Tracking land policy in the Golden State.
Golden Green
We live in places urban, rural, and wild. We hunker down in the desert, press out to the coast, nestle into tight canyons, build atop ridgelines, and sprawl along valley floors. In the process of making these disparate places our home we complicate the natural systems that drew us to these environments in the first place.

Exploring these tensions has long been the subject of Pomona College professor Char Miller's teaching and writing, as reflected in his recent books "Cities and Nature in the American West" and "Public Lands, Public Debates: A Century of Controversy," as well as "On The Edge: Water, Immigration, and Politics in the Southwest" and "Death Valley National Park: A History."

In 2014, Golden Green received the inaugural Public Outreach Project Award from the American Society for Environmental History, calling it an “accessible, smart, relevant, and fascinating look at how the public and the environment have interacted in the past and today.”
Go Wild: Celebrating the Gila Wilderness Area's 90th Birthday

Go Wild: Celebrating the Gila Wilderness Area's 90th Birthday

Golden Green: What do we mean by wilderness? The Gila Wilderness Area's history provides a complicated definition.
Growing Pains: Legalizing Marijuana Might Save Our National Forests

Growing Pains: Legalizing Marijuana Might Save Our National Forests

Golden Green: Illegal marijuana grows are devastating our public lands. So why not make pot legal?
Pitzer College Divests from Fossil Fuels -- Who's Next?

Pitzer College Divests from Fossil Fuels -- Who's Next?

Golden Green: Pitzer College's Climate Action Plan is a template for other institutions wanting to break their fossil-fuel addiction.
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A Woman of the Woods: Susan R. Schrepfer, 1941-2014

A Woman of the Woods: Susan R. Schrepfer, 1941-2014

Commentary: Susan Schrepfer was a keen observer of the human interaction with nature across time, a stellar historian.
Martin Luther King, Social Justice, and Streetscape Environmentalism

Martin Luther King, Social Justice, and Streetscape Environmentalism

Golden Green: Martin Luther King believed that if we fused social and environmental justice we'd build a more perfect union. Let's get to work.
Nature's Odd Couple: Gray Whales and El Segundo Blue Butterflies

Nature's Odd Couple: Gray Whales and El Segundo Blue Butterflies

Golden Green: Protecting endangered species requires protecting their habitat. That's never easy.
Irrigation Districts are Pumping Groundwater, Making Money, and Undercutting Their Future

Irrigation Districts are Pumping Groundwater, Making Money, and Undercutting Their Future

Golden Green: Water may flow uphill to money but what happens when the water runs out?
Obama Just Expanded the California Coastal National Monument

Obama Just Expanded the California Coastal National Monument

Golden Green: President Obama used the Antiquities Act to expand the California Coastal National Monument. May it be the first of many.
SoCal Needs to Plan for Drought, Even After Big Storms

SoCal Needs to Plan for Drought, Even After Big Storms

Golden Green: Will the current drought bring welcome change to Califonia's water policies? Let's hope so.
A Better Way to Restore Wildfire-Burned Forests

A Better Way to Restore Wildfire-Burned Forests

Golden Green: Collaboration in the San Bernardino National Forest may help restore burned-over lands. Or so the Obama Administration hopes.
Do Republicans Care About State Rights? Not With California's Drought.

Do Republicans Care About State Rights? Not With California's Drought.

Golden Green: Like California's depleted reservoirs, Republicans' water politics keep coming up empty.
CA Drought Makes Great Political Theater, But What We Really Need is Action

CA Drought Makes Great Political Theater, But What We Really Need is Action

Golden Green: California's drought is bad, really bad. So is drought politics.
Colorado Balks at Adopting California's Wildfire Policies. That's Not Good

Colorado Balks at Adopting California's Wildfire Policies. That's Not Good

Golden Green: Let's hope Colorado's inaction on fire-prevention legislation doesn't turn the Centennial State into a funeral pyre.
Strawberry Fields Forever? Infill Development vs. Agriculture in L.A. County

Strawberry Fields Forever? Infill Development vs. Agriculture in L.A. County

Golden Green: Can Angelenos support infill development and still eat local-sourced strawberries?
Seeds of Change: The John Muir Exhibit At the Ontario Museum Offers Us a Way Forward

Seeds of Change: The John Muir Exhibit At the Ontario Museum Offers Us a Way Forward

Golden Green: Botanizing with John Muir could lead us to rip up our lawns. That would be a good thing.
Catching Fire: Will Congress Help the Forest Service Manage Those Big Blazes?

