Watershed restoration film contest recognizes seven northwest films
Release Date: 08-31-2010

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Stories From Our Watersheds film has awarded $4,100 to seven independent Northwest short films (10 minutes or less) that highlight large-scale, high-priority, fish-and-community-friendly restoration projects in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Money was awarded in two categories, 21-and-over, and 20-and-under, and all seven films are available for viewing at www.youtube.com/ecotrust.

Filmmakers were encouraged to create films that recognize and reinforce the nature-human relationships that form the fabric of Northwest communities. Filmmakers were asked to illustrate what whole watershed restoration meant to them — how and why it inspires — and winning submissions covered topics including habitat restoration, dam removal, and the return of wapato (duck potato) to the Yakama Nation reservation. Films that focused on restoration in priority basins of the north and south coasts of Oregon, John Day, Upper and Lower Columbia, Puget Sound, South Fork Salmon and Clearwater were given special consideration in the judging.

The Stories From Our Watersheds contest was organized by the Whole Watershed Restoration Initiative (WWRI), a collaborative effort between Ecotrust, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, the PNW Region of the USDA Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and others. WWRI member organizations pool their money, staff and expertise to support the restoration of native fish and wildlife habitat in high priority basins in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

The Winners (21-and-over category):

First place:
“Salmon Recovery in Chelan County,” Chelan County Natural Resource Department ($1,250)
– Film summary: Historic footage, aerial photographs and project videos were used to summarize the accomplishments of fish habitat restoration efforts in Chelan County, Wash.
– Contact: Jennifer Goodridge, Wenatchee, Wash., 509-667-6682, Jennifer.Goodridge@CO.CHELAN.WA.UShttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ULrViL0AvY

Second place:
“Saving Joe Hall,” Rick and Diana Sparks on behalf of the South Umpqua Rural Community Partnership ($750)
– Film summary: The return of a lone salmon to the South Umpqua watershed in Oregon inspires a full-blown restoration project.
– Contact: Rick Sparks, Azalea, Ore., 541-837-3467, rick@sparksandsparks.com

Third place:
“Restoration Update,” Friends of the Cedar River Watershed ($500)
– Film summary: Top high school students and film professionals track sustainability trends across multiple sectors in one Puget Sound “watershed address.”
– Contact: Peter Donaldson, Mercer Island, Wash., 206-236-8114, peter@peterdonaldson.net,www.cedarriver.org

Honorable Mentions (21-and-over):
“Return of the Wapato,” Emily Washines ($200)
– Film summary: The return of wetlands results in the natural return of wapato (duck potato), which was absent from the Yakama Nation reservation for 70 years.
– Contact: Emily Washines, Yakima, Wash., emily.washines@gmail.com

“The Removal of the Savage Rapids Dam,” Bob Hunter on behalf of Waterwatch ($200)
– Film summary: The removal of the Savage Dam rapids on the Rogue River has economic, social and environmental benefits.
– Contact: Bob Hunter, Eagle Point, Ore., bob@waterwatch.org, 541-826-4399

“Hemlock Dam Removal,” Sam Drevo and Ralph Bloemers on behalf of the HydroPower Reform Coalition ($200)
– Film summary: The removal of Hemlock Dam on Trout Creek restores 30 miles of upstream and downstream habitat.
– Contact: Ralph Bloemers, 503-525-2724, ralph@crag.orgwww.crag.org

20-and-under category

“Conservation Crusaders,” by the students from the New Urban High School ($1000)
– Film Summary: What it means for students to aide the watershed of Tryon Creek in Portland, Ore.
– Contact: Kaig Lightner, Portland, Ore., kaiglightner@hotmail.com

The WWRI collaborative would like to thank The Mountaineers Foundation, Wells Fargo, Salmon-Safe, Emerald Petals, Deschutes Brewery, Winter’s Hill Vineyard, Pastaworks and Anne Amie Vineyards for their generous donations to the Stories From Our Watersheds film contest.

About the Whole Watershed Restoration Initiative (WWRI)
The WWRI is focused on restoring entire watersheds — not just pieces of them — critical to the survival of Pacific salmon and steelhead and other wildlife. The WWRI directs funds and restoration efforts towards select watersheds and projects that provide the greatest opportunity for the restoration of native fish populations across multiple ownerships. Collaborating on watershed priorities provides for a more efficient and effective delivery of protection and restoration measures than would be accomplished without a regional approach. This work builds relationships across public-private land management boundaries and addresses science-based restoration priorities while coordinating limited financial resources. The WWRI is a collaborative effort between Ecotrust, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, the PNW Region of the USDA Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and others.

About Ecotrust 
Over nearly 20 years, Ecotrust has converted $60 million in grants into more than $300 million in capital for local people, businesses, and organizations from Alaska to California. Ecotrust’s many innovations include co-founding the world’s first environmental bank, starting the world’s first ecosystem investment fund, creating a range of programs in fisheries, forestry, food, farms and children’s health, and developing new scientific and information tools to improve social, economic and environmental decision-making. Ecotrust works locally in ways that promise hope abroad, and it honors and supports the wisdom of Native and First Nation leadership in its work. More on the Web at www.ecotrust.org. Contact: Contact: Seth Walker, Director of Communication & Outreach, seth AT ecotrust DOT org, 503-467-0752.

About the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB)
OWEB operates a grant program with funding approved by Oregon voters. OWEB grants help Oregonians restore and protect rivers and wetlands, providing clean water and healthy habitat for fish, wildlife and people. By collaborating with citizens, volunteers and landowners in communities throughout the state, OWEB helps Oregonians to restore and protect our land and water. More on the Web at http://www.oregon.gov/OWEB. For more information, contact: Carolyn Devine, Communications Coordinator, 503-986-0195. carolyn.devine@oweb.state.or.us.

About the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
NOAA’s Restoration Center invests funding and technical expertise in high-priority habitat restoration projects that instill strong conservation values and engage citizens in hands-on activities. Through hands-on restoration practices, partnerships and local stewardship, NOAA informs and inspires people to act on behalf of a healthier coastal environment. More on the Web at http://www.habitat.noaa.gov/restoration/index.html. For more information on NOAA and community-based restoration in the Pacific Northwest, contact Megan Callahan Grant, megan.callahan-grant@noaa.gov, 503-231-2213.

About the Pacific Northwest Region of the USDA Forest Service
The Pacific Northwest Region of the USDA Forest Service contains 16 National Forests, a National Scenic Area, a National Grassland, and two National Volcanic Monuments, all within the states of Oregon and Washington. About 40 percent of the water that flows in Pacific Northwest streams and rivers originates from national forest lands. There are 20,000 miles of streams and more than 200,000 acres of lakes on national forest lands that provide habitat for numerous aquatic species, including wild salmon and trout. The Forest Service supports numerous programs designed to protect and restore these resources while educating the public about their importance. More on the Web at http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/. Contact: Tom Knappenberger, Media Liaison, U.S. Forest Service Region 6, Portland, OR, tknappenberger@fs.fed.us, 503.808.2241.

About the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
The BLM manages 245 million acres of public land known as the National System of Public Lands. The lands are primarily located in 12 Western states, including 75 million acres in Alaska. With a budget of about $1 billion, the bureau also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Contact: Michael Campbell, Oregon/Washington Bureau of Land Management Communications, mcampbel@blm.gov, 503-808-6031.