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Public Lands: Past, Present, and Future

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Photo credit: National Park Service

In Fall of 2020, our colleague John Freemuth, University Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Cecil D. Andrus Professor of Environment and Public Lands, was scheduled to teach a Public Lands Class for undergraduates in the Environmental Studies program. He passed away suddenly on May 2nd. Instead of cancelling the class, a team of colleagues and students decided to reinvent it as a tribute to John and a conversation about the past, present, and future of public lands. We called on his incredible network of friends and experts, inviting twenty-five individuals to prepare talks for the twenty students enrolled in the course and for visitors to this site. The course and preparation for it occurred in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, so we were all  familiar with video-conference based lectures and the possibilities of a remote classroom. With this in mind, and attending to the fact that this deep and wide group of colleagues could not come together to mourn John’s passing in person, we showcased the reach of his knowledge every week for a semester. The talks were recorded, the syllabus and readings preserved, and the experience can now live on beyond the class. Topics ranged from species reintroductions to indigenous knowledge and from federal agencies to Idaho-based non-profits, these talks highlight where insight on public lands has come from and to where it may reach. All talks were available to the public by registering and most were recorded for future viewing. We now invite you to explore the products of this class at your leisure, in the comfort of your home, and to enjoy the reach of this tribute in various forms.

How to navigate this repository:
The John Freemuth legacy class repository allows you to explore the class created in tribute to John and in honor of his life’s work for public lands. You can explore the syllabus to understand the design of the course, you can read the readings as students did, and you can watch the lectures and question and answer sessions. The class had the cadence of a semester; bi-weekly meetings and brief pauses. The lectures are available here to view in any order or selectively.

Take the Class!

For this class, we’ve put together a comprehensive collection of articles, videos, and other helpful resources on a variety of public lands topics. They include articles authored by Dr. John Freemuth, as well as materials provided by class speakers.

Please note that some resources are only available to registered students. A printed and online commemorative volume of presentations and other materials will also be made available to the public after the conclusion of the class. Recordings and transcripts of presentations will also be posted here when they are available.

Note: Resources are still being added and updated.

View our Resources page

Instructor: Emily Wakild
Curator/Teaching Assistant: Mackenzie Case

Remembering Dr. John Freemuth

In May 2020, Dr. John Freemuth, Boise State University Distinguished Professor and Cecil Andrus Endowed Chair of Environment and Public Lands, passed away suddenly. He was scheduled to teach Boise State University’s public lands course in Fall 2020. Rather than cancel the class, it was designed to be one-of-a-kind learning experience honoring the decades’ worth of relationships John had built around his life’s work for public lands. Although full class registration is limited to Boise State University students, many of the presentations and materials from this special class will be made available to the public to help continue to celebrate John’s incredible contributions to public lands policy.