Hatching a Plan.

It all started with our grandson, Simon. We’d heard from friends in Lawrence about the great “Eagle Days” event hosted at Free State High School. Steve and I were really interested in going, but what about him? It turned out the parade of live raptors in the auditorium was jaw dropping for all of us. The power point presentation of the evolution of the Bald Eagle banding project in Lawrence has incredible still photos of the birds in all stages of life. As I kept listening to Mike Watkins, then of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, I was imagining what it would look like to see what the climber was seeing as he first peeked into the nest — a video, a human/birds eye view if you will, of this annual exercise following the preservation of a species.

Before we boarded the bus for a trip to Clinton Lake where spotters set up scopes for us to see the long view of the birds in their nests, I approached Watkins about a video. I didn’t think anything would come of it, but 4 months later I got the call, “I know this is short notice….” I quickly answered, “I’m in.”

By the next day I had soaked my clothes in a tick repellant, found the best boots for the terrain and got up very early to head to Clinton Lake — the start of an amazing adventure.

I spent two years working on this video, in between other projects. I was well into the editing when Donald Trump was inaugurated and in my mind the world was about to change, particularly policies protecting public lands, national parks and wildlife. Suddenly, this simple little informational video became something more. It became important to me to remind people of where we came from, the importance of collaboration and what’s at stake. That’s why I entered it in a few film festivals and am grateful people are inviting us to show it.

This movie is not a sermon, but nothing would please me more if people who see “Soaring Back: Message to the Future,” spend some time thinking about legacy, cooperation and supporting efforts that will make a difference for future generations.



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