The Movie to Keep Squaw True now streaming online
“The Movie to Keep Squaw True,” depicting the fight against major development at Squaw Valley, is now streaming online for free, after multiple screenings across the West.
“The focus of this movie is to give an update on everything that’s happened in the last eight years with the proposed development,” said Chase Schweitzer, Sierra Watch field manager. “This story is how we’re still working to find a better outcome, something that will benefit the entire Squaw Valley and North Lake Tahoe region,” he said.
First released at the Tahoe Art Haus in December, Sierra Watch took the movie on a five-state tour with screenings in the Reno, June Lake, San Francisco, the Colorado Rockies, Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Montana. According to Schweitzer the screenings hosted around 2,500 people in total. Within a week of releasing the film online over 1,800 have visited Sierra Watch’s website to watch the film.
“We had a ton of people that were getting inspired,” said Schweitzer. “The main message of the movement is a positive one.”
Directed by Tahoe locals Robb Gaffney and his brother, Scott Gaffney, the movie features ski legends from the area as well as residents, lawyers and ecologists.
“The making of this movie was a community effort within itself,” said Chase who said a lot of the footage for the film was donated by local filmmakers.
The movie is centered around a 25-year development project at the base of Squaw Valley, originally submitted to Placer County in May 2012. The project involves the development of up to 850 hotel, condominium and residential units and a 90,000 square-foot indoor adventure center. Despite backlash from Sierra Watch and a series a lawsuits filed against the project, courts have continued to rule in favor of the resort.
“The most important thing is that we can grow the grassroots movements,” said Schweitzer. “Communities can come together in positive ways to advocate for a more responsible outcome,” he said.
In August, a Placer County judge ruled in favor of Placer County and Squaw Valley Resort against a lawsuit filed by Sierra Watch, that claimed the county had violated the Brown Act when approving the development project. Sierra Watch is continuing their fight by appealing the decision to the California Court of Appeals.
The environmental group will be hosting an update on the Keep Squaw True movement on September 18 at the Squaw Valley Public Utility District.
Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at email@example.com or 530-550-2652.