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Gladesmen: The Last of the Sawgrass Cowboys

Distributed by Bullfrog Films, PO Box 149, Oley, PA 19547; 800-543-FROG (3764)
Produced by David Abel and Andy Lamb
Directed by David Abel
DVD , color, 87 min.
High School - General Adult
Wildlife Conservation, Culture, Environmentalism

Reviewed by Bonnie Jo Dopp, Librarian Emerita, University of Maryland

Date Entered: 10/5/2018

A feature-length look at a disappearing culture, that of people who live off the bounty of the Everglades. Gladesmen are shown fishing and frogging and taking tourists on airboat rides through this unique south Florida “river of grass” populated by alligators and large wading birds. Other stakeholders in its ecological health are heard from: National Park Service employees and supporters (Everglades National Park was specifically established to protect its environment), members of the Airboat Association of Florida, the Army Corps of Engineers, Miccosukee tribal members, conservationists, the agriculture industry, developers, and folks concerned about both drinking water supplies and rising seas. Change as a constant is a theme throughout and viewers are left with feeling that these filmmakers documented Gladesmen lifestyle in the nick of time.


  • Winner, Knight Foundation’s Made in Miami Award, Miami Film Festival 2018.