Conservation (and good storytelling) inspire Ann and Steve Dunsky
SD It's really a success story, despite the compromises that were made. As we say in the film, it is one of the largest open spaces in any urban area in the United States. Most of the mountain, 2,000 acres, is state and county park. And that was the result of these protests, as well as the political and legal processes that went on in the 1970s behind the scenes. [Currently] a developer wants to build on some sand dunes that are on the west side of the mountain, so that's a fight going on right now.
SFBG Do you hope the movie will inspire people to take up the fight?
SD For people in the Bay Area, what I would like them to do is — when they drive by San Bruno Mountain, they don't look at it as a big, ugly, brown lump, but actually realize that it's a haven for biodiversity, and also that there was this 50-year ongoing struggle to save it. I think it's important for people to know the history of their surroundings.
From a national perspective, we really hope that it gets people to think about these deeper issues of conservation, questions about compromise, and questions about development versus preservation.
AD One of my favorite Leopold quotes is "Conservation without a keen realization of its vital conflicts fails to rate as authentic human drama; it falls to the level of a mere utopian dream." I love that because I think it's so easy to say "No development anywhere!" A lot of us would like things to be that easy, but they're not. And I think this film, hopefully, will help people recognize that it's not that simplistic.
Green Fire screens March 5 at the Green Film Festival (www.sfgreenfilmfest.org) and March 8 at the Randall Museum (www.sfns.org). For more information on Butterflies and Bulldozers, visit www.butterfliesandbulldozers.com; DVDs available for institutional and home use at www.bullfrogfilms.com.