The Public Lands History Center

The Public Lands History Center is a group of university-based historians who use the past to help our partners resolve “real world” problems that concern us all. We use history to shed light on the management and protection of protected areas, historic places, and habitat. Can history offer lessons that will help us manage drought-stricken, burned, or beetle-infested forests and parks? Can stories from the past help us figure out how historic buildings, neighborhoods, or other artifacts “fit” present-day needs and interests? We think it can!

What We Do

Public Lands Research Projects

Assisting federal agencies and other entities involved in land and resource management makes up the bulk of the PLHC’s project work. Since 2007, we’ve produced environmental histories, oral histories, and evaluated historic buildings and structures for public lands agencies and private partners. We’ve also provided technical assistance to resource managers on more than 40 funded research projects. In all, the PLHC has produced over $2 million in funded projects. Click here for a list of PLHC projects.

Public Lands Programming and Engagement

We also operate public programs for students and the public. These include the American West Program, Parks as Portals to Learning, and History Day. Students can take advantage of employment opportunities on professional projects with the Public Lands History Center, as well as our undergraduate internship program.

How to Partner with Us

The PLHC welcomes partners from both the public and private sector. If you would like to work with us, please contact our Director, Dr. Jared Orsi, at jared.orsi@colostate.edu. You can reach our office at (970) 491-6130. Our staff is experienced in negotiating contracts between the PLHC and external partners. We can help your organization develop an agreement with the PLHC that accomplishes your goals.

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