Author Ed Abbey talks about his park ranger days at Arches National Monument (now national park) in the 1950s, the experience that produced his landmark book Desert Solitaire, in this 1985 short documentary.
Me, I will never forget visiting Delicate Arch early one morning in 1990, trying to get ahead of the crowd, but then the crowd arrived, and someone said, "It looks just like the [Utah] license plate!"
From Ned Judge, producer and director: "An eight minute film essay that I co-produced and directed with Ed Abbey
in 1985. At the time I was working for a network magazine show. The
executive producer took me to lunch one day. He told me that he was
having trouble with his son who was 18. The son thought his dad was a
corporate whore. He had told his father if he had any balls at all he’d
put Ed Abbey on his show. That’s why the EP was talking to me. Would I
see if it was possible? I had an acquaintance who knew Ed and he
passed the request along. Ed responded that he’d give it a try. He
signed the contract and wrote a script. We met in Moab and went out to
Arches National Park to shoot some practice sessions with a home video
camera. We would review them at the motel in the evening. After a day
or two, Ed was feeling pretty comfortable on camera so we scheduled the
shoot. We were all happy with the way it went. But then we ran head-on
into [NBC] network reality. Roger Mudd, the show’s host, was extremely
negative about putting an “eco-terrorist” on the show. The executive
producer had no choice but to cave. So this Abbey essay was put on the
shelf and never aired. Abbey died 3 years later in March 1989."
Ned Judge's more recent work includes The Medicine in Marijuana, an examination of the claims made for medical marijuana.
I can't embed the video, so watch it here.