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Learning from the past to preserve the future of public lands

Welcome to the Public Lands History Center!

Established in 2007, the award-winning Public Lands History Center (PLHC) integrates research, education, and outreach in the best tradition of a land-grant university. Projects with National Parks and other public land management agencies enlist faculty, graduate students, and other researchers to conduct historical research that directly informs current resource management challenges. Our American West Program seeks to expose audiences to significant research, dynamic speakers, narratives of change and contestation, and the excitement of interdisciplinary dialogue on human-environment issues in the West.  The PLHC gets students out of the classroom and into the field to get the experience and connections they need for fulfilling careers after graduation.

PPL 2021 Group Photo. From left back row to right: Paige Rooney, Jacie Rex, Amber Scott, Mike Childers (CSU History Faculty), Taylor Lapoint, Shaun Rose, Kristy Ornelas, Ariel Schnee (Public Lands History Center Program Manager).
PPL 2021 Group Photo. From left back row to right: Paige Rooney, Jacie Rex, Amber Scott, Mike Childers (CSU History Faculty), Taylor Lapoint, Shaun Rose, Kristy Ornelas, Ariel Schnee (Public Lands History Center Program Manager).
PPL 2021 participant conduct an oral interview with a seasonal ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park and Ruth Alexander, professor emeritus.
PPL 2021 participant conduct an oral interview with a seasonal ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park and Ruth Alexander, professor emeritus.
PPL 2021 participants visit an accessible backcountry campsite.
PPL 2021 participants visit an accessible backcountry campsite.

Recent News

Congratulations Shaun Rose!

November 19, 2021

Shaun Rose presented his work at the Graduate Student Showcase, which earned him the College of Liberal Arts Highest Achievement in Scholarship Award. Shaun’s presentation is an extension of work he has done on a project for the PLHC! You can see a recorded version of Shaun’s presentation on Cultural Resource Management at Fisher’s Peak here. Congratulations […]

New Publication by CSU History Alumnus!

November 10, 2021

“A History of Land Use and Vegetation Change in California Park, a High-Elevation Rangeland in Northwestern Colorado” By Dillon M. Maxwell, Charles C. Rhoades, Lincoln Bramwell, Mark W. Paschke U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station (2021) Abstract: For centuries, humans occupied and altered California Park, a unique high-elevation rangeland in northwestern […]

Fall 2021 American West Program with Yufna Soldier Wolf

October 19, 2021

The American West Program Returns in 2021 On October 14th, the Public Lands History Center brought the American West Program back from a year-long hiatus. Featuring Northern Arapaho speaker Yufna Soldier Wolf, the hybrid event hosted attendees in person and online. Soldier Wolf’s daughter, Blue Soldier Wolf, opened the event by reading the CSU land […]

Blog

Contending with Federal and Local Water Management in Las Vegas, Nevada

November 3, 2021

The Origins of Sin City  Saddled with gleaming skyscrapers and picturesque fountains, the streets of Las Vegas suddenly emerge amongst red-rimmed mesas in the Mojave Desert. Sin City offers a shimmering respite from the desert that surrounds it, a consumerist paradise set along sandstone and tumbleweeds, but it wouldn’t exist if Hoover Dam was never […]

Racial Segregation on the American South’s Public Lands

September 14, 2021

Who Gets a Getaway? The year was 1940. As World War II raged in Europe, and Americans seeking leisure and adventure turned to exploring their National and State Parks rather than vacationing abroad.[1] In the east, Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountain National Parks were open. Instead of trekking to the National Parks of the west, […]

LGBTQ+ History and Monuments: Historical Perspectives on the Pulse Nightclub and the Matthew Shepard Murder

September 14, 2021

In light of the recent gun violence that took place at STEM High School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado on May 8, 2019, the PLHC would like to offer anyone affected by those events a content warning on the blog post below, which details instances of gun violence against youth and young adults, specifically LGBTQ+ individuals. […]

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