The Public Lands History Center is a group of university-based historians who use stories about the past to help partners within and beyond Colorado State University to resolve “real world” problems that are of concern to us all. We use history to shed light on contemporary problems related to 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

Assisting federal agencies and other entities involved in land and resource management makes up the bulk of our project work at the PLHC. Since our founding in 2007, we’ve produced environmental histories, gathered and transcribed oral histories, evaluated historical buildings and structures, and provided technical assistance to resource managers on more than 40 funded projects. The PLHC has produced $2 million in funded projects. For a comprehensive list of projects, click here.

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 Faculty Program Manager, Dr. Jared Orsi, at You call also call our office at (970) 491-6130. Our staff is experienced in negotiating contracts between the PLHC and external partners and can help your organization develop an agreement with the PLHC that accomplishes your goals.


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