Catching Fire: Will Congress Help the Forest Service Manage Those Big Blazes?

Golden Green: New airplanes and more money will bolster the Forest Service's wildland firefighting operations
If You Live in the Wildland Fire Zone, Repeat After Me: Defensible Space is Essential

If You Live in the Wildland Fire Zone, Repeat After Me: Defensible Space is Essential

Golden Green: Those living in wildland fire zones must build defensible space around their homes. now. before the fire season erupts.
False Climate Change Harbingers in Ice-Bound, Drought-Stricken Texas

False Climate Change Harbingers in Ice-Bound, Drought-Stricken Texas

Golden Green: I'll never again underestimate the power of a Texas-sized ice storm, even if it will do nothing to replenish the area's diminished aquifers, trickle-thin creeks, and bone-dry reservoirs.
President Kennedy Has Been Shot: A Memory

President Kennedy Has Been Shot: A Memory

Golden Green: President Kennedy's assassination rocked the nation, and changed my understanding of politics.
Green Urbanism: Remembering JFK's Major Environmental Achievements

Green Urbanism: Remembering JFK's Major Environmental Achievements

Golden Green: As we mark the anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination, let's recall his environmental commitments.
Remember the Timbisha the Next Time You Revel in Wild Death Valley

Remember the Timbisha the Next Time You Revel in Wild Death Valley

Golden Green: Death Valley's protected wilderness is spectacular but its protection has cost its original inhabitants.
Water Under the Bridge? A New Exhibit on the L.A. Aqueduct's Controversial Past

Water Under the Bridge? A New Exhibit on the L.A. Aqueduct's Controversial Past

Golden Green: The L.A. Aqueduct made Los Angeles great -- at quite a cost.
What an Ancient Roman Writer Can Teach Us About Bears and Other Animals

What an Ancient Roman Writer Can Teach Us About Bears and Other Animals

Golden Green: YouTube was a little after Claudius Aelianus' time. But he would understand why bears rocked the internet this summer.
What Happens When a Brush Fire Burns College Property? The Students Get a Living Laboratory

What Happens When a Brush Fire Burns College Property? The Students Get a Living Laboratory

Golden Green: Fire is a creative force, a force we need to learn from and learn to live with
 9/11: A Remembrance of Things Past

9/11: A Remembrance of Things Past

Golden Green: Why is it so difficult to remember 9/11?
SB 4 Will Help Regulate Fracking in California -- It's About Time

SB 4 Will Help Regulate Fracking in California -- It's About Time

Golden Green: Texas has stiffer regulations of fracking than California. Go figure.
How Journalists Should Really Cover Wildfires

How Journalists Should Really Cover Wildfires

Golden Green: It's not to early to think about the Rim fire's significance. We should have done so before it blew up.
Opportunity Knocked (Out): How Freeing a Montana River Buried a Town

Opportunity Knocked (Out): How Freeing a Montana River Buried a Town

Golden Green: Environmental injustice is easy to spot. It's harder to rectify. The town of Opportunity, Montana shows us why.
At $5 Million, This is a Deal: Jumpstarting the Restoration of Big Tujunga Canyon

At $5 Million, This is a Deal: Jumpstarting the Restoration of Big Tujunga Canyon

Golden Green: The Angeles National Forest is L.A.'s biggest playground. We all need to pitch in to restore it.
Meatless Mondays: It Helps Combat Our Warming Planet -- and Thickening Waists

Meatless Mondays: It Helps Combat Our Warming Planet -- and Thickening Waists

Golden Green: How powerful is Big Ag on Capitol Hill? The Congressional Vegetarian Caucus would be glad to tell you.
Is Nothing Sacred? Fracking and Chaco Culture National Historic Park

Is Nothing Sacred? Fracking and Chaco Culture National Historic Park

Golden Green: Our mad-dash rush to frack oil-and-gas deposits everywhere threatens significant cultural resources like the national park unit in Chaco Canyon.
Remembering Mike Taugher: Environmental Journalist, Public Servant

Remembering Mike Taugher: Environmental Journalist, Public Servant

Golden Green: With the death of journalist Mike Taugher, California lost a principled voice in support of environmental protection and open government.
Defensible Space in Wildfire-Prone Areas Can Save Lives -- So Why Isn't it the Norm?

Defensible Space in Wildfire-Prone Areas Can Save Lives -- So Why Isn't it the Norm?

