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Beyond Borders: Wildlands of the Northern Rockies

Client and Objective:
Despite a host of national parks and wilderness areas in the Northern Rockies, top predators like the grizzly bear and bull trout are nearing extinction. The Alliance for the Wild Rockies, an environmental group, proposed a groundbreaking way to protect these species. Using the principles of the relatively new science of conservation biology, it launched the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act. The Alliance needed a way to educate audiences on the problem at hand and help audiences understand the innovative solutions presented by conservation biology and the Act, but the news media was interested only in stories that put the Alliance’s work in a bad light. So the Alliance looked for new ways to get its message out.

Solution:
Green Fire developed a video program designed to give viewers a thorough and engaging introduction to conservation biology, and the unique opportunity it presents for protecting our environment — in particular the ecosystems of the Northern Rockies. The program is part of a long-term educational tool to engage a general and diverse audience including the conservation-minded, "fence-sitters," the news media, and Congressional staff members.

Results:
Eight years since Beyond Borders was produced, NREPA has become the first in a long list of public wildlands and wildlife protection efforts based in conservation biology. The Act has 120 congressional co-sponsors, and support continues to build. With the help of Beyond Borders, NREPA has become widely considered the most viable way to protect biodiversity in the Northern Rockies. More than 4,000 tapes have been distributed.

"Beyond Borders has built credibility for the Alliance for the Wild Rockies and made people fall in love with our region. The video breaks through the barrier and touches people on an emotional level. I don't care how good of a public speaker you are, Beyond Borders is so much more effective reaching an audience and motivating them to care and get involved."
-- Dan Funsch, former outreach coordinator for the Alliance for the Wild Rockies

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