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Nevada City, Calif. — The US Forest Service has released Legacy, a film that chronicles Chinese Railroad Workers’ contribution to the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. Legacy can be viewed at bit.ly/TNFLEGACY. The release of this film coincides with the US Forest Service’s celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which takes place each May.
“The US Forest Service is thrilled to share Legacy, a film produced on the Tahoe National Forest, that documents the contributions of thousands of Chinese Railroad workers to the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad,” said Eli Ilano, Tahoe National Forest Supervisor. “These brave and determined workers changed the course of American history. The film showcases cultural sites connected to the railroad within the boundaries of the Tahoe National Forest and features the men and women who are retelling this fascinating story today.”
About the film: Over 150 years ago, Chinese Railroad Workers blasted and chiseled their way through the rugged Sierra Nevada Mountains near Donner Summit on the Tahoe National Forest while completing the Transcontinental Railroad. Despite this monumental achievement, the Chinese Railroad Workers’ contribution was excluded, ignored and forgotten from history. Today, grassroots groups and the US Forest Service are working together to retell the story of these workers’ lasting legacy.
The world premiere of Legacy occurred in January, 2020, at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Nevada City, CA. Legacy was produced in association with the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association. Written and directed by Joe Flannery, Public Affairs Officer for the Tahoe National Forest. Cinematography and editing by Kyle Lancaster, Gigantic Film Co.
The release of Legacy for online viewing is the latest effort of the Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Collaborative to provide interpretation and access to heritage resources on public lands. This Collaborative consists of federal agencies, non-profits, universities, and the APA community. In past efforts, the Collaborative has created exploreAPAheritage.com to centralize historic information and to facilitate the APA community to connect with their public lands. The Pacific Southwest Region of the US Forest Service has also participated in various public events in Northern California to promote these efforts. An additional highlight has been the facilitation of the Return to Gold Mountain Tour each of the last two years. This tour gives educators, members of the public, and descendants of the original Chinese Railroad Workers who built the Transcontinental Railroad a chance to explore the associated cultural sites within the Tahoe National Forest.