TU releases “Not Mine, Ours” movie on the Smith River

Ask a child to choose between a river and a mine and they will choose the river without hesitation.

You need not explain the river belongs to all of us. You need not explain the mining company is owned by a foreign conglomerate whose only interest is to wring every short-term dollar from the landscape.

You don’t have to explain that a river can last forever, if we simply let it be.

A child will choose chasing geese, catching fish, sleeping in a tent, napping in a raft, howling at the moon.

But, somewhere along the way to adulthood, we make things more complicated.

Tintina Resources out of Canada wants to put a mine at the headwaters of the Smith River in Montana for reasons unclear to children and adults alike; the proposal is currently under consideration.

Trout Unlimited’s film “Not Mine, Ours” recently premiered at the 16th annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival to a captive audience including children, which also happen to be the stars of production.

Film maker, Trout Unlimited staffer, and dad Josh Duplechian made the film while on a spring-time Smith River float with Clara (5), Clare (5), Lucy Gray (7), Luke (7) and Gordon (7).

“Kids ask a lot of questions. I knew when making this film we needed children to lead the discussion about the Smith River,” Duplechian said. “Not only did the kids exceed our expectations, but they managed to have thoughtful conversations about what this river meant to them for five days straight. Each and every one of these kids should be proud of their natural curiosity and what it will do to help save our Smith River.”

Colin Cooney, Montana Field Coordinator for Trout Unlimited’s Sportsmen’s Conservation Project, has been monitoring the proposed mine from the start. He has been working to answer questions around the mine for children and others concerned about the location of the mine.

“The Smith River is one of those specials places we should not put at risk with hardrock mining activities,” Cooney said. “Trout Unlimited has done, and will continue to do, everything we can to hold state regulators and the mining industry accountable, and protect the Smith River for future generations.”

The Department of Environmental Quality is working on a Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Once the Draft EIS is released a public comment period will be held. Watch “Not Mine, Ours” to see why it is important to provide a voice on this issue. Trout Unlimited wants to be able to answer the questions of children. Do you?

Learn more about the Smith River

By Brett Prettyman.