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Antiquities Act explored at CSUB History Forum
  April 7, 2006
Mike Stepanovich, 661/654-2456,,
or Jaclyn Loveless, 661/654-2138,

California State University, Bakersfield's History Department will host its spring quarter History Forum on Friday, May 12, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Albertson Room at the Doré Theater.

The forum will feature Douglas Dodd, CSUB history professor, presenting " ‘The Best Law You've Never Heard Of': Celebrating the Centennial of the Antiquities Act."

June 8 marks the 100th anniversary of the Antiquities Act of 1906. The act delegated to the president of the United States the authority to designate, reserve, and protect areas of the federal public lands as "national monuments." First used by Theodore Roosevelt, the Antiquities Act has been an essential tool for conservation, protecting archaeological and historical sites, unique geological features, and wildlife.

Several national parks began as national monuments, and the Antiquities Act has often provided a way for presidents to take prompt action to immediately protect threatened landscapes until Congress can pass legislation creating a national park. The national monuments created by the Antiquities Act have often been at the center of controversy over how to best manage public lands.

In an illustrated talk, Dodd will explore the origins of the Progressive-era conservation movement and the Antiquities Act, as well as provide an overview of the many national monuments and national parks that are the act's legacy to the American people.

Dodd has taught at CSUB since 1999 and holds a doctorate in history from UC Santa Barbara. His research area is the history of federal land management policy, with a focus on the national parks and national forests. He teaches courses in U.S. History, History of the American West, and Public History. Prior to coming to CSUB, he worked as a public historian for the U.S. Forest Service and the California Department of Transportation.

The History Forum started in March 2000 and presents one speaker per academic quarter. Past topics have included the history of the Basque settlement in Bakersfield presented by Jeri Echeverria, Fresno State University provost and historian; the history of the California wine industry by historian Victor Geraci, oral history and the Chicano experience in World War II given by Mario Garcia, from the University of California, Santa Barbara; an analysis of the "Orange Revolution" in Ukraine presented by CSUB history professor Mark Baker; an analysis on pre-national, pre-modern Ukrainian culture and icons of the Last Judgment, John-Paul Himka, history professor at the University of Alberta (Canada).

The forum is free and open to the public. For more information please contact Baker at (661) 654-6833 or at