Second sustainable film community screening this Tuesday |

Second sustainable film community screening this Tuesday

Walking Mountains Science Center is screening the documentary “UNDERSTORY - A Journey Into the Tongass” at Riverwalk Theater this Tuesday evening

Whether it’s here in the Colorado high country surrounded by bristlecone pines or Juneau, Alaska, among the coastal Red Cedar, we are all collectively fighting a battle against short-sided greed to keep our trees standing.

In “UNDERSTORY — A Journey Into the Tongass,” we are brought along on a journey with Elsa Sebastian, a young fisherman who grew up in a small fishing village in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. Growing up, Elsa was raised by the “fishermen’s lifestyle” of not taking more than you need. She is quickly electrified with action as she learns that millions of acres of her rainforest home will be stripped of protections and opened to clear-cut logging.

Joined along with her two friends — a biologist, Dr. Natalie Dawson, and a botanical illustrator, Mara Menahan — the three-woman crew set sail on a 350-mile voyage to explore the last stands of ancient forest in the Tongass, illuminating and bringing light to the remote yet destructive impacts of clearcut logging.

Old-growth forests play an enormous role in our ecosystems and are critical to the future of our planet, yet in most cases, people in power have ignored this truth while prioritizing the economic “benefits” of logging. In “UNDERSTORY,” we discover that over the past 20 years, the US Forest Service has lost $600 million from clear-cutting the Tongass. Not to mention, timber companies also currently ship 85% of Tongass timber directly to Asia as whole logs.

Dr. Natalie Dawson in the Tongass National Forest.
Colin Arisman/Courtesy Photo

In this month’s Sustainable Film, which will be screened at the Riverwalk Theater in Edwards on Dec. 7, follow Elsa, Natalie and Mara as they illuminate the wonders of the Tongass National Forest, overviewing the magic of the old-growth forests and how crucial they are in our global carbon cycles and wildlife habitats, even more so than planting new trees.

Support Local Journalism

For the many climate solutions, we have to do things or we have to change the way we live. In this case, all we have to do is stop, and let these ancient forests do what they have done for this planet for thousands of years. And there’s still so much to save. Join Elsa in her act of love and protest to open your eyes to the beauty and future of the Tongass National Forest.

The Sustainable Film Series is an annual program from Walking Mountains Science Center, which aims to raise awareness and encourage community dialogue about the most pressing issues of our day. To view the entire lineup of the series, visit and for more information about this film, visit


What: Sustainable Film Series screens “Understory – A Journey into the Tongass”

Where: Riverwalk Theater in Edwards

When: December 7, 2021, 6:30pm

Cost: $5 Suggested Donation

For more information: Email

Support Local Journalism