What Does 400,000 Acres of Unprotected Land in Montana Look Like? New Documentary Investigates.

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Several ranching and farming communities living against the stunning landscape of the Rocky Mountain Front on the eastern slope of the Continental Divide in Montana have been faced with a difficult decision. Over 400,000 acres of public land in their backyard is currently unprotected and faces the threat of development. Common Ground is a short documentary that examines what happens when a community is faced with the idea of proposing more wilderness area while protecting heritage, tradition and their way of life. You can watch the 18 minute documentary premiering June 24th at www.commongrounddoc.com.

Montana is a special place. Big Sky Country. The Last Best Place. The people who live there and those who visit understand the importance of Montana’s beauty, its wide-open spaces, towering mountains, blue-ribbon trout streams and vast sky. But when that land represents your livelihood, decisions about its future are personal and oftentimes contentious. On the Rocky Mountain Front, when people begin to raise their voices, they come to find that what is feared most is change.

“Common Ground brings a voice to the rural Montana community and their passion for the Rocky Mountain Front. The value of the Front is not lost in the voices of Common Ground. The surrounding community realizes that the wilderness also benefits people who don't live adjacent to the Bob (Marshall Wilderness) and will for generations far into the future,” Conrad Anker.

After years of collaboration between ranchers, sportsmen, conservationists, outfitters, hikers and mountain bikers, the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act represents a plan to keep the Front the way it is today; preserving a way of life that has gone on for generations and protecting it for generations to come.

Over the past 8 years, The Conservation Alliance and its outdoor industry member companies have contributed over $260,000 to Montana Wilderness Association’s efforts to permanently protect the Rocky Mountain Front through a combination of designated wilderness, backcountry recreation areas and Conservation Management Areas.

The Conservation Alliance is an organization of outdoor businesses whose collective contributions support grassroots environmental organizations and their efforts to protect wild places where outdoor enthusiasts recreate. Since its inception 25 years ago, the Alliance has contributed close to $13 million to grassroots conservation groups. Alliance funding has helped save more than 42 million acres of wildlands; protect 2,825 miles of rivers; stop or remove 26 dams; designate five marine reserves; and purchase nine climbing areas. For complete information, see www.conservationalliance.com.

Directed and produced by Alexandria Bombach of RED REEL, Common Ground was made possible by The Conservation Alliance, CLIF Bar, Horny Toad Clothing and Osprey Packs. Common Ground was an official selection of the 2014 MountainFilm in Telluride. For more information on RED REEL you can email ajbombach@gmail.com. For media inquiries, please contact Kate Ketschek, kate@revolutionhousemedia.com, or 603-828-1050.

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