History of America’s Public Lands with John Leshy

**Events may have been canceled or postponed. Please contact the venue to confirm the event.

Date & Time

Wed, May 10 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Address (map)

2559 Puesta del Sol

Venue (website)

S.B. Museum of Natural History

America’s public lands include more than 600 million acres of forests, plains, mountains, wetlands, deserts, and shorelines. Join John Leshy, a leading expert in public lands policy, as he discusses the little-known history of how the U.S. government came to hold nearly one-third of the nation’s land. In his book, Our Common Ground: A History of America’s Public Lands, Leshy traces the emergence of a bipartisan political consensus in favor of the national government holding these vast land areas primarily for recreation, education, and conservation of biodiversity and cultural resources. That consensus remains strong and continues to shape American identity. Such a success story is a bright spot in an era of cynicism about government, as the world grapples with the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.

John Leshy is a distinguished professor emeritus at the University of California College of the Law in San Francisco. He was a solicitor (general counsel) of the Interior Department throughout the Clinton Administration. Earlier, he was counsel to the Chair of the Natural Resources Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, a law professor at Arizona State University, associate solicitor of interior for energy and resources in the Carter administration, an attorney-advocate with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and a litigator in the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. He headed the Interior Department transition team for Clinton-Gore in 1992 and was co-lead for Obama-Biden in 2008.

This talk is the first in the two-part Bejenke Lecture Series: Conversations on Climate, Conservation, and Common Ground. The series helps to support the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s ongoing tradition of hosting community conversations about climate change.

Tickets are $10 for SBMNH Members and $12 for non-members. Buy tickets online

Proceeds from admission help support future lectures and other educational events at the Museum and Sea Center.

Save $10 on the book Our Common Ground: A History of America’s Public Lands in the Museum’s online store using  discount code: LESHYSBMNH2023


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