Public Affairs Report
Dr. Les Alm has agreed to serve as the SPS Faculty Director this spring and again next spring. Dr. Alm has been with Boise State University since 1991. During that time, he has served as the Department Chair for both the Political Science and Public Policy and Administration Departments, as well as Interim Associate Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs. As a prolific scholar, he has published over forty-four peer-reviewed journal articles, books, and book chapters. In 2011, Dr. Alm’s contributions to the field and to the university were recognized when he received Boise State’s Distinguished Professor Award. His primary research interests are environmental policy with attention to the science-policy linkage, the United States-Canada relationship and borderlands issue. Dr. Alm received the unanimous support of program leads/chair as being a great fit for this role over the next couple years. During the current evaluation cycle (and next year’s cycle), Dr. Alm will play an important role with other faculty and program leads. Dr. Alm will work collaboratively with faculty to ensure consistency and equity in our School-wide processes, including faculty goal formation, assigned workload, and evaluation. Congratulations Dr. Les Alm!
Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration student Vanessa Fry wrote an article titled “Pay For Success?” that was published by The Blue Review this Monday. In it she discusses balancing multi-sector interests in uprooting homelessness and other persistent social issues. Read Vanessa Fry’s full article here on The Blue Review.
Originating Sources: The Blue Review, 2/13/2017
John Freemuth was quoted in a story by The Verge titled “Inside the GOP’s unpopular plan to sell off public wilderness”. Freemuth said that sometimes, when public lands get too expensive to manage, selling for a profit becomes more appealing. For instance: “Idaho, for example, makes money by harvesting timber on state land, Freemuth said. But Idaho also has sold 41 percent of its land — 1.7 million acres — to timber companies, cattle ranchers, private clubs and homeowners since it became a state in 1890.” Read the full story here.
Professor John Freemuth was quoted in an article published by High Country News titled “Was the Bears Ears designation a victory?” The article discusses the opposition to the Bears Ears National Monument in Southeastern Utah designated by President Barack Obama this past December. Read the full article on the Bears Ears Monument here.
John Freemuth was quoted in an Associated Press article about outdoor enthusiasts who fear the transfer of millions of acres of federal public land to states. Freemuth comments that those who use public land for any sort of outdoor activity — snowmobiling, mountain biking, hunters, all that — are alarmed by recent U.S. House rules and the loss of access this could lead to. Read more about the future of public lands here.
Originating Sources: ABCNews 1/16/17
An article co-authored by Jen Schneider titled “Inside the coal industry’s rhetorical playbook” about the rhetoric surrounding the upheaval in the U.S. coal industry was published in SFGate. In it the authors discuss the “war on coal” and Donald Trump’s energy platform.
Originating Sources: Boise State Update 1/9/17, SFGate 1/8/1
John Freemuth was quoted in a BuzzFeed article titled “Conservation Groups are Worried that Congress Will Give Away Public Lands,” about a bill passed by House Representatives that could make it easier to challenge the federal government’s stewardship of about 640 million acres of national lands. Freemuth comments that the House, “did this the first day in session which suggests there’s an agenda.” Read more about the issue of federal and state land management here.
Originating Sources: Boise State Update 1/5/17, BuzzFeed 1/5/17
Californians have been campaigning for Obama to create a 5,800 acre monument north of Santa Cruz, to be titled the Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument, and to expand the California Coastal National Monument, which already includes 1,100 miles of offshore rocks and islands along the coastline plus some onshore areas. Obama has the executive power under the Antiquities Act to do so, but advocates fear Republicans under the Trump administration will attempt to appeal the monuments Obama has created and expanded over the past eight years. John Freemuth joins the conversation, commenting that “The Antiquities Act itself has no reference to another president repealing the actions of an earlier president, but it’s never been tested in court. Most legal scholars don’t think it’s possible”. Read more about the Cotoni-Coast Dairies National Monument and the California Coastal National Monument here.
U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell spoke on the Boise State University campus on Jan. 4 in a visit organized in part by the Andrus Center for Public Policy. Andrus Center Executive Director John Freemuth was quoted in an Idaho Statesman story talking about the, “respect and affection in the room.” Jewell is on her last tour of the U.S. before leaving office on Jan. 20 when Donald Trump is inaugurated.