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Utah Environmentalists Oral History Project

The Utah Environmentalist Oral History Project, in cooperation with the American West Center, the Environmental Humanities program, and the J. Willard Marriott Library of the University of Utah, is an effort to record the voices of the people who have forged a connection with the land, and who have worked to preserve and protect that land for future generations.

This project aims to collect oral histories from Utah citizens involved in the conservation of the environment over the past century. These interviews will trace the history of the Utahns’ environmental thought and action and serve as the foundation for an oral archive for students, staff, and the public. Some topic areas include, but are not limited to: the expansion of Utah’s human population and its effect on the local environment; the impact of nuclear testing and its aftermath on Utah’s citizenry; environmental activism throughout each decade; the formation and conservation of state and federal lands; industrial and economic impacts on the environment and their effect on the private sector; the relationship between the state’s hunting/fishing tradition and the preservation of wildlife habitat; the role of water in the West from the creation of “Lake” Powell to the state of Nevada’s controversial bid to pump water from the Snake Valley; tensions between the conservation of critical wetland areas of the Great Salt Lake and the pressures of a rapidly expanding urban and suburban population; the significance of Utah’s rural heritage in determining/effecting conservation praxis; and religion and the environment.

Last Updated: 6/22/21