GREEN RIVER — Whether it’s from overseas or on bicycles, southwest Wyoming’s scenic and remote Red Desert is receiving a lot of attention this month.

Public television film crews from station NHK World in Japan recently finished shooting an hourlong documentary focusing on the landscapes and wildlife in the Red Desert, which lies about 30 miles north of Rock Springs in Sweetwater County.

Next week, federal and conservation officials will sponsor the first Ride the Red Desert bike tour in a cooperative attempt to connect families to the outdoors.

The Japanese film crews were guided and aided by the Laramie-based Biodiversity Conservation Alliance for the production, which is being produced and directed by Japanese filmmaker Akira Matsubayashi.

The documentary aims to help raise the international profile of the Red Desert area, which is in the country’s least-populated state, Biodiversity officials said in a media release.

Minami Tamura, the Ottawa, Canada-based coordinator of the production, said the director was originally interested in producing a film about the behavioral side of the greater sage grouse.

But while Matsubayashi was filming the 30-minute documentary, he decided to expand the production and include a longer piece on the Red Desert, Tamura said.

The crew started filming in March around the Eden Valley and Farson area.

Their initial piece on sage grouse for NHK World’s “Nature’s Wonderland” program aired in Japan on Aug. 1.

The production team toured the southern end of the Red Desert first, including the Adobe Town area, the Powder Rim area and atop Kinney Rim.

The team wrapped up last week in the Jack Morrow Hills area of the northwest Red Desert, capturing footage of the Boar’s Tusk, Killpecker dunes and the Honeycomb Buttes, among other sites.

Bureau of Land Management officials said the bike tour, scheduled for Aug. 28, is intended to combine the agency’s stewardship and outdoor ethics in its “Take it

Outside: Connect With Your Public Lands” initiative with the Wyoming Outdoor Council’s semi-annual bike tour of the Red Desert.

“The BLM has a unique opportunity to connect families to the outdoors, (and) this event will help provide an opportunity for outdoor recreation and education,” said BLM recreation planner Noelle Glines-Bovio.

The ride will traverse a 14-mile loop on a two-track trail along the Powder Rim area. Officials said experienced and amateur mountain bikers are encouraged to participate.

Contact Jeff Gearino at gearino@tribcsp.com or 307-875-5359.

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