FUTURE OF PUBLIC LANDS

As friction over federal public lands such as the Bears Ears National Monument continues to play out in the public policy sphere, the future of public lands has never been more hotly debated.  What forces are driving current controversies and what opportunities exist to resolve future conflicts?

Those themes and others question be addressed at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law’s annual Stegner Center Symposium, “Public Lands in a Changing West.” The two-day symposium on March 15-16 will review how the west is changing, explore scientific advances, and examine how public land laws and policies are evolving. The 23rd annual symposium will examine three signature issues—the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument designation, multi-jurisdictional efforts to manage for sage grouse conservation, and the Crown of the Continent initiative in northern Montana — to extract key lessons learned and viable strategies for addressing contentious issues. The symposium will conclude with a panel discussion to identify ongoing problems, policy changes, and related reforms that could improve resource management across the public domain and also garner broader support.

The Wallace Stegner Lecture, a separate event held in conjunction with the symposium, will be given by professor John Leshy, University of California Hastings College of Law and former Department of the Interior Solicitor. Leshy’s lecture starts at 12:15 p.m. the day before the symposium, on March 14.

Leshy’s lecture is open to the public and registration is required for the other parts of the event. A schedule and biographies for presenters are available here.

The Wallace Stegner Center at the S.J. Quinney College of Law offers students one of the top 10 environmental and natural resources law programs in the United States. The Stegner Center, named after the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and conservationist, is dedicated to understanding today’s critical environmental challenges and to increasing public understanding and promoting dialogue about how to live within environmental limits. The center offers students a variety of educational opportunities, including a J.D. certificate in environmental and natural resources law; an LL.M. degree; an environmental clinic and practical skills curriculum; numerous substantive law courses; an environmental dispute resolution program; and a variety of other events and speakers at the College of Law.