Unravelling Teddy Roosevelt's Legacy: America's National Monuments Under Threat

Unraveling Teddy Rosevelt's Legacy

Elizabeth De Santo
Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies

Since its inception in 1906, the Antiquities Act has been used over 100 times to protect America's natural and cultural heritage from development, including the Devil's Tower, the Grand Canyon, Mount Katahdin, and many more.  Recent designations under President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama included large territories in the Pacific Ocean, bringing the oceans into the spotlight.  While controversy over Monument designations is not new, the current Administration is recommending reducing the size of several of them, as well as opening some to extractive uses. 

This talk will examine the legal case for protecting Monuments, and whether the arguments for reduction/opening have merit, given the opposition of Native Americans and wide swaths of the American public.  It will also address the need for better protecting our cultural and natural heritage in a changing climate, particularly in the oceans.

Elizabeth De Santo is a human geographer with training in environmental law, history of international relations, environmental management, and marine zoology.

Recorded Nov. 30, 2017, in Mayser Gymnasium.

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