Environmental Policy in the Pacific Northwest

The mountains of Holden Village, WA

Environmental Policy in the Pacific Northwest (ENVS 239) is a study away course for J-term 2013 at Holden Village, an ecumenical retreat center near Chelan, WA. With over 300 inches of snow each winter, Holden is a unique and splendid place to think about environmental issues as well as a great place to practice sustainable living. The history and current operations of the village play an important role in the course. Holden was the largest producing copper mine in the U.S. from the mid 1930s to the mid 1950s and now is starting on a $100 million clean-up of the mine site. This course will examine and evaluate current and proposed policies for addressing environmental issues in the Pacific Northwest. Issues to be examined include wilderness, endangered species, mining and mine remediation, hydroelectric dams, water rights, public lands management, logging, and outdoor recreation. These issues will be used as case studies to understand the nature of the political process in the United States, as well as to gain insight on the particular challenges in human-nature relations within the inter-mountain west. This course fulfills the environmental policy core requirement for ES majors and minors as well as satisfying human behavior and J2 general education requirements.

"Studying away for the month of January in the Environmental Policy in the Pacific Northwest course has been one of the most memorable experiences I've had so far at Luther. Because of our location at Holden Village, we were able to learn about different environmental problems in the area and had a hands-on experience. Being able to study environmental issues in proximity to our location really helped enhance my learning. The unique setting of Holden in Copper Basin allowed for much exploration within the valley and interaction with the outdoors while getting to know a core group of Luther students."

~Sophia Ristau '14