34 minutes, 1999, DVCAM

“WIND RIVER is an expose of archaic water rights practices on the river of the same name, but manages to shed a kind of universal light on these same practices all over the West.” Mountain Gazette   (read full review)

“A water tale to set you on fire.” High Country News  (read full review)

“A taut and impassioned chronicle of a high stakes water-rights fiasco in Wyoming.” Timothy McGettigan, Professor of Sociology, University of Southern Colorado

“The film does an excellent job of telling both sides of the story. The contrasting perspectives of the various claimants to water in the Big Horn Basin are given clear voice. The Shoshone and Arapaho people of the Wind River Reservation conceive of water as an integral part of a natural system; its highest “use” is to maintain the integrity of that system. In contrast, the local ranchers, and the government agencies that assist them, view water in utilitarian terms; water is wasted unless it is diverted and applied in a manner that produces an economic return. This film depicts the decades-long court struggle that will determine which concept of water will predominate in the Big Horn Basin.” Daniel McCool, Director of The American West Center, University of Utah

“An evenhanded and compelling look at a difficult and divisive dispute.” Library Bookwatch

“A well-crafted documentary.”   (read full review)

“The beautiful views of the river and surrounding area alone make a plea to preserve this fragile land.” Library Journal  (read full review)

“This presentation has potential use in law, environment, biology, anthropology, and Native American studies classes. It will inspire lively debate because so many perspectives are represented, all with valid arguments.” School Library Journal  (read full review)

“WIND RIVER describes how, in Wyoming, water rights are awarded to farmers on a seniority basis. Those holding the earliest water rights receive their water first. The holder of the next water right then receives their water and so on until all water needs are satisfied. Unfortunately, this results in the de-watering of the Wind River. Wind River does an excellent job of interspersing interviews with tribe members, farmers, lawyers, biologists, authors, a State Supreme Court Justice and the State Engineer to tell both sides of this controversial subject. WIND RIVER is well edited and makes use of some interesting historical footage to show how agriculture has changed the Wind River Valley over time. The sound track includes original music by Barrett Meigs. The video is thought provoking and will be an excellent resource for teachers. It is highly recommended for all high school and public libraries.” MC Journal   (read full review)

“We learn from WIND RIVER that water can do more than quench our thirsts, it can also separate the haves from the have-nots. Wind River tells a compelling story that extends far beyond questions of water rights, examining core community values and concerns relating to human dignity, self-survival and fundamental fairness.” Stuart Leiberman, Environmental Attorney   (read full review)