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Preserving California's Wilderness

     The powerful effect of landscape and environment on the spirit is nowhere better demonstrated than in California. But the very same wilderness landscapes that evoke passion, adrenaline and poetry from wild Californians are facing danger themselves. What will happen to the wild lifestyles of California if the wild places disappear? It was this disconcerting thought which inspired the creation of ADVENTURES IN WILD CALIFORNIA.

     "ADVENTURES IN WILD CALIFORNIA is not just an ode to California's obviously spectacular natural wonders," comments director Greg MacGillivray. "It also gives a really strong reason to save those wonders because they are a major influence on this unique, forward-thinking culture. To look at the Sierra Nevada, or the Big Sur coast, or the forests of Yosemite and Sequoia, you can't help but feel the limitlessness of possibility, and these have inspired a state that has been at the edge of technological innovation and human exploration from it beginnings."

     Adds writer/producer Mark Krenzien: "You don't need to go to the ends of the earth to touch the wild - it's right here in California and we want to keep it that way. The more we shot of this film, the more clear it became what is at stake right now in California."

     California's coast, sky, mountains and forests are all under heavy pressure from increased human impact through pollution, resource use, toxic waste and habitat destruction. As the human population of California rapidly explodes, the number of wild species declines. There remain virtually untouched and unexplored spaces in California, but they are quickly disappearing.

     It is no longer enough to just exalt California's wilderness - those who want to keep it must work to save it, as exemplified by the environmental scientists whose moving stories are featured in ADVENTURES IN WILD CALIFORNIA.

Some facts about California's unique biodiversity and fragility:

  • California harbors more unique plants and animals than any other state in the U.S.
  • California also has the greatest diversity of climates and landscapes
  • California is the only home to 30,000 unique insect species, 63 freshwater fishes, 46 amphibians, 96 reptiles, 563 birds, 190 mammals and about 8,000 plants
  • Over 20 percent of California's amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals are classified as endangered, threatened or "of special concern" by the state and/or federal government
  • Less than 4 percent remains of the two million acres of redwoods that stretched across California and Oregon just 150 years ago
  • One of California's most fragile areas is its 600-mile long coastline, where a confluence of bays, estuaries, wetlands, beaches and dunes is endangered by on-shore pollution sources and off-shore drilling and fishing industries
  • California has lost more than ninety percent of its valuable wetlands, which are the only breeding grounds for numerous waterfowl and game fish, including halibut.