The tenure of Idaho’s Senator Frank Church (1957-1981) coincides with an era of unprecedented federal environmental protective legislation. Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, in particular, presided over a flurry of congressional lawmaking that effectively focused national attention on preservation – protecting nature from exploitation – and established some of the most far-reaching and powerful laws affecting plant and animal species, air and water, and public lands. During this remarkable stretch of years, bipartisanism flourished. And many of the consensus-building measures that preserved wilderness, wild rivers, and wild places were the work of Frank Church, who long sought balance between economic development and environmental protection. At the time, Church advocated an idea he called the “New Conservation” – a big-picture approach he believed would insure “a healthy and habitable environment for man.”
Join us for a presentation and discussion of Church’s pioneering ability to galvanize consensus into a win-win model of environmental protection that also suggests a way forward toward cooperation and sustainability in our own time.
Books will be available for sale and signing, courtesy of Chapter One Bookstore.
This presentation will be live streamed and recorded for later viewing on our LIVESTREAM page.
Sara Dant is Professor and Chair of History at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, whose work focuses on environmental politics in the United States with a particular emphasis on the creation and development of consensus and bi-partisanism. Her newest book is Losing Eden: An Environmental History of the American West (2017), a “thought-provoking, well-written work” about the interaction between people and nature over time. She is also the author of several prize-winning articles on western environmental politics and Frank Church, chapters for three books on Utah history, a precedent-setting Expert Witness Report and Testimony on Stream Navigability upheld by the Utah Supreme Court (2017), and co-author (with Hal Rothman) of the two-volume Encyclopedia of American National Parks (2004). An avid outdoor enthusiast and native westerner, Dant divides her time between northern Utah and the Galisteo River Valley outside Santa Fe, New Mexico.
This event is sponsored by the Frank Church Institute, whose mission is to promote civic engagement and understanding of public policy. The Institute was established in 1982 within the School of Public Service at Boise State University to honor the achievements and to carry forward the principles of one of Idaho’s most distinguished native sons, Senator Frank Church. The Institute is non-partisan and seeks to provide a forum for open and informed discussion characterized by civility, tolerance, and compromise. For more information, please visit https://www.boisestate.edu/sps-frankchurchinstitute/.