All of which is to say that it is really quite thrilling that the remarkable historical imagination of Patricia Limerick, University of Colorado, Boulder, has been brought to bear on the problem of bureaucracy at the Department of the Interior. Her talk, Parks and Politics: Saving the American Environment, from July 22, 2008, is downloadable from the Gilder Lehrman Institute's website. here is the abstract:
Bureaucrats, University of Colorado professor of history Patricia Limerick argues, are often the most overlooked (at best) or reviled (at worst) of government officials, but they wield tremendous powers that shape Americans’ daily lives. Nowhere is this more true than in the bureaucracy of the U.S. Department of the Interior. A wide-ranging agency charged with both protecting land and promoting its use, the Department of the Interior implements federal law over millions of acres of land and mediates the claims of environmental, mining, foresting, farming, and ranching interests, among others. Bureaucracies like the Department of the Interior may be boring, Limerick argues, but historians cannot ignore their impact on the development of the American West.Also interesting is the description of her summer seminar for teachers, offered under Gilder Lehrman's aegis, Visions of the American Environment.