ASPEN, Colo. (PRWEB) October 20, 2006
A new documentary film exposes what has been called the biggest land grab in U.S. history. Produced and directed by Mark Harvey, A Land out of Time portrays the government’s rush to lease tens of millions of acres of public land and drill tens of thousands of oil and gas wells throughout the Rocky Mountain West, from New Mexico to Montana. The film tells the story from the perspective of ranchers, hunters and outfitters being pushed off the land after several generations.
The film, which premiered to sold-out screenings at Aspen Film Fest in September, won Best Environmental Film at Taos MountainFilm Festival on October 7 and is already scheduled for several more film festivals.
Political strategists have identified the public lands drilling issue as a potential wedge issue in the upcoming mid-term elections. Under pressure from their conservative ranching and “hook and bullet” groups, formerly pro-drilling politicians have begun to reverse course, embracing conservation laws to protect specific areas from drilling.
A Land out of Time highlights the unlikely political alliances resulting from the drilling blitz. Says Keith Goddard, a Colorado outfitter, who is fighting to save Colorado’s Roan Plateau, “Five years ago you couldn’t have got me in a room full of environmentalists. Now I feel actually privileged that I got to work with some of these people.”
Director Mark Harvey believes most Americans are not aware of the drilling threat. “A few gas fields are highly visible and well known, but we can’t begin to imagine the scale of energy development that’s on its way to the Rocky Mountain West,” Harvey said.
Within weeks after taking office in 2001, the Bush Administration made drilling on federal land a priority, and The President personally ordered all federal land managers to expedite oil and gas permits. More than 30 million acres of public land have already been leased. Some of the “last, best places” Westerners prize for hunting and recreation are slated for the auction block, including New Mexico’s Otero Mesa and Valle Vidal, Wyoming’s Red Desert and Colorado’s Roan Plateau.
The film questions whether the democratic process is working as the government decides how Americans’ public lands are used.
“In our travels while making A Land out of Time, from Montana to New Mexico, we heard the same story again and again: the Federal government has stopped listening to the American public,” Harvey said. “They hold the public hearings mandated by law, take tens of thousands of public comments favoring conservation, and then proceed with energy development as if the hearing never took place.”
Wide-angle and aerial cinematography by national Emmy winner Greg Poschman showcases the beauty and grandeur of the Western landscape. Laurel Garrett and Mark Harvey wrote the script, narrated by Western historian and author Tom Bell. The film is based on a treatment by New York Times journalist and Pulitzer-price winner Timothy Egan and was edited by Scott Davis.
DVDs of the film are available at http://www.alandoutoftime.com for $12.95, which includes standard shipping. Express shipping options are available for an additional charge.