Fossil Creek film draws a crowd

A river ran through NAU’s Ardrey Auditorium during the Sept. 25 screening of A River Reborn: The Restoration of Fossil Creek, which previewed to a capacity crowd.

“Tonight’s screening shows that Northern Arizona University not only thrives on science, but it is a leader in science,” NAU President John Haeger said before the film began.

The documentary, produced by NAU in collaboration with the Museum of Northern Arizona, examines the ecological effects of a 100-year-old dam and a hydroelectric facility on Fossil Creek located in Arizona’s rim country. It chronicles the impact that NAU research, led by associate professor in biology Jane Marks, had on the 15-year process that led to the hydroelectric decommissioning, which resulted in the restoration of the creek’s full flow and the return of its native plant and animal life.

A River Reborn will air on the Public Broadcasting System in 2007.

Director of Education at NAU’s Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research Stefan Sommer, executive producer of the film, welcomed the crowd and introduced Haeger and Museum of Northern Arizona Director Robert Breunig. Additional speakers included Marks, Paul Bockhorst, writer, producer and director, and Andrew Fahlund, vice president of conservation for American Rivers.

After the film’s screening, a Comments and Community Forum segment included the following participants: Rob Clarkson, Bureau of Reclamation; Andrew Fahlund, American Rivers; Bruce Hungate and Jane Marks from NAU Biological Sciences; Cecelia Overby, Coconino National Forest; Rod Parnell, NAU Environmental Sciences; Vincent Randall, Yavapai Apache Nation; Robin Silver, the Center for Biological Diversity; Shaula Hedwall, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Nick Svor, Arizona Public Service; and David Weedman, Arizona Department of Game and Fish.

“It was heartwarming to have the community come out and show support for this important ecological story,” Sommer said.