Robert Redford, Patagonia Founder Yvon Chouinard Board Public Lands Doc

Public Trust Still - Publicity - H 2020
Florian Schulz

The film, 'Public Trust,' from David Garrett Byars will premiere at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival on Feb. 17.

Robert Redford has come on board to executive produce the feature documentary Public Trust with Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and his Patagonia Films.

No Man's Land director David Garrett Byars is behind the doc about America's public lands. Through the work of Montana investigative journalist Hal Herring, Public Trust focuses on three land-based conflicts: the slashing of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah; the potential permanent destruction of the Boundary Waters Wilderness in Minnesota; and the de facto sale of one of the last wild places in America, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. 

Using extensive research and interviews with tribal leaders, government whistleblowers, journalists and historians, Public Trust follows the people who are fighting back, including Native American activist Angelo Baca, Gwich’in Steering Committee's Bernadette Demientieff and Spencer Shaver, a defender of the Boundary Waters Wilderness.

“Our country is fortunate to have millions of acres of public lands, including national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges and wilderness, set aside for future generations,” Redford said Tuesday in a statement. “Sadly, these lands that belong to you and me are under unprecedented threats from the greed of big corporations, eager to weaken restrictions in the pursuit of profits. Many of our current politicians are also to blame. Public Trust tells the story of citizens who are fighting back. It’s a much-needed wake-up call for all of us who want to preserve our unique and wild cultural heritage.“

Added Chouinard, “Imagine our country without our public lands — without protected parks and streams, wilderness and other wild places. If the oil companies and this administration continue to choose rigs over your kids’ future, we will lose what’s left of our shared 640 million acres. Public Trust is a much-needed wake-up call that everyone should go see.”

The movie is set to premiere Feb. 17 at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.

Public Trust was produced by Jeremy Hunter Rubingh. In addition to Redford and Chouinard, executive producers include Alex Lowther, Monika McClure and Josh Nielsen.