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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.

A collage of images of people outdoors.
PPL 2020 Group Photo Collage. Top row from left to right: Alex Miller (CSU History Graduate Student), Amber Scott (CSU History Graduate Student), Ariel Schnee (Public Lands History Center Program Manager), Michael Childers (CSU History Faculty), Kurt Knierim (Rocky Mountain High School Social Studies Teacher), Kayla Steele (Berthoud High School Social Studies Teacher), and Natalie Stacker (CSU History Graduate Student). Bottom row from left to right: Katya Irwin (CSU History Graduate Student), Sean McCollum (CSU History Graduate Student), Corinne Neustadter (CSU Undergraduate History Student), Hailey Doucette (CSU Undergraduate History Student), Payton Perkins (Rocky Mountain High School Student), Eliana Paradise (Berthoud High School Student), and Jayden Thieman (Rocky Mountain High School Student).
Participants Carly Boerrigter, Daniel Gilbert, and Kylee Cole at PPL 2018 rephotographing the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Participants Carly Boerrigter, Daniel Gilbert, and Kylee Cole at PPL 2018 rephotographing the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Participants conduct an oral history interview with Barry Sweet, Wilderness Office Manager, at Rocky Mountain National Park for PPL 2020.
Participants conduct an oral history interview with Barry Sweet, Wilderness Office Manager, at Rocky Mountain National Park for PPL 2020.

Recent News

PLHC Featured in National Geographic

November 16, 2020

The PLHC’s community storytelling project recently gained attention in one of the most widely-recognized nature publications anywhere: National Geographic. Freelance photojournalist, Andria Hautamaki, authored the article. The Colorado-based reporter discovered the PLHC’s Public Landemic project online. The project and the PLHC sparked her curiosity. In developing the article, the reporter noticed that the Public Landemic […]

PLHC launches ‘Public Landemic’ project

April 17, 2020

COVID-19 inspires PLHC’s ‘Public Landemic’ Project What is a Public Landemic? Efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 have radically changed recreation and leisure landscape in Colorado. The pandemic caused ski resorts to close at the height of height of spring ski season. Climbing gyms and fitness centers closed their doors. Closures of businesses including […]

PLHC Hosts Alumni Career Panel at History Day 2020

March 17, 2020

History Day 2020: Connecting college, career with CSU alumni On March 6th, the Public Lands History Center welcomed forty high school students from Rocky Mountain High School (RMHS) and Berthoud High School (BHS) to campus for History Day, a collaborative program that raises awareness of the history major and career options for historians. In 2018 […]

What’s Happening at the PLHC?

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