Current work in wildlife, rivers, public lands, and climate
Actress Cate Blanchett Thanks Santa Fe-based Film Crew of “The Missing” with Gift to WildEarth Guardians
Santa Fe, NM – Actress Cate Blanchett, recently in town for the filming of the Ron Howard drama “The Missing,” made a substantial donation on behalf of the cast and crew of the movie to WildEarth Guardians, an environmental watchdog group dedicated to the preservation of wildlife and wild habitat. The gift will support WildEarth Guardians’ effort to preserve and restore southwestern streamside forests, a part of their broader campaign to protect the ecological crown jewels of the four corners region as a strategy for sustaining the area’s wildlife.
The Oscar-nominated actress has starred most recently in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. She wanted to recognize the hard work by cast and crew for the film with a gift that would leave a powerful legacy of preservation throughout the sweeping New Mexico landscape that served as the backdrop for the film slated for release in early 2004.
“Filming in the wild areas of New Mexico forged an intimate connection to the land,” Mrs. Blanchett said. “The gift to Forest Guardians is meant both as a token of gratitude for the crew’s tireless contributions and also to help preserve the state’s natural splendor for generations to come.”
WildEarth Guardians’ campaign to protect a network of wild habitat was initiated when the group created a 1200-acre preserve on state lands and began restoring damaged streamside forests with the help of volunteers and local school groups. Since that original acquisition, WildEarth Guardians’ campaign has continued to gain steam, expanding its geographic reach to include Arizona. Late last month, the group achieved a landmark victory that resulted in the creation of a new preserve along the Babocomari River outside Elgin, AZ.
“Mrs. Blanchett’s generosity on behalf of the crew of ‘The Missing’ will enable us to carve out a place for critically imperiled wildlife to thrive,” said Dustin Garrick, Development Coordinator for WildEarth Guardians. “We have lofty hopes that her gift will fuel our campaign to safeguard at least 25 preserves throughout the four corners region.”
So far, WildEarth Guardians has created five preserves in New Mexico and Arizona, planting more than 20,000 cottonwoods and willows in a restoration effort along damaged southwestern streamside forests that harbor up to 80% of native wildlife in the Southwest, including several endangered native trout, songbirds, and mammals.