The US federal government owns 30% of the land in the United States. How is that land used? Who is accessing this land today? In this program, we explore issues of water rights, drilling, river conservation, drought, native lands, and recreation through immersion in some of the US’s most spectacular public lands.

Learning Objectives

Understand the policies and governance structure of public lands in the American West historically and also today.
Demonstrate critical consciousness about the various interests and conflicts surrounding resource management of water, soil, plant & animal species, and cultural sites.
Understand what public lands are through lived experience (visiting).

Places and Activities

This program is flexible, and can be offered in 8 or 10 day itineraries.

We arrive to Los Angeles and begin with a hike to the Griffith Observatory to understand the vast expanse of the city, before visits to LA City Commission on Animals to learn about land bridges, and to CA’s BLM Desert District Office.

We meet with the CA Association of Tribal Governments before heading to the Seven Oaks Dam. We continue on to Joshua Tree for an overnight, hike, and short solo experience.

We move from Joshua Tree to Death Valley National Park and onwards up to Yosemite. Along the way, we hike, meet with advocates and conservationists, and learn about the history of Parks preservation.

We meet with experts at Cal Berkeley’s campus, try famous SF local fare, and celebrate the end of the program with a program debrief at Point Reyes National Seashore.

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