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Film Fest Focuses on Fracking

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This year’s Wild and Scenic Film Festival will not only showcase vibrant films focused on the environment, it’s also a way to mobilize community members on a contentious environmental issue. Claire Fuller of the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, which is helping to bring the festival to Wyoming, explains,  “We’re doing it to raise awareness about PXP’s proposal to drill in the Upper Hoback,” Fuller said. “The Wild and Scenic Film Festival was originally started by a group called SYRCL, the Southern Yuba River Citizens League. They came together to protect a river in their community and developed a film festival to rally support around that and were successful. So we’re using the same model that they did to try and rally people around a river in our community to protect it.” After receiving almost 60,000 comments on its environmental impact statement in 2010 on the proposed drilling, Bridger Teton National Forest is slated to release a supplemental impact statement this summer.  For this reason, Fuller says, it’s crucial to raise awareness about the issue. Fuller said a campaign will also be underway to pressure PXP to retire or sell its land lease. The area would then be safe from any future development under the 2009 Wyoming Range Legacy Act.  The Wild and Scenic Film Festival is 7 p.m., Thursday, at the Center for the Arts. – Robyn Vincent

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