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Protect the Dolores Film Tour to present film about protecting areas surrounding Dolores River

The film highlights areas of the Dolores River in need of protection by following two packrafters as they travel down the river. (Protect the Dolores/Courtesy photo)
The film was created to ‘inspire action’ for conservation efforts in Dolores River Canyon Country

Thursday, the Animas City Theatre in Durango will host the Protect the Dolores Film Tour, presenting the film “The River of Sorrows,” which was created by the award-winning production company Rig to Flip.

The film starts at 7 p.m. Thursday, 28 E. College Drive.

The film, which is being shown across the Western Slope region, has been in the works for 50 years, according to the news release, and the purpose is to inspire “permanent protections” for the public land around the Dolores River region.

The evening is hosted by Protect the Dolores Coalition, and will include a Q&A session with a panel of experts on the subject after the film. Following the panel, there will be a performance by local band Elder Grown.

The panel includes filmmaker, co-founder of Rig to Flip and Dolores local Cody Perry; CampV founder Natalie Binder; Executive Director of the Dolores River Boating Advocates and Cortez local Amber Clark; and Director of Outdoor Pursuits at Fort Lewis College Brett Davis.

Davis, who is from Durango, was one of two packrafters featured in the film.

The film follows two packrafters, Davis and Annie Bussel, as they travel down the nearly dry Dolores River. While they traverse down the river, they “navigate the complex issues facing the river and surrounding lands,” according to the release.

The release pointed to the areas around the Dolores being among “the last, best unprotected wild places” in Colorado, noting that it is one of the rivers most in peril in the Colorado River Basin.

The Dolores River flows from the San Juan Mountains to the Colorado River at the Utah state line. It was formerly known as one of the top three western river adventures before it began to have dangerously low water levels year after year.

Hosting organization Protect the Dolores Coalition has been in the local community for nearly 50 years, working to increase education and protection of the Dolores River and other surrounding land.

The news release said the coalition is “committed to finding a permanent solution” to protect and preserve “one of the state’s last, best unprotected wild places.”

The event is free and open to the public, but the Durango showing is already sold out. To reserve a spot on the waiting list in case tickets become available, emails can be sent to coalition@protectthedolores.org. Doors to the event will open at 6 p.m.