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Public Lecture: “Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, and When the Republicans Were Green.”

The Department of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies invites you to attend a public lecture by the environmental scholar, Char Miller on Wednesday, September 13 at 7:30 p.m. in room 230 of Minard Hall.

The foundations of the American conservation movement were built during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt between 1901 and 1909. Working closely with Gifford Pinchot, first chief of the U.S. Forest Service, Roosevelt vigorously expanded the national forests, wildlife refuges, national monuments and national parks. But how exactly did TR do it? What enabled he and Pinchot to undertake such a massive expansion of protected lands early in the 20th century? Char Miller, a leading scholar of Pinchot, TR, and U.S. environmental history, will illuminate the tactics and strategies these early conservation leaders deployed, the resistance they encountered, and how they worked to overcome it to establish the early conservation state. As a Progressive Republican, TR saw conservation as part of his project of regulating big business and of ensuring sustainability of natural resources. Those tenets underlay the political support for conservation and later environmentalism for many decades, as seen in the bi-partisanship for safeguarding nature well into 1970s Now, a far more partisan politics shapes American environmental thinking and policy making, raising the question of whether any of Theodore Roosevelt’s spirit endures.

Char Miller is the W. M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis at Pomona College. His most recent books include Gifford Pinchot: Selected Writings (2017), Not So Golden State: Sustainability vs. the California Dream (2016) and America’s Great National Forests, Wilderness, and Grasslands (2016). Other works include the award-winning Gifford Pinchot and the Making of Modern Environmentalism (2004), On the Edge: Water, Immigration, and Politics in the Southwest (2013) and Seeking the Greatest Good: The Conservation Legacy of Gifford Pinchot (2013). Co-author of Death Valley National Park: A History (2013) and co-editor of Forest Conservation in the Anthropocene: Science, Policy, and Practice (2016), Miller is a Senior Fellow at the Pinchot Institute for Conservation and a Fellow of the Forest History Society.

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