Public Lands in the New West Past and Present: Entitlement, Conflict, and Conspiracy
- Friday, September 11, 2020 from 12:00pm to 1:30pm
- Online via Webex
Betsy Gaines Quammen, a Bozeman-based environmental historian, writer and conservationist, will present "Public Lands in the New West Past and Present: Entitlement, Conflict, and Conspiracy" as part of MSU Wonderlust's Friday Forum series. This event is presented online via Webex.
Quammen will discuss her new book, “American Zion: Cliven Bundy, God and Public Lands in the West.” The book explores the 27-year legal battle and land-use war, launched from Bunkerville, Nevada, between Cliven Bundy and his large family and local, state and federal governments. She will also discuss research for the book and ongoing conspiracy theories, as well as comparisons to the current unrest between the government and the American public.
In “American Zion,” Quammen argues that the Bundys are engaged in open conflict with the U.S. government, a conflict traceable back to that time when adherents of the Church of Latter-day Saints came west, bringing militant beliefs, some legitimate grievances and their certainty of claiming a God-promised homeland they call Zion. She describes the book as a journey through the New West, one still haunted by nineteenth century white settlement, violence and an enduring sense of entitlement.
Audience members are encouraged to read “American Zion” but it is not necessary for engaging in this highly topical and pertinent conversation on the legacy of Native people, public lands, government control and ongoing lawlessness based on religious zealotry.
As an environmental historian, writer and conservationist, Betsy Gaines Quammen has studied various religious traditions over the years and is fascinated at how religious and cultural views shape relationships to landscape and wildlife. The rural American West, pastoral communities of northern Mongolia and the grasslands of East Africa have been her main areas of interest.
This presentation is free and open to the public, but you must register in advance. To register, please visit the MSU Wonderlust website at www.montana.edu/wonderlust/. Upon registration confirmation, participants will receive an email with the Webex link and instructions to join the program.
The talk is presented in partnership with the Bozeman Public Library Foundation. Friday Forums takes place on the second Friday of each month, September through May. Friday Forum events are free and open to the public.Friday Forum events are presented by Wonderlust Lifelong Learning, a program of Academic Technology and Outreach (ATO) at Montana State University. ATO works across MSU to support and advance our land-grant mission through unique and innovative opportunities for outreach and engagement.