How do you get the world to care about #Roadless Areas?
The Wilderness Society came to us with a problem: for years they had been trying to protect Roadless Areas in our country’s National Forests, and the development threats were escalating. Roadless Areas are some of the last undeveloped stretches of wilderness in our country and the forests in them are some of the best carbon sinks for helping combat climate change. But the biggest issue in protecting these places was that few people outside of conservation circles really understood what Roadless Areas are and why they are under threat.
We started with a mantra: “The Story is The Story.” This is really just a way of saying that we didn’t need to drop some kind of made-up narrative on what we were doing; our work to understand Roadless Areas was the story. We were living it. We start with a question and we end at a place of understanding. In true documentary form, our journey is the audience’s journey. That’s how we built a narrative.
We found some of the most interesting voices in the outdoors (call them influencers, if you must), who could help us understand the importance of Roadless Areas and amplify the message to their audiences. We picked them to help represent the different use cases for wilderness, including exploration, athletics, and artistic expression.
Caroline Gleich is a ski mountaineer and outdoor athlete. She is sponsored by brands like Patagonia and KEEN Footwear and has a ton of outdoor accomplishments, like summiting Mt Everest and a climb/ski descent of Cho Oyu and Mt. Rainier.
Eric Bennett is an outdoors photographer who has shot for brands like Black Diamond, backcountry.com, and jetBlue Airways. He seeks to add his unique perspective to the unseen places of the world.
Jeff Browning is an ultrarunner and fitness/nutrition coach sponsored by brands such as Suunto, Altra, and Trail Butter. He has completed over 100 ultramarathons, including 17 first place wins in 100 milers.
The center of our story is a trip where the final destination is a Roadless Area. To accomplish that, we needed a location with a variety of ecosystems and terrain.
A place where you can look East in the morning and see a postcard perfect sunrise…
A place where you can soak up everything one valley has to offer, then hike over the ridge and find a totally different look…
That place is called Utah.