Short Film On Climate Change Featuring Gothic Local billy barr

May 4, 2017

 

It was the promise of an "interesting job" in the summer of 1972 that first brought billy barr to the secluded “ghost town” of Gothic, Colorado in the West Elk Mountains. No one, especially billy would have imagined he’d end up staying for the next 40+ years. He originally lived in a secluded little 8'x10' cabin, later helping build a more comfortable, permanent cabin he now calls home. The data billy has collected over the past 4 decades has become invaluable in the study of climate change. billy's long time hobby of keeping track of things moved on to keeping track of the weather at his new home in shadow of Gothic Mountain.  His observations about snowfall, the snow pack and winter temperatures, compiled over the last 40+ years, has become important data used by scientists studying climate change. billy’s story of living a hermit life in his tiny mountain cabin grabbed the attention of local filmmaker Morgan Heim who lives in Gunnison, CO. Heim who works for Days Edge Productions and scientist Jane Zelikova were working on a film about climate change called End of Snow. Last winter Morgan and her film crew cross-country skied out to the remote townsite of Gothic, the only way to reach the town in the winter months. There they found billy doing what he does best – collecting data, reviewing data and keeping himself busy during the long winter days. They found billy to be so compelling that they made a re-edit from his part of the film, renamed it The Snow Guardian and submitted it to the Film4Cilmate global video competition. The film came in second place out of nearly 900 films. It turns out, billy was quite a hit and has since become an internet sensation, the film going viral according to Heim.

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