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Name: Talk: The Origin of Public Lands
Date: November 2, 2023
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM MDT
John Clayton
Event Description:

Join the Buffalo Bill Center of the West's Draper Natural History Museum for the November Lunchtime Expedition, The Origin of Public Lands, presented by John Clayton.

The in-person talk takes place in the Center’s Coe Auditorium, with a virtual option available at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_qdE6-chcR9C7ENfhz-AwyQ

About the presentation

Where did public lands come from? In Greater Yellowstone, many of us know the origin story of national parks. But grouped together with national forests, BLM lands, and other natural areas collectively, how did these “public lands” become permanently owned “in commons?” Somehow this idea was invented.

In this presentation, John Clayton tells the little-known story of an 1896 collaboration between two famous men: naturalist John Muir and future U.S. Forest Service founder Gifford Pinchot. They were rivals—but also collaborators in the creation of public lands.

About the speaker

John Clayton is a Montana-based nonfiction writer who produces the free weekly newsletter Natural Stories. His books include The Cowboy Girl, about Cody’s own Caroline Lockhart; Wonderlandscape, a history of Yellowstone researched in part on a Buffalo Bill Center of the West fellowship; and Natural Rivals (published by Pegasus Books/distributed by Simon & Schuster), which started as a dual biography of naturalist John Muir and U.S. Forest Service founder Gifford Pinchot. In a surprise twist that work ended with the topic of today’s presentation).

Clayton often writes for Montana Quarterly, Big Sky Journal, and the website WyoHistory.org. He has contributed to anthologies including the Atlas of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. Raised in Massachusetts and a graduate of Williams College, he has lived in Greater Yellowstone since 1990.

Support for the Draper’s Lunchtime Expedition series has been made possible by Sage Creek Ranch and the Nancy-Carroll Draper Charitable Foundation.

Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Coe Auditorium
720 Sheridan Avenue
Cody, WY 82414
Date/Time Information:
Thursday, November 2, 2023
Noon–1 p.m.
Contact Information:
Amy Phillips
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