Virtual Author Talk: Traci Bliss on "Big Basin Redwood Forest"

Traci Bliss
Paul G. Nauert (moderator)
Thu January 20th 2022, 2:30 - 3:30pm
Event Sponsor
Bill Lane Center for the American West
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Big Basin Redwood Forest


The epic saga of Big Basin began in the late 1800s when the surrounding communities saw their once "inexhaustible" redwood forests vanishing. Expanding railways demanded timber as they crisscrossed the nation, but the more redwoods that fell to the woodman's axe, the greater the effects on the local climate. California's groundbreaking environmental movement attracted individuals from every walk of life. From the adopted son of a robber baron to a bohemian woman winemaker to a Jesuit priest, resilient campaigners produced an unparalleled model of citizen action. Join author Traci Bliss as she reveals the untold story of a herculean effort to preserve the ancient redwoods for future generations.



Traci Bliss

Traci Bliss

Traci Bliss was an award-winning education professor when she made a life-changing decision. She retired early to unravel the real history of Big Basin, California’s first state park. As a young girl, Traci made a promise to her relative Jennie Bliss Jeter that she would never forget how the primeval forest had been saved, specifically that women had an essential role. She discovered that although women journalists led the publicity for the campaign that set the environmental movement in motion, they had been perpetually sidelined in the official narrative. One of her other discoveries was the indispensable role of the Stanford community in both the park’s creation and its formative years. Traci holds a BA, MA, and PhD from Stanford and an MPA from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.





Paul G. Nauert

Paul G. Nauert

Paul G. Nauert is a PhD candidate in History at Stanford researching human and environmental change in the modern world from the local to the planetary scale. Through a comparative study of post-World War II occupations in Japan and Germany, Paul’s dissertation examines how American global power shaped trajectories of climate change and planetary politics of climate (in)justice. Paul has also traced interconnected patterns of labor, land use, commodities, community, and identity in the U.S. and Pacific world, including Asian American agriculture in early twentieth-century California and women in the late twentieth-century U.S. wine industry. His teaching engages modern American and transnational history as well as the ethics of war and climate.





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