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Green in a Red State

In recent decades, federal environmental legislation has become a very partisan issue. Lost in the often contentious debate is the story of the bipartisan roots of environmental laws and the compromises they are intended to produce. A new exhibit from Utah State University Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives explores some of the ways in which such legislation has affected Cache Valley, and how, in some cases, people with diverse backgrounds and interests were able to work together and create a solution they all could live with.

The exhibit, Green in a Red State: The Impact of Environmental Legislation on Cache Valley, takes four environmental laws and examines how they were applied locally: the National Environmental Policy Act (mitigating the impact of Logan Canyon highway construction), the Endangered Species Act (protecting the threatened Maguire primrose), the Clean Air Act (regulating valley air quality), and the Wilderness Act (establishing the Mount Naomi Wilderness). Additionally, the exhibit discusses a planned housing development in Sardine Canyon that was halted by a diverse coalition of concerned citizens without the application of environmental laws.

Located in the atrium of the Merrill-Cazier Library, the USU Libraries’ exhibit is free and open to the public. It will be on display from Jan. 18 until March 25.