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The Story of How To Save A Mountain

How To Save A Mountain is an independent documentary film that tells the remarkable story of San Bruno Mountain. As the last intact fragment of the Franciscan Region, the lost landscape of San Francisco, this unique ecosystem supports forms of life that exist no other place on Earth. It is the largest urban open space in the nation - an untrammeled island in a sea of people, a wilderness on the edge of the city.

...And, it was nearly destroyed in the name of progress.

In the 1960s, wealthy and powerful development interests wanted to bulldoze the Mountain and dump its soil in San Francisco Bay. An unlikely combination of housewives and blue-collar activists joined forces and saved much of the Mountain as a public park. It was a victory both improbable and incomplete.

The discovery of rare and endangered butterflies, living on the Mountain, posed a new problem and a new battleground. The butterflies lived not only on the newly established park but also on privately owned land that was slated for development. A deal was made, friends and allies became enemies, the nation's first Habitat Conservation Plan was born and The Endangered Species Act was forever changed. That change continues to be a topic of fierce controversy on the Mountain and throughout the country.

How To Save A Mountain tells the story of the continuing conflicts, compromises, successes and setbacks of a nationally significant, environmental battle. It features the original grassroots organizers who organized to try to save the Mountain as well as the new generation of conservationists, developers, scientists, journalists and local residents who who continue the battle to save the mountain.

How To Save A Mountain also as showcases other similar environmental grassroots efforts around the United States and strives to serve as a guide to environmentalists and local government throughout the nation and the world facing similar dilemmas in the conflict between a growing population, the desire to use land for profit, and the need for open space, and illustrates that opposing groups can often work together for the benefit of the community. If people care.

In How To Save A Mountain, they all tell their story along with others who live on, and love, San Bruno Mountain.


Scenes from How To Save A Mountain

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For More Information about the Film, if you would like to Contribute, or just want to get in touch with us,
email us at info@howtosaveamountain.org