Over 60 years ago America was in the peak of the industrial revolution and the nations waterways were dying from dams, water diversions and pollution. The plight of America's rivers caught the attention of twin brothers and renowned wildlife biologists John and Frank Craighead after witnessing the demise of their childhood river the Potomac in Maryland and after hearing of dam proposals on Montana's most wild river where they were studying grizzly bears on the verge of extinction, they knew something must be done as the titans of industry pushed west.
The brothers drafted a river classification system with the hope to protect what remained of wild rivers. Their tenacity and determination was carried to the halls of congress by courageous bi-partisan leaders in the 1960’s where the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was signed into law by president Lyndon Johnson.
The Act has literally saved hundreds of America's iconic rivers and streams from dams, over development and natural resource extraction and 50 years later 289 waterways have been protected totaling over 14 thousand miles. But with over 2.9 million miles of waterways in the country the balance the Craighead brothers were seeking is far from being reached.
Run Wild Run Free takes the viewer through the history to the present of Wild and Scenic as told through experts, grassroots organizers, white water enthusiasts, and members of the Nez Perce tribe in Idaho.
Today in a polarized political climate new designations and river protections have stalled even though there is no time in history more important then now to protect our freshwater ecosystems. We hope this film will inspire and educate people across the country to protect their home river under Wild and Scenic so we can continue this important legacy for future generations to come.
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