The past year at the Stegner Center has been one of departures, punctuated with transitions and continuities. We were deeply saddened to learn of Page Stegner’s untimely death last December. Wally’s and Mary’s only child, Page was a stalwart supporter of the Stegner Center since its inception, immediately recognizing the connection between our vision for the Center and Wally’s passion for the West, its special places and people, and the role law played in safeguarding them. Page, along with his wife Lynn and daughter Allison, have regularly participated in Stegner Center programs and provided constant encouragement as we seek to perpetuate Wally’s legacy through our programming and activities. I represented the Stegner Center and the College of Law at the family-planned celebration of Page’s life in Greensboro, Vermont, this past summer. Friends and family gathered there to remember this remarkable man whose life, interests, and passions stretched across so many boundaries, from east to west, and from intellectual pursuits to physical labor. He is missed, but we take comfort in our ongoing relationship with Lynn and Allison.
Our colleague Amy Wildermuth departed the University of Utah this summer, leaving her recent post as Associate Vice President for Faculty to assume the position of Dean at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Besides participating in the Stegner Center during her tenure on the College of Law faculty, Amy served as the University’s Chief Sustainability Officer. She spearheaded a variety of initiatives, including an offsite renewable energy purchase to provide 50% of the University’s electricity, the development of sustainability learning outcomes which have been incorporated in the University’s undergraduate curriculum, and an award-winning community discount program for solar, electric vehicles and e-bikes. She too will be missed, but we are pleased that she has the opportunity to pursue her career academic administration goals. We wish her the best in her new role.
We missed Dean Bob Adler during the spring semester when he took a well-deserved sabbatical to reengage with his research agenda and to visit his daughter in New Zealand for a respite from the hectic schedule he’s been maintaining on behalf of the law school. At the request of the University, I stepped in as Acting Dean for the semester, but we’re pleased to have Bob back at the helm and I’m happy to be back at the Stegner Center. Our colleague Robin Craig is now on sabbatical, spending the fall semester in New Zealand where she is doing research on indigenous ocean use practices to further her scholarship in the realm of Ocean and Coastal Law. We look forward to having a full contingent of Center faculty on site for the spring semester.
As is evident from the newsletter, the Stegner Center faculty and our students have been quite busy this past year. Notably, the Environmental Dispute Resolution program is engaged in providing alternative dispute resolution training and in working with gateway and other communities on growth-related issues, while the Research Fellow program has published extensively on national monument and NEPA issues of current concern. Our students continue to excel, as reflected in their various scholarship awards and moot court appearances. And the Center had a productive year with an assortment of timely programs, including our annual symposium and regular noon green bag presentations. We are doing the same this year: Our annual spring symposium is on “Recreation Challenges on the Public Lands” featuring former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, and we will present a timely “PURPA@40” conference next month.
Please join us for any of our programs, which are made possible by the generosity of our donors, who we thank for their commitment to the Stegner Center and to ensuring we leave a healthy planet to the generations yet to come.