Public Trust: The Fight for America's Public Lands

Public Trust: The Fight for America's Public Lands

2020, Society  -   7 Comments
8.07
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Ratings: 8.07/10 from 15 users.

America's mass of public lands are a source of wonder and prosperity for the people. Throughout the country, generations of families have grown up on these lands, and derived great support and spiritual meaning from its awe-inspiring gifts. But the majesty of these lands is dwindling, and the long-held ways of life for these families are being threatened consistently by the federal government, the wealthy elite, and private business interests. Executive produced by noted filmmaker and fervent environmental activist Robert Redford, the beautifully assembled feature-length documentary Public Trust: The Fight for America's Public Lands explores the battle between these interests and the unwavering will of the people.

640 million acres of public land are available to the American people and are used for revitalizing outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, and rock climbing. Public parks and nature trails are often constructed on these sites as well, and generations of indigenous peoples continue to reside on many of them.

But this land is also a potential cash cow for corporate interests as they may harbor an endless underground well of oil, gas, coal deposits and uranium. As these corporations continue to claim and consume these lands - especially in the face of limited regulations - the environmental devastation has become apparent. The topography is being mangled, and the waters are becoming grossly contaminated. From the mountainous plains of Utah to the Florida Everglades, these land masses and complicated ecosystems are being irrevocably disrupted. Environmental protections often erode when there's money to be made.

These nefarious efforts are being criticized, protested, and occasionally thwarted by throngs of conscientious activists who are unafraid to speak truth to power. This David and Goliath showdown constitutes the heart of the film.

The film introduces us to the citizens who are proud to proclaim an ancestry that has lived and flourished on these lands for centuries, as well as climate change activists who strive to hold government forces to task for their negligence of these precious natural resources. They testify to the activities of the current administration, which they claim are endangering the future of the planet in favor of greed and energy dominance.

Directed by: David Byars

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7 Comments / User Reviews

  1. steve hughes

    Excellent doc. Well shot, contrasting the beauty and enduring nature of the landscape verses the short term ugliness of greed. I hope on this day the people fighting this battle feel a little more empowered.

  2. User1

    Pretty F**king strange republicans started this land protection stance. Far cry from what they are today. They are just pawns for trump today!

    This administration needs to be booted out of office by the American people. At least 60 % of them! The other 40% will support that di*k in anything!

  3. Darrick

    The same mother******* that stole our Democracy, now want it all. We have to start by getting rid of Trump, the GOP Senate, and the dark money that flows into their coffers. They want the United States of America to be owned and controlled by a handful of families, who will use national lands to exploit and live on. At what point do we say enough, when it's all gone?

  4. Chad

    Not sure why this well done documentary on such a crucial topic received only 5.75 stars from 4 viewers, unless they are shills or trolls for corporations or the Trump administration. This doc is not unique in its revelations. How many others have exposed the greed and corruption of the elite political and corporate forces that have come to govern the USA? A psychological analysis of the corporate entity has shown that its actions are psychopathic. What else can be expected from a deranged, unrelenting personality? History advances on the laws of physics which says energy moves from order to disorder towards entropy. The degradation of all that we know and experience is the result of a natural phenomenon that cannot be reversed. Therefore, there should be no surprise nor dismay that everything will eventually turn out badly. It's just the way the material world is and operates. Try to find something better.

  5. Voluntaryist

    If I am ambitious, without malice, but with respect for myself, I respect others rights or I contradict myself. I can't claim special rights that only apply to me or my group and be consistent, logical, reasonable.

    But that is exactly what the political paradigm based on the initiation of force by an elite granted a monopoly on violence implies, inequality. In the US Empire/United Socialist States of America, an elected elite rule without accountability, in the name of all, for a nobility. The private interests benefit at the expense of all, by fraud/force. Public ignorance and cowardice keep them in power over their servants.

    And resistance to being enslaved is labeled as greed, terror, treason, anti-social chaos.

    The dominance by the few, in the name of the many, is a worldwide fraud, the only politics.
    When the public welfare is held as superior to individual rights, all suffer. When violence trumps reason, rights, choice, all suffer.

  6. Voluntaryist

    Property ownership, is a right, a necessity of a civilized life, of a productive life. It isn't a guarantee, but without it, all rights are nullified, all hope is lost, all assets are destroyed.
    Public ownership is an oxymoron. "Public", i.e., commons, i.e., everyone, i.e., non-private, i.e., anti-private, i.e., no ownership by individuals means no ownership at all because there is no collective mind, just a collection of minds, which can't be lumped together into one mind, even if they are of one belief in one matter, they are still distinct, individual, diverse. "We" are not one, each one of us is distinct, unique, with similarities, common emotions, but living personal lives, with our own thoughts. I live in society, but when I die, I die alone. I do not continue in another or others; there is no group mind. I will never exist again.
    Property is an extension of mind. To deny it is to deny mind. To control it is to violate the mind of some, at the expense of all, in principle. The goal, the excuse, the justification of the denial of the mind of one human by another is not defensible in reason and reason is never the ultimate means, only violence/fraud is left after the argument fails.
    This explains "The Tragedy of the Commons", the destruction of property not owned.

    1. Chad

      You started out well in your first manifesto, but your argument degraded from then on in your second comment. Your position is, of course, base atheism and anti-social. No man is an island, we are all connected to our families, our communities and our genetic history through our ancestors and our land, which can be confiscated at any time. You state " I can't claim special rights that only apply to me", but then you say "Property ownership, is a right, a necessity of a civilized life." So. which is it? You want special rights to property or not?
      There is no "right" of individual, private property ownership, that is an illusion. Seems that you are a shill for corporations that want to despoil nature to serve their own self interest. Your arguments are clever, but lead to only one thing, rape the earth in the name of profit. You state that your expose is a paradigm, nothing could be further from the truth because what you propose as a current paradigm shift occurred many decades ago in the influence of the US government and corporate intrigue in international and domestic affairs. Seems that you can't really determine your position, are you with the indigenous peoples and other conversationalists that support the protection of US public lands or are you an advocate of corporate advantage no matter what the environmental and social cost? Not sure about the source of your philosophical beliefs, but it seems to spring from chaos theory.