Stegner Center Publications and Research

Stegner Center Publications and Research


Wallace Stegner Lectures

Each year, in conjunction with the annual symposium, the Wallace Stegner Center hosts a Stegner Lecture. The Stegner Lecture features luminaries who deliver a lecture on the topic of the symposium. Their lectures are free and open to the public and form the basis for the publication of the annual Wallace Stegner Lecture  by the University of Utah Press. For information on ordering these booklets, please contact the University Press.

The Twilight of Self Reliance: Frontier Values and Contemporary America by Wallace Stegner

The occasions of the centennial of Wallace Stegner’s birth on February 18, 1909, and the University of Utah Press’s announcement of the Wallace Stegner Publication Prize in Environmental and American Western History have provided the impetus for the re-publication of The Twilight of Self-Reliance: Frontier Values and Contemporary America, which was originally delivered as a Tanner Lecture at the University of Utah on February 25, 1980.

The Fourth West by Charles Wilkinson

Charles Wilkinson views the history of the American West as being divided into three periods. The First West existed when only the American Indians occupied the land. The Second West began with the California Gold Rush and the rapid settlement of the region. The Third West began at the end of World War II when the American West experienced explosive growth that transformed the region from a largely rural environment to an urban environment. In this lecture, Wilkinson explores the question of whether the region is about to enter a new period, the Fourth West, when “we finally do know what we have and what we have to lose.”

Dance, Don’t Drive: Resilient Thinking for Turbulent Times by Chip Ward

Warnings regarding our unsustainable lifestyles have become so commonplace that eyes glaze over at the mere mention of the topic. Chip Ward aims to change that. Seeking to convey the importance of living sustainably, he reframes the discourse to point out the consequences we face and the choices we make. Ward says we must recognize that we are bounded by the limits of a finite natural realm, that “after years of driving economies, we must learn to dance with ecosystems.” The dancing lessons he offers are eloquent, original, and compelling. Urging us to build resilient communities, he concludes: “When we practice that awkward dance of mutuality that is the very signature of a democratic culture—the dance where we share, learn, listen, reconcile, invite, reciprocate, step towards one another and embrace—we may be received with rough hands and a tenuous grasp. But if we have the courage to engage honestly and if we take our dancing lessons to heart, we may become not only resilient but grateful, humble, and reverent.”

Little Fish in a Pork Barrel: The Classic American Story of the Endangered Snail Darter and the Tennesse Valley Authority’s Final Dam by Zygmunt J.B. Plater

The “snail darter story” has become an iconic episode in modern American history—a classic case regularly voted one of the top three Supreme Court environmental decisions but also enjoying dubious public notoriety as the “Most Extreme Environmental Case Ever.” Behind the fish marched a bedraggled coalition: farmers whose land was being condemned for resale to private developers, Cherokee Indians, fishermen, local conservationists, and Zygmunt Plater and his students. They carried the campaign through federal agencies, a succession of skeptical courtrooms, two White House administrations, repeated struggles with lobbyists in House and Senate battles, and frustrations with the vagaries of the national press.

Ownership, Property, and Sustainability by Joseph L. Sax

What is a landowner’s responsibility to habitat preservation? In the past, owning land meant arranging it for one’s own use, but this in turn generally resulted in destroyed or degraded habitat. In today’s world, loss of biodiversity has become a public concern. Does the landowner now have an obligation to manage his land differently? Can habitat protection be superimposed on a private landowner? Joseph Sax explores these questions in his lecture on the interconnections of ownership, property, and sustainability.

The Emerging Alliance of Religion and Ecology by Mary Evelyn Tucker

The environmental crisis is most frequently viewed through the lens of science, policy, law, and economics. In recent years the moral and spiritual dimensions of this crisis are becoming more visible. Indeed, world religions are bringing their texts and traditions, along with their ethics and practices, into dialogue with environmental problems. In a lecture delivered at the University of Utah, Tucker explores this growing movement and highlights why it holds great promise for long term changes for the flourishing of the Earth community.

Reclaiming the Native Home of Hope

Despite the range of issues that divide its citizenry, the American West is experiencing an emerging ecological sensitivity and hope for understanding, cooperation, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Reclaiming the Native Home of Hope exemplifies these developments and is a distinctive and important contribution to the growing body of environmental and nature writing. Representing such diverse disciplines as literature, history, science, economics, law, and public policy, the eighteen essays included in the volume capture the essence of the ongoing dialogue on a variety of critical issues confronting Westerners today with regard to community, place geography, and wildness. The book contains essays by William Kittredge, Terry Tempest Williams, Rick Bass, Teresa Jordan, Stephen Trimble, Robert Keiter, Daniel Kemmis, Charles Wilkinson and others. For ordering information, visit the University of Utah Press .

Visions of the Grand Staircase-Escalante: Examining Utah’s Newest National Monument

The Grand Staircase-Escalante region of southern Utah has a distinctly enigmatic quality. The area’s dry, stark terrain, interlaced with myriad geological formations and deep riverine canyons, has never supported large-scale human habitation. Yet, the surrounding national parks brought visitors in ever increasing numbers, and burgeoning interest in the Colorado Plateau’s recreational opportunities introduced urban Utahns and others to the area. And the region’s mineral resources attracted national attention after the Arab oil embargo. In September 1996, President Bill Clinton used his power under the Antiquities Act to designate the Grand Staircase-Escalante region as a new 1.7 million-acre national monument. Visions of the Grand Staircase-Escalante looks at this new monument and charts a course for its possible future. For ordering information, visit the University of Utah Press .

Learning from the Monument: What does the Grand Staircase-Escalante Mean for Land Protection in the West

When he designated the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, President Clinton broke with tradition and gave responsibility for the monument to the Bureau of Land Management, rather than the National Park Service. Under the proclamation designating the monument gave BLM three years to develop a management plan, which was completed in 1999. The Journal of Land, Resources, & Environmental Law published a special edition that reexamines the planning process behind the monument management plan, looking to implications that process has for broader plan land management issues. This publication can be viewed online.

Transportation, Land Use and Ecology along the Wasatch Front

Like many metropolitan areas in the West, Utah’s Wasatch Front is undergoing rapid change as the result of substantial growth. Transportation, Land Use and Ecology along the Wasatch Front catalogues a number of these changes and examines ways in which the region, and by example the rest of the West, can come to terms with expanding urban development. For ordering information, contact the Stegner Center .

Western Energy Bulletin

The Wallace Stegner Center no longer publishes the Western Energy Bulletin.


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