Staff Pick – A Letter to Congress

Wallace Stegner's Poignant Plea

A Letter to Congress

Chris Newman, Amani King, Dalia Burde | 2017 | 3 min.

2018 Official Selection

Many of us here at SYRCL’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival feel healed, centered and rested as we explore the outdoors.  Wallace Stegner said it best in 1960. In his letter to Mr. Pesonen, of the Wildland Research Center,  he examines the consequences of giving up our public lands: “And so that never again can we have the chance to see ourselves single, separate, vertical and individual in the world, part of the environment of trees and rocks and soil, brother to the other animals, part of the natural world and competent to belong in it.”

As the On Tour Sales Manager, I work closely with each hosting organization to bring Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour to their communities. Often, this brings me to their website where I see stunning photos of their service areas. This motivates me to listen to A Letter to Congress while adding these beautiful places to my bucket list.  It inspired me to choose A Letter to Congress for this staff pick.

It is not coincidental that almost every single On Tour host has chosen this film to be included in their custom program, leading the short to be screened at over 60 On Tour events so far (consider that the On Tour season just began in February!) As you listen to the perfectly gentle yet somewhat stern voice that reads Wallace Stegner’s letter, you are fixed, immobile in your chair.  I almost feel like I forget to breathe for 3 minutes.  I instantly yearn for a camping trip, a hike or a swim in the South Yuba River.

Amidst a growing mountain of threats to our public lands and National Parks, how will mankind be able to “retain a hold on the natural world, to remain, insofar as we can, good animals?” This three minute short is so riveting, your are reminded that we need the peace of these lands, and the sanity we find there, to bring us back to being the good human beings that we all desire to be.

“Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed”

– Wallace Stegner

A Letter to Congress joins about 140 other Wild & Scenic films as they travel the globe to over 195 locations with our On Tour program. February 1 kicked off the 2018 Tour season, and this one promises to be bigger and better than ever, as we have already reached over 55,000 people worldwide.

If you’re nearby the South Yuba River Citizen League office, you’ll also have the opportunity to borrow this film plus over 100 other titles from this year’s festival in our film library.  You must be an active SYRCL member to check out a film. Rentals are free for members. Not sure if you are a member? Call or email Alena Loomis at 530-265-5961 ext 220 to check your membership status. If you know you aren’t a current member or simply need to renew, visit Membership and sign up.

If you have questions about bringing Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour to your community, call (530) 265-5961 ext 204 or email Theresa Huck.

This month’s Staff Pick was brought to you by On Tour Sales Manager, Theresa Huck