Published: Sept. 9, 2023 By
Public Lands Panel

CU Law is one of six leading institutions to host the Wyss Foundation Scholars Program which supports the graduate-level education of emerging leaders in U.S. land conservation by providing scholarships, mentorship, and community. Early this semester, the GWC partnered with the Wyss Scholars Program to present a panel discussion on "Public Interest Careers in Public Lands and Why They Matter." The event featured three distinguished CU Law alumni working in public land conservation: Scott Miller ’98, Senior Regional Director for the Southwest Region at the Wilderness Society; Michelle White ‘17, Staff Attorney at Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance; and Roger Flynn ‘91, founding Director at the Western Mining Action Project. The discussion was moderated by Adam Fisher, a 3L and CU Law’s 2023-24 Wyss Scholar.

The discussion provided students with insights into the panelists' careers and the breadth of public land law and conservation. The panelists also spoke on both the impact and meaningful nature of their work, for example, by safeguarding endangered species, collaborating with Indian Tribes to better protect key resources, or blocking inappropriate mineral development. One highlight of the conversation came when the panel discussed their efforts to establish and protect both the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, emblematic battlegrounds for public land conservation.

Student interest in the subject was evident, with a full room and ample questions for the panelists. Post-event, this enthusiasm has continued, with strong student engagement in a variety of other GWC events, including at an information session on the 2024-25 Wyss Scholars Program and other opportunities available through the GWC. In sum, a shared dedication to preserving the nation's natural and cultural resources remains palpable among students, faculty, and alumni­—fostering an atmosphere at CU Law where interest in public land law continues to flourish.