Thursday, February 25, 2010

Monuments and the West

For many of us in the South who live with monuments on nearly every street corner of one kind or another, the recent controversy over monument designations "out West" is surprising.  On the other hand, most people don't think of monuments being land.  (One South Carolina exception is the Congaree Swamp National Monument, a truly beautiful old-growth floodplain forest.)  Kirk Johnson has written an interesting article, "In the West, 'Monument' Is a Fighting Word," New York Times (Feb. 20, 2010), that captures this disconnect.  Click here for a link to his article.  Notwithstanding initial opposition in some western states to land monument designations a few decades ago, today most seek to capitalize on and promote access to these national treasures.

Will Cook, Charleston School of Law

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