Wood River, Neb—Nebraskans from all walks of life will be inspired by this uplifting story about one of the world's most remarkable natural resources right here in their own backyard—and a new breed of pioneer working to save it. "The Crane Trust", an original Visionaries film, will air first in Nebraska on Friday April 11 at 7:00pm (CT) on Nebraska public television.
Hosted by Sam Waterston of "Law & Order" fame, this inspiring documentary tells the story of Nebraska's great sandhill crane migration and its extraordinary connection to the people of Nebraska—and the world. Filmed on the banks of the historic Platte River on native Crane Trust lands, the modern day good-news story is told by a growing legacy of conservation leaders, including world-renowned conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall, Tom Mangelsen, and others.
"The Crane Trust documentary shines an important light on one of the most remarkable ecosystems in the world—and the people that are fighting to save it," said Crane Trust President & CEO Chuck Cooper. "It's a tremendous honor and an incredible responsibility. For over three decades, the Crane Trust has worked with private landowners and conservation partners to ensure a future for North America's cranes and to do everything we can to ensure future generations have an opportunity to experience the wonder of this incredible wildlife phenomenon."
The Crane Trust was selected as one of five non-profit organizations out of 125 candidates for the 2014 Visionaries Series. Celebrating its 19th season, the Visionaries Series is distributed by the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) to public broadcasting stations nationwide. The 30-minute Crane Trust documentary was produced with sponsor support from the Nebraska Tourism Commission, the Parker Family Foundation, the Grand Island Area Chamber of Commerce, and other Friends of the Crane Trust.
"We're a small non-profit organization making a big difference for crane habitat along the Platte River," says Jeff Oates, Crane Trust Director of Marketing & Outreach. "We're excited to be reaching PBS viewers across the state with such a positive story about conservation and what's being done to preserve one of the world's last great migrations. It's even more exciting still to see that PBS stations in major out-of-state markets, like Augusta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Myrtle Beach, New York, Oklahoma City and others, will be sharing it with their viewers as well."
Established in 1978, the Crane Trust is dedicated to protecting and maintaining critical habitat for the endangered whooping crane, sandhill cranes and other migratory birds along the Platte River through leading science, land/habitat management, community outreach, and education. The Crane Trust today is responsible for managing over 10,000 acres of vital habitat in south-central Nebraska through a combination of direct ownership and conservation easements.