Sigurd the filmmaker

In 1949 Sigurd Olson wrote, directed, and starred with his son Robert (whom I interviewed some sixty years later) in a 16mm, 30-minute color film entitled “Wilderness Canoe Country” to call attention to the issue of the increasing use of bush planes to fly sportsmen in to fishing resorts. ?Filmed by naturalist and photographer Grant Halladay and narrated by famed broadcaster Paul Harvey, it tells the story of a father and son on a wilderness canoe trip in the Quetico-Superior, whose solitude is shattered when a bush plane lands nearby. “The Film built more vital support for the airplane ban in northeastern Minnesota than all of the speeches, articles, and other conservationist propaganda put together” (David Backes, from “A Wilderness Within ? The Life of Sigurd F. Olson“). President Truman signed the executive order thanks to Sig’s efforts, and the ban stands to this day. Of course there are new threats… ?

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07 2012

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