Colorado Congressman Wayne N. Aspinall was variously dubbed the "Ruler of the Land," a "bridge between the old and new Wests," and the environmental movement's "most durable foe." The late David Brower, the notable Sierra Club leader, remarked that the environmental movement had seen "dream after dream dashed on the stony continents of Wayne Aspinall."
In Wayne Aspinall and the Shaping of the American West, Steven C. Schulte details a political career that encompassed some of the most crucial years in the development of the twentieth-century West. As chairman of the House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee from 1959 to 1973, Aspinall shaped the nation's reclamation, land, wilderness, and natural resource policies. His crusty and dtermined personality was at the enter of some of the key environmental battles of the twentieth century, including the Echo Park Dam fight, the struggle for the Wilderness Act, and the long controversy over the Central Arizona Project.