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Damned, Then Un-Dammed: The Story of the Free-Flowing Yellowstone River

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In the 1970s, a national energy shortage almost dammed the Yellowstone River. This short doc tells the story of how it was saved.

If you’ve been lucky enough to float, fish, or simply sit in the presence of the Yellowstone River, you’ve certainly been lucky enough.

But you might not know the whole story of how a small group of citizens partnered with the Glenmore Distillery to push back against a dam that would have flooded Montana’s Paradise Valley and changed the nature of the Yellowstone forever.

Enter Jim “Poz” Posewitz. Poz is a hero of Western conservation, an author on the ethics of hunting, and was at the forefront of the effort to save the Yellowstone in the 1970s.

Longtime public lands advocate and filmmaker Randy Newberg digs in with Poz on the history of the conservation effort and how to push back against the powers that be.

“You go to your court of last resort, and that’s the public,” he said. “That’s where the power of democracy resides.”

The 18-minute documentary is worth every second. And it’s a stunningly beautiful tribute to a dam that never was.

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