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50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act Conference

September 26, 2014 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

The Wilderness Act at 50 and the Mountain West

The Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources and Environment
University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Sutherland Moot Courtroom

In commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Wilderness Act, this conference will examine the Wilderness Act from its initial beginnings to the modern day. Specific topics to be considered include the enactment of the Wilderness Act, the modern history of wilderness designation in the West, the economic valuation of wilderness, new challenges in wilderness designation, and specific ecological concerns including wildlife restoration, water, and climate change. Issues specific to wilderness designation and management in Utah will also be addressed. Historian Douglas Brinkley will deliver a noon-hour keynote address on “U.S. Presidents and the Wilderness Act.”

Keynote Speaker: Douglas Brinkley, U.S. Presidents and the Wilderness Act


12:15-1:30, Sutherland Moot Courtroom
Douglas Brinkley is a professor of history at Rice University, CBS News Historian, and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. The Chicago Tribune has dubbed him “America’s new past master.” His books include The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America and The Quiet World: Saving Alaska’s Wilderness Kingdom, 1879-1960. Seven of his books have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Cronkite won the Sperber Prize for Best Book in Journalism and was a Washington Post Notable Book of the Year 2012. The Great Deluge won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.

6 hours of CLE credit (pending)


8:00 a.m. – Registration and Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – Welcome and Opening Remarks

8:45 a.m. – Origins and Text of the Wilderness Act

Robin Kundis Craig, University of Utah S. J. Quinney College of Law

9:15 a.m. – The Modern History of Wilderness Designation in the West

John Leshy, UC Hastings College of Law

9:45 a.m. –  BREAK

10:15 a.m. – New Challenges in Wilderness Designation

Bob Keiter, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

10:45 a.m. – The Wilderness Act, Intermountain Style

Martin Nie, University of Montana College of Forestry and Conservation

11:15 a.m. – Economic Valuation of Wilderness

Sanne Knudsen, University of Washington School of Law

11:45 p.m. – Lunch

12:15 p.m. – Keynote: U.S. Presidents and the Wilderness Act

Douglas Brinkley, Professor of History at Rice University
The keynote address is free and open to the public

1:30 p.m. –  BREAK

1:45 p.m. – Wilderness and Wildlife Restoration

Sean Kammer, University of South Dakota School of Law

2:15 p.m. – Wilderness and Water

Sandi Zellmer, University of Nebraska School of Law

2:45 p.m. –  Making Wilderness Resilient in the Face of Climate Change

Barbara Cosens, University of Idaho School of Law

3:15 p.m. – BREAK

3:45 p.m. – Protecting Wilderness in Utah

David Garbett, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
Ray Peterson, Public Lands Department, Emery County Government
Cody Stewart, Office of Utah State Governor Gary Herbert

5:00 p.m. – Adjourn

Sponsored By:

The Cultural Vision Fund
Energy, Natural Resources & Environmental Law (ENREL) Section of the Utah State Bar
Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance


September 26, 2014
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Wallace Stegner Center


S. J. Quinney College of Law
383 South University St
Salt Lake City, UT 84112 United States
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