Film Festival Launches Trail Work Season

By Beacon Staff

Last year’s Mountainfilm Festival was such a fast sellout in Whitefish that the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation (BMWF) added more shows to this year’s tour. The annual fundraiser for the foundation goes to support their summer trail work projects. Volunteers provide the sweat while the foundation brings the leadership and supplies. “Despite all the fires that happened in the Bob, there’s lots of unburned trails we can still work,” said Carla Belski, executive director for BMWF.

The foundation brings the Telluride Mountainfilm Festival to Whitefish for two days this weekend to raise money to help support the program. Belski said they are increasing fundraising to fill in where grants drop off.

This year’s tour of the popular festival started by climbers 30 years ago screens 2007 winners for climbing, nature, and Kidz Kino films. Two shows run in Whitefish and one in Helena. The Whitefish shows start at 7:30 p.m. at the O’Shaughnessy Center on Friday, Apr. 18, and Saturday, Apr. 19. On Sunday, Apr. 20, the festival moves to Helena’s Myrna Loy Center at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 at the door. Early $12 tickets are available at Rocky Mountain Outfitter in Kalispell and The White Room in Whitefish.

The foundation has already started collecting volunteers for their summer trail projects. Starting on National Trails Day on May 31, those who can wield shovels and saws will hack away at downed trees and washouts on the Grant Creek Trail. “Some work is on campsite restoration, noxious weeds, and a seed collection project—not just trails,” Belski notes. “We do have a couple day trips, but are leaning more toward overnights because the Bob is so big and the trails so long.” Check out this summer’s trip list is at http://bmwf.org/volunteer_trip_list.php.