Golden Green: Creating defensible space around communities in fires zone seems a no brainer. The Mountain and Yarnell fires show it's not.
In Rocky Mountain National Park, Fire Gives and Takes

In Rocky Mountain National Park, Fire Gives and Takes

Golden Green: A fire in Rocky Mountain National Park raises questions about the U.S. firefighting policies.
From the Big Blowup to Yarnell Hill: A Cautionary History of Wildland Fire

From the Big Blowup to Yarnell Hill: A Cautionary History of Wildland Fire

Golden Green: Yarnell Hill fire reminds that we don't need a new firefighting policy. We need a sharper memory of wildland fire history.
The 'Border Surge' is Dangerous Political Theater -- and Bad for the Environment

The 'Border Surge' is Dangerous Political Theater -- and Bad for the Environment

Golden Green: The U.S. Senate thinks the "Border Surge" will make the country more secure. Its wrong.
Did President Obama's Climate Change Speech Go Far Enough?

Did President Obama's Climate Change Speech Go Far Enough?

Golden Green: It took him awhile to get to the point, showing how tentative his proposals are, how carefully couched his prescriptions.
Moab, Utah: Beauty and the Nuclear Feast

Moab, Utah: Beauty and the Nuclear Feast

Golden Green: How odd that in Moab one federal agency sought to preserve wild nature and another promoted the rapid exploitation of nature's rare-earth minerals to incinerate our enemies.
Seeking Zion -- the National Park, that is...

Seeking Zion -- the National Park, that is...

Golden Green: Rocks, frogs, and humans find refuge in Zion National Park.
A Usable Past: How Norris Hundley, Jr. Schooled California on the Meaning of Water

A Usable Past: How Norris Hundley, Jr. Schooled California on the Meaning of Water

Golden Green: The late Norris Hundley, Jr. warned that California's "Great Thirst" would be its undoing -- a warning we must heed.
Making California Frack-Free is Smart Politics

Making California Frack-Free is Smart Politics

Golden Green: Banning fracking in California will not save the planet. But it's a start.
At Fault: When Will California Regulate Fracking?

At Fault: When Will California Regulate Fracking?

Golden Green: With a governor who seems unwilling to step up, and a set of regulatory agencies that have not yet announced a clear-cut set of rules to control the impact of fracking on public health and the environment, the legislature must take the lead.
Air Apparent: L.A.'s Bright Skies Are Not As Clear As They Seem

Air Apparent: L.A.'s Bright Skies Are Not As Clear As They Seem

Golden Green: L.A. may have fewer ozone-alert days, but our air quality is still dangerous
'Seeking The Greatest Good' Documents a New Geography of Hope

'Seeking The Greatest Good' Documents a New Geography of Hope

Golden Green: A new documentary, "Seeking the Greatest Good," identifies key steps we can take to restore the Earth -- and ourselves.
Rat Poison Is the New DDT, and Marijuana Is the Problem

Rat Poison Is the New DDT, and Marijuana Is the Problem

Golden Green: Illegal marijuana growers' extreme use of rodenticides is wreaking havoc on California national forests. It's time for the legislature to ban these super toxins.
Forest Service Gets to Keep Pine Tree Logo, But Controversy Points to Larger Problem

Forest Service Gets to Keep Pine Tree Logo, But Controversy Points to Larger Problem

Golden Green: The Forest Service's pine tree logo is now safe from the USDA's rebranding effort. Its historic emblem should never have been attacked.
Why Is USDA Stripping the Forest Service of its Pine Tree Logo?

Why Is USDA Stripping the Forest Service of its Pine Tree Logo?

Golden Green: USDA is rebranding the entire department, forcing the Forest Service and other agencies to adopt its bland logo. This is a really bad idea..
Fires, Floods, and Human History -- The Value of a Single SoCal Creek

Fires, Floods, and Human History -- The Value of a Single SoCal Creek

Commentary: Thompson Creek is a symbol of how much a creek can matter, to SoCal civilizations past and to the very real wildfires and floods of the present.
Forest to Faucet: Why National Forests Are More Than Recreational Spaces

Forest to Faucet: Why National Forests Are More Than Recreational Spaces

Golden Green: Water made the west, and that's why Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell is promoting its protection.
Forest Service Chief Talks Climate Change -- in Washington and on the Ground

Forest Service Chief Talks Climate Change -- in Washington and on the Ground

Golden Green: How to manage the national forests amid climate disruption? Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell has some ideas.