Tales from California’s Channel Islands: The Last Roundup

Collector: Ann V.

The Last Roundup explores the issues raised by the transitioning of Santa Rosa Island from a privately owned to a National Park. The documentary is short, poignant, and weaves together vintage family photos and videos with interviews with a member of the Vail family, the previous owners of the island, and park rangers. After viewing, class members adopt the point of view of Tim Vail, a member of the family that once owned the island or of a National Park Ranger, and craft a diary entry that reveals their feelings about their life on the island. Scholars then debate the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment that permits the government to expropriate private property for public use. Class members end the unit by considering if cattle ranching could have continued without damaging the island's environment.

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Reviewed by Lesson Planet