time, and they’re very iconic. When a whole bunch of ranchers in any western state get together and express to their politicians that the way we are making a living is being destroyed, they are listening. These ‘patriots of the West’ are standing up to protect the land they love.”During the year of researching, shooting and editing the film, Harvey learned that many people in the West – from all walks of life, even those with differing political views – seem to share a distinct appreciation of the land. The film was shot in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and New Mexico.”What they agree on is that our western heritage is going fast,” he said. “This issue is right up there with national security. There are people in Montana and Wyoming who want balance on our public lands. If they tell their federal and state politicians, and elections depend on these issues, those land managers will be forced to listen. In can feel overwhelming, but if enough people insist on saving our land, it can be done.”As part of the weekend’s Aspen Filmfest screenings, “A Land out of Time” shows at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen and 5:30 p.m. at the Springs Theatre in Glenwood. Discussions with Harvey, Bell and Udall follow each presentation.Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. 518

aclark@postindependent.comThe Springs and the Crystal present …Following are films screening at the Springs Theatre in Glenwood Springs and the Crystal Theatre in Carbondale this weekend:Today• “Starter for Ten,” 7 p.m., Springs Theatre• “Family Law,” 8 p.m., Crystal TheatreSaturday

• “Be with Me,” 5:30 p.m., Crystal Theatre• “Live and Become,” 7 p.m., Springs Theatre• “God Grew Tired of Us,” 8 p.m., Crystal TheatreSunday• “After the Wedding,” 5 p.m., Crystal Theatre, Carbondale• “A Land out of Time,” 5:30 p.m., Springs Theatre• “Beyond the Call,” 7:30 p.m., Springs Theatre• “The U.S. vs. John Lennon,” 8 p.m., Crystal TheatreTickets are available at Sounds Easy in Carbondale, 963-1303; the Book Train in Glenwood Springs, 945-7045; and the Wheeler Opera House, 920-5770. A full schedule, including Aspen showings and film descriptions, is online at http://www.aspenfilm.org. For more information, call 925-6882.

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