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Vision and Place: John Wesley Powell and Reimagining the Colorado River Basin

February 18, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

A Wallace Stegner Center Green Bag

12:00 p.m.,  Zoom link – Register here »
The climate change-stricken Colorado River Basin not only provides water to forty-million people, including along Utah’s Wasatch Front. It also contains ancestral homelands of 29 Native American tribes as well as pervasive, sublime public lands such as Grand Canyon National Park. Vision & Place: John Wesley Powell & Reimagining the Colorado River Basin—a recent volume commemorating the historic 1869 Powell Expedition’s sesquicentennial—explores the basin’s past, present, and future. A panel of authors will discuss Powell’s distinct vision for the basin and broader “Arid Region,” the ways that vision has and has not shaped the landscape, and ultimately what lies ahead for the basin’s water, public lands, and Native Americans.


1 hour Utah CLE (pending). Free and open to the public.
Due to COVID-19, all Stegner Center events will be virtual during the Spring 2021 semester.


The King’s English Bookshop is joining us as the bookseller for this event. To order a copy of Vision and Place: John Wesley Powell and Reimagining the Colorado River Basin from The King’s English Bookshop, please click here.





Jason Robison is a Professor in the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources program at the University of Wyoming College of Law, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law this spring 2021. His writing revolves around water, public lands, and Native Americans, particularly in the western United States. Professor Robison is lead editor of Vision & Place: John Wesley Powell & Reimagining the Colorado River Basin (Univ. of California Press, 2020). He is also author of Law of Water Rights & Resources (Thomson Reuters, 2020) and editor of a forthcoming volume commemorating the 1922 Colorado River Compact’s centennial—Cornerstone: The Next Century of the Colorado River Compact.


Panelists include:

Robert Adler, Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law
In his teaching and scholarship, Dean Adler’s goal is “to stimulate more interdisciplinary work in this increasingly global world … [and] to prepare students for that world in an environment that changes almost continuously, and which demands skills that go far beyond what has been traditionally taught in law schools.” As a scholar, Professor Adler urges a broader, more holistic approach to the restoration and protection of aquatic and other ecosystems than is used in traditional environmental laws alone, which focus on discrete kinds of environmental harm. He also explores the many ways in which environmental law and water law will have to respond to a rapidly changing climate. After completing a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, Dean Adler practiced environmental law for 15 years. He has published dozens of articles and reports in law, policy, and science journals. He has published two books with Island Press, one on the history and impact of the Clean Water Act and the other on restoring Colorado River ecosystems. He also published an environmental law casebook with Wolters-Kluwer Publishers, co-authored with David Driesen and Kirsten Engel and now in its second edition, and recently published a water law casebook with Professor Robin Craig (also on the Quinney law faculty) and Professor Noah Hall from Wayne State. Dean Adler teaches courses in environmental law and water law, as well as civil procedure. He loves to spend time in Utah’s outdoors, and has completed the Wasatch 100 and Bear 100 trail races through Utah’s beautiful mountains.



Robert Keiter, Wallace Stegner Professor of Law and Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law
Professor Keiter holds a J.D. degree with honors from Northwestern University School of Law and a B.A. with honors from Washington University. He has taught at the University of Wyoming, Boston College, and Southwestern University, and served as a Senior Fulbright Scholar at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal. Professor Keiter’s most recent books are To Conserve Unimpaired: The Evolution of the National Park Idea, (Island Press, April 2013), and the Wyoming State Constitution (Oxford University Press, 2017). His other books include Keeping Faith With Nature: Ecosystems, Democracy, and America’s Public Lands (Yale Univ. Press 2003); Reclaiming the Native Home of Hope: Community, Ecology, and the West (Univ. of Utah Press 1998); Visions of the Grand Staircase-Escalante: Examining Utah’s Newest National Monument (Utah Mus. of Nat. History & Wallace Stegner Center 1998); The Wyoming State Constitution: A Reference Guide (Greenwood Press 1993); and The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: Redefining America’s Wilderness Heritage (Yale Univ. Press 1991). He has also written numerous book chapters and journal articles on public lands and natural resource law, addressing such topics as national parks, ecosystem management, wildfire policy, and biodiversity conservation. He serves as a Trustee of the National Parks Conservation Association and the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, for which he served as President from 2013-2014.



Daniel McCool, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Utah
Professor McCool’s research focuses on water resources, Indian voting and water rights, and public lands policy.  His recent books include: River Republic: The Fall and Rise of America’s Rivers (Columbia University Press 2012); The Most Fundamental Right: Contrasting Perspectives on the Voting Rights Act (Indiana University Press 2012, edited); Native Vote: American Indians, the Voting Rights Act, and Indian Voting (Cambridge University Press 2007, co-authored); and Native Waters: Contemporary Indian Water Settlements and the Second Treaty Era (University of Arizona Press 2002). His most recent book, co-edited, is: Vision and Place: John Wesley Powell and Reimagining the West (Univ. of California Press, forthcoming). He co-authored the 2020 report on Native American voting, “Obstacles at Every Turn: Barriers to Political Participation Faced by Native Voters.”  He has served as an expert witness in 17 voting rights cases.


For questions about this event contact Chrystal (801) 213-1317.

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February 18, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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College of Law
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