Untrammeled, a film produced in 2014, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act and examines the transformative power of wilderness on youth and the importance of getting young people into the backcountry.
The focus of the film is youth speaking to youth about wilderness – and the passing of the baton to the next generation. High school youth from Missoula and the Flathead valley in Montana, and college youth from the University of Montana Wilderness Institute’s Wilderness and Civilization program, were filmed on trips into the Scapegoat and Bob Marshall Wildernesses. The film captures their experiences, thoughts, and reflections as they went into the wilderness, some of them for the very first time.
The short, 27 minute documentary was a production of the USDA Forest Service’s Northern Region, and was done in partnership with Back Country Horsemen of Montana, Bob Marshall Wilderness Outfitters, the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center, the University of Montana’s Wilderness Institute, the Montana Wilderness Association, Missoula County Public Schools, and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Tribal Education Department.
Back Country Horsemen of Montana played an especially vital role, working with the Forest Service on the overall concept, and as volunteers, teaching defensive horsemanship to the youth, packing in supplies, providing additional stock support, and escorting the film crew to key filming locations on the trail out ahead of the youth. Bob Marshall Wilderness Outfitters, whose owners are also members of Back Country Horsemen of Montana, provided the stock for the youth and film crew, and donated two fully supported pack trips, to make the film a reality. For many of the youth, riding horses and mules was also a “first,” and became a trip of a lifetime.
Filmed entirely in Montana, the film continues to inspire a new generation of wilderness users and stewards.