The University of Montana’s Wilderness Institute recently received a prestigious award for its role in producing “Untrammeled,” a film celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.
Wilderness Institute Director Natalie Dawson accepted the Regional Forester’s Wilderness Champion Partners Award from the U.S. Forest Service during a ceremony March 17. The award recognizes Forest Service partners who have demonstrated a vision and passion for the National Wilderness Preservation System.
The Wilderness Institute and numerous partners worked with the Northern Region of the Forest Service to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act. This partnership produced “Untrammeled,” a 27-minute broadcast-quality film. The film features youths experiencing wilderness and celebrating the incredible legacy and responsibility of passing stewardship from generation to generation.
“Untrammeled” premiered before a packed house at UM in April 2014 and has been selected for broadcast at national film festivals. Educational short versions of the film are being produced for YouTube.
For the past 40 years, the Wilderness Institute, part of UM’s College of Forestry and Conservation, has completed a variety of environmental projects and programs. At the heart of its long-term success is the Wilderness and Civilization Program, which was featured in “Untrammeled.” Founded in 1975, the undergraduate program was one of the first of its kind in the nation. It has attracted and trained more than 1,000 students since its inception, and since 1990 participants have earned a minor in wilderness studies. Many of the program's alumni have served in leadership roles in conservation organizations, wilderness education, land management agencies and their communities.