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Wild and Scenic Film Festival should keep your attention

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Only an environmental film festival could gather everything from water-loving dogs to fish-loving ranchers under the same banner. But this week's upcoming Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival, organized by the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley, throws a pretty wide net.

"Our mission is to inspire tour-goers to take action on behalf of the natural world," says Kathy Dotson, festival director.

This year brings a few tweaks to the festival which the Land Trust's director, Tim Breuer, thinks will result in a lively evening of movies that do more than just entertain, but don't just lecture, either.

The festival was launched in 2003 by a watershed advocacy group in California. The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL, or "circle") started the festival to promote their agenda within the Yuba Watershed, and also as a way to explore environmental issues through a medium that was immediately accessible to a wide audience. The festival's name is in celebration of achieving Wild and Scenic status in 1999 for 39 miles of the South Yuba River.

The festival is sponsored this year by Patagonia, the outdoor clothing company whose apparel fills many a Boise closet. Patagonia, founded by world–famous (and famously curmudgeonly) climber and environmentalist Yvon Chouinard takes its dedication to environmental causes to its clothes. The company pioneered the use of organic clothing materials.

"By joining forces, we can use the strength of our common goals to bring this motivating film festival to as many viewers and potential activists as possible," said Rick Ridgeway, VP of environment and marketing at Patagonia, in a prepared statement.

"We want to share the magic of the Wild and Scenic Film Festival with a wider community of activists," says Susie Sutphin, Patagonia's spokeswoman.

To whit, the movies are all over the map. A few highlights from the festival:

Fish And Cow: Breuer said this film is likely to have the most relevance to conservation efforts in Idaho. The movie is a story about a group of ranchers and biologists working to preserve the fluvial Arctic grayling and the Big Hole River area that hosts it. 17 minutes.

Gimme Green: Lawns are undeniably an American symbol. But what do they really symbolize? Pride and prosperity? Or waste and conformity? Gimme Green promises a humorous look at the American obsession with the residential lawn and the effects it has on our environment, our wallets and our outlook on life. 27 minutes.

Carpe Diem: It's just two minutes long, but this film does a great job of showing just how the innocent actions of a household can have ramifications downstream. Somehow, things turn out all right, but not without a bit of fish tension. 2 minutes.

Antarctica ... the End?: Sam Lowe-Anker, son of world-famous rock climbers, is the 13-year-old narrator of this movie about how climate change and human impact is affecting the frozen continent of Antarctica. This film picked up several awards at the Telluride Mountain Film Festival in 2006. 10 minutes.

Patagonia's Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival at the Boise Centre on the Grove, Summit Theater, 850 W. Front, Boise. Saturday, April 5, doors open at 1:30 p.m. for the matinee and 6:30 p.m. for the evening show. Enjoy a silent auction and displays about conservation before the films. Tickets $8-$12. Purchase at LTTV.org or at the door.