A Place Called Grand Canyon: Contested Geographies
by Barbara J. Morehouse
University of Arizona Press, 1996
Paper: 978-0-8165-1628-5 | Cloth: 978-0-8165-1603-2
Library of Congress Classification GF504.A6M67 1996
Dewey Decimal Classification 333.730979132

ABOUT THIS BOOK
ABOUT THIS BOOK
For most people, "Grand Canyon" signifies that place of scenic wonder identified with Grand Canyon National Park. Beyond the boundaries of the park, however, extends the greater Grand Canyon, a region that includes five Indian reservations, numerous human settlements, and lands managed by three federal agencies and by the states of Arizona and Utah. Many people have sought to etch their values, economic practices, and physical presence on this vast expanse. Ultimately, all have had to come to terms with the limits imposed by the physical environment and the constraints posed by others seeking to carve out a place for themselves. A Place Called Grand Canyon is an unprecedented survey of how the lands and resources of the greater Grand Canyon have come to be divided in many different ways and for many different reasons. It chronicles the ebb and flow of power --changes in who controls the land and gives it meaning. The book begins with an exploration of the geographies of the native peoples, then examines how the westward expansion of the United States affected their lives and lands. It traces the century of contest and negotiation over the land and its resources that began in the 1880s and concludes with an assessment of contemporary efforts to redefine the region. Along the way, it explores how the spaces of the greater Grand Canyon area came to be defined and used, and how those spaces in turn influenced later contests among the ranchers, loggers, miners, recreationists, preservationists, Native Americans, and others claiming a piece--or all--of the area for their own ends. The story exposes how dynamic the geographical boundaries of the region really are, regardless of the indelibility of the ink with which they were drawn. With visitation to Grand Canyon National Park approaching five million people per year, pressures on resources are intensifying. When the greater Grand Canyon area is considered, environmental management is further complicated by the often-conflicting demands of business, recreation, ecological preservation, and human settlement. Morehouse invites us to look beyond boundaries drawn on maps to discover what Grand Canyon means to different people, and to think more deeply about what living in harmony with the land really entails. Her insights will be of interest to geographers and other social scientists--including anthropologists and environmental historians--and to all who seek a counterpoint to conventional natural histories of the region.

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