Projects for the Public

Confinement in the Land of Enchantment Story Map and publication now available!

Funded in part through a grant from the National Park Service’s Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program, CSU’s Public Lands History Center worked with a team of volunteers and the New Mexico chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League to complete a publication on the history of confinement sites in New Mexico.

In addition, the project created an interactive Story Map website, please visit and explore this history here!




Public Lands History Center’s American West Program “The Color of Our Parks: Nature, Race, and Diversity in the National Park Service”

In September 2016, the Public Lands History Center (PLHC) held its fall American West Program event.  You can watch the animated panel of scholars, researchers, and artists, which included Nina S. Roberts of San Fransisco State University, Alexandra Hernandez of the NPS’s National Heritage Areas program, and CSU professors Camille Dungy, Gillian Bowser, and Ruth Alexander.   The topics explored in this panel and others will be the subject of a book on race in the NPS forthcoming from the PLHC Book Series.


Colorado State University’s Sense of Place. “Around the Horn: Developing CSU’s Campus”

In Spring 2016 the Digital History graduate seminar taught by Dr. Payne produced a digital supplement to James Hansen’s Colorado State University’s Sense of Place.  The students employed the ArcGIS Story Map web based mapping application to create a complex story about space, identity, gender, and tensions caused by an increasingly corporate presence on campus.  Check out their work here.

Confinement in the Land of Enchantment project awarded $189,864 NPS Grant

CSU’s Public Lands History Center will oversee a two-year project called “Confinement in the Land of Enchantment” to raise awareness about the Japanese American confinement sites that were located in New Mexico during World War II.  Funded by a $189,864 grant from the National Parks Service, Payne and her team will work to erect historic markers at or near the sites, complete a website, and publish and distribute and outreach publication on the topic.

The confinement camps were created in early 1942 following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the previous December. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the confinement, and soon more than 110,000 Japanese-Americans – more than 60  percent of them American citizens, and nearly all of them living on the West Coast – were shipped to camps in California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Wyoming, Arkansas, Idaho, Utah and other mostly western states in the largest mass relocation in American history.

The four main New Mexico sites – Fort Stanton, Camp Lordsburg, Santa Fe and Old Raton Ranch – included residents at varying security levels. Lordsburg, for example, was the state’s largest camp with 1,500 residents, including some Germans and Italians. In Clovis, the residents were all local Japanese-Americans who were held to protect them from mob violence.

Check in for updates on the project! For more information, contact me by email at:

Press Coverage:

Read and view Albuquerque KRQE news story here

Today @ CSU features the project here

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports on the project here








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