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The Show

The Big Trees

Set in California in the early 1900s, "The Big Trees" (1952) pits business against religion as a timber baron attempts to gain control over a sequoia forest inhabited by a sect that views the land as sacred space. Kirk Douglas plays timber baron Jim Fallon, who faces off with Elder Bixby (Charles Meredith) in the dispute. To complicate matters, Fallon takes a shine to Bixby's daughter, Alicia (Eve Miller), and a second challenger to the trees appears.

Conflicts about land use and resource allocations often impact the work of engineers, biologists and other STEM professionals. Support for projects often depends on balancing complex needs for many user groups. Town hall and city council meetings, surveys and public comment periods are some of the ways people gauge the financial, environmental and other impacts of how space and resources are managed.

The Science

Mark Brunson

Mark BrunsonMark Brunson, Professor of Environment and Society at Utah State University, discusses conflict over natural resources, the iUTAH project and the SciFi Friday Western films "Abilene Town," "The Sundowners," "The Big Trees" and "Angel and the Badman."

 

More Science to go with the Show

Related Resources

Dr. Mark W. Brunson

iUtah EPSCoR

Utah State University - Environment and Society

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