Course code:



M - Intermediate

Lab fee:


By definition “public lands” belong to all of us. Yet public lands in this country have a history of use (and abuse) by special interests and a shocking absence of any coherent management strategy for long-term sustainability.

This course is taught in seminar format in which students read and discuss several environmental policy and history texts that concern the history and future of our federal lands. We also use primary historic documents and texts to understand the origins of public ownership and management.

We examine the legal, philosophical, ecological, and political problems that have faced our National Parks, wildlife refuges, national forests, and other public lands. An effort is made to sort out the tangle of laws and conflicting policies that govern these public resources. Special attention is given to the historic roots of current policy debates.

Evaluation is based upon response papers, a class presentation, participation in class discussions, and a group project looking closely at the historical context and policy implications of a management issue facing a nearby public land unit.



Introductory history or policy class recommended.

Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.