A Genealogy of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument: Considering the Future of Federal Public Lands

Julie Brugger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In September 1996, President Clinton proclaimed the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM) in southern Utah in order to protect its scientific and historic resources. In December 2017, President Trump reduced the size of the Monument by 46 percent and opened the excluded lands to motorized vehicles, energy and mineral development, and sale or other disposition. His action was immediately challenged by multiple lawsuits which will take years to settle in court. This article examines these events and the shifting management of U.S. public lands through the lens of governmentality. It traces the genealogy of GSENM as perceptions of public lands shifted from vacant, to possessing valuable natural resources, to national landscapes, to show how new forms of management and governmentality arose and were contested. Using these insights, it considers what current trends in public land management suggest about an emerging neoliberal governmentality and the future of public lands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)788-805
Number of pages18
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Volume33
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2 2020

Keywords

  • Democracy
  • genealogy
  • Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
  • neoliberal governmentality
  • public lands
  • re-territorialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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