Preview of Patagonia’s Public Trust Screens Outdoors

By Steven Libowitz   |   September 17, 2020

Described as part love letter and part political exposé, Public Trust: The Fight for America’s Public Lands investigates how we arrived at this precarious moment when America’s public lands – some 640 million acres – are in danger. Held in trust by the federal government for all citizens of the United States, these places are a stronghold against climate change, sacred to native people, and home to thousands of species of wildlife while serving as something intrinsic to our national identity. But today, despite support from voters across the highly-polarized political spectrum, the public lands face unprecedented threats from big corporations seeking to weaken restrictions in the pursuit of profits. 

Patagonia’s Public Trust: The Fight for America’s Public Lands make its case for the continued protection of the 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 – to make its case for the continued protection of the public lands. Herring employs extensive research and interviews with tribal leaders, government whistleblowers, journalists and historians, and follows the people who are fighting back to save the lands.

Directed by Ojai-based David Garrett Byars (No Man’s Land) and executive produced by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, Robert Redford, and Patagonia Films, Public Trust had its world premiere and won the Big Sky Award at the 2020 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula, Montana on President’s Day. Public Trust also received the Audience Choice Award at the prestigious 2020 Mountainfilm in Telluride, Colorado and won the Audience Award at the 2020 Ashland Independent Film Festival in Ashland, Oregon.

Patagonia and UCSB Arts & Lectures are co-presenting two free advance  community screenings of the documentary, at 7:15 pm and 9:15 pm on Wednesday, September 23, at the West Wind Drive-In in Santa Barbara, just two days before the film’s national release on Friday, which comes one day ahead of National Public Lands Day 2020. Gates open at 6 pm Arrive early to enjoy food trucks, concessions, and entertainment before the film. Visit


You might also be interested in...