09/04/2013 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Salt Lake City Public Library - Downtown
210 East 400 South
Salt Lake City
Join HawkWatch International, Tracy Aviary and Salt Lake City Public Library for a free public screening of the new documentary film Scavenger Hunt: An Unlikely Union. There will be a Q&A session with a panel of experts following the screening.
The California Condor neared extinction in the 1980s until biologists nurtured the population and saw their numbers grow upward to over 400. However, these noble birds face a grave threat which prevents them from flourishing further: lead poisoning. Scavenger Hunt chronicles the dilemma between bird and man, as the birds are being poisoned by ingesting the flesh of deer carcasses containing lead ammunition fragments. Filmmaker Matthew Podolsky finds the one person who understands all sides of the issue: Chris Parish. Parish, a lifelong hunter, is also the Field Program Supervisor for The Peregrine Fund’s Vermillion Cliffs California Condor Restoration Project— charged with directing the program’s field conservation efforts. Parish is the link to reconciling card-holding NRA members with EPA activists, through his efforts to convert hunters voluntarily to non-lead ammunition. In fact, Parish has been an integral part of the dialogue among hunters and biologists in Northern Arizona. The result: 90% of all hunters in the region have agreed to use lead-free ammunition voluntarily.
The goal of the filmmakers in creating Scavenger Hunt was to build awareness of this issue on a grassroots level. The intent is not to suggest that a voluntary effort is the best or only solution to the problem, but the film does give credit to those localized hunters that have already put forth voluntary effort to protect one of the world’s most endangered bird species. The hope is that hunters will recognize the importance of this threat to the California Condor and other scavenger species, including Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles, Ravens, Turkey Vultures, Wolves and Grizzly Bears, and take the initiative that is needed to end the use of lead-based ammo. In many instances, legislative action will be a necessary component in addressing this conservation issue. Nonethless, the role of this film is to educate, not to legislate.