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Montana Wilderness Association hosts 14th annual Backcountry Film Festival

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Human-powered recreation such as ski touring, which is featured in the Backcountry Film Festival, occurs in places like Beehive Basin in Big Sky. Beehive Basin is also a location that the Madison-Gallatin Chapter of the Montana Wilderness Association aims to promote and protect through its conservation efforts. PHOTO BY TIMOTHY BEHUNIAK

By Timothy Behuniak EBS Contributor

BIG SKY – The Madison-Gallatin Chapter of the Montana Wilderness Association will be hosting the Backcountry Film Festival at Lone Peak Cinema on Saturday, Feb. 23, featuring films about human-powered winter recreation and highlighting the importance of snow safety and the beauty of winter landscapes.

Among other pictures, the festival will screen the Teton Gravity Research and Jeremy Jones film “Ode to Muir;” a DPS cinematic “The Abbey;” and a Camp4 Collective original “Surfer Dan.”

The festival is produced each year by Winter Wildlands Alliance, a national nonprofit organization “dedicated to promoting and preserving winter wildlands and a quality human-powered snowsports experience on public lands through education, outreach and advocacy,” according to its website. The Montana Wilderness Association hosts the film festival for a second time in Big Sky in partnership with the Winter Wildlands Alliance.

The Montana Wilderness Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is a grassroots environmental group which started in Bozeman in 1958 and is one of the oldest conservation associations in the western United States. The Madison-Gallatin Chapter has approximately 620 members in Gallatin, Madison and Park counties. The admission fee for the film festival will support the organization’s conservation and education efforts, such as guided hikes throughout the year, trail maintenance, wilderness stewardship and other conservation initiatives.  

Although the screening begins at 7 p.m., the Madison-Gallatin Chapter will host a meet-and-greet at Beehive Basin Brewery from 4-6 p.m.

“Our goal is to increase interest in and make people aware of the MWA,” said Tom Ross, president of the Madison-Gallatin Chapter. “We also want to reach new potential members in the Big Sky community.”

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