Adapting to the Land examines the extent to which Colorado agriculturists adapted to or stretched beyond the limits of land and water. Historian John F. Freeman and horticultural scientist Mark E. Uchanski document the state’s agricultural history and provide context for the shift away from traditional forms of agriculture to the use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides—and, most recently, to more values-driven practices to support the burgeoning popularity of natural and organic foods. This shift has resulted in the establishment of the global organic food processing and distribution industry, which has roots in Colorado.
Ancestral Puebloans farmed and grazed within the limits of nature. Early settlers adjusted their cultivation methods through trial and error, while later agriculturists relied on research and technical advice from the Colorado Agricultural College. As part of wartime mobilization, the federal government prompted farmers to efficiently increase yields. To meet the demand for food and fiber scientific and technical innovations led to the development of new plant cultivars and livestock breeds, advances in mechanization, and widespread use of synthetic amendments. Increasing concern over soil fertility and the loss of irrigation water to urbanization contributed to more changes. Despite, or perhaps because of, what we see today along the Front Range, Colorado may still have a chance to slow or even reverse its seemingly unrestrained growth, creating a more vibrant, earth-friendly society in which agriculture plays an increasingly significant part. Scientific discoveries and innovations in regenerative cultivation are clearing the path to a more sustainable future.
Adapting to the Land adds an ecological and horticultural perspective to historical interpretations of recurring agricultural issues in the state and tracks the concept of stewardship, suggesting that spiritual beliefs continue to contribute to debates over acceptable agricultural practices and the effects of urbanization upon the land. This book will be a key resource for students, scholars, and general readers interested in agricultural and Colorado history, sustainability, and rural sociology.
When a ten-year-old boy befriends a mysterious hobo in his southern Colorado hometown in the early 1940s, he learns about evil in his community and takes his first steps toward manhood by attempting to protect his new friend from corrupt officials. Though a fictional story, Alex and the Hobo is written out of the life experiences of its author, José Inez (Joe) Taylor, and it realistically portrays a boy’s coming-of-age as a Spanish-speaking man who must carve out an honorable place for himself in a class-stratified and Anglo-dominated society. In this innovative ethnography, anthropologist James Taggart collaborates with Joe Taylor to explore how Alex and the Hobo sprang from Taylor’s life experiences and how it presents an insider’s view of Mexicano culture and its constructions of manhood. They frame the story (included in its entirety) with chapters that discuss how it encapsulates notions that Taylor learned from the Chicano movement, the farmworkers’ union, his community, his father, his mother, and his religion. Taggart gives the ethnography a solid theoretical underpinning by discussing how the story and Taylor’s account of how he created it represent an act of resistance to the class system that Taylor perceives as destroying his native culture.
At the turn of the century, Colorado's Cripple Creek District captured the national imagination with the extraordinary wealth of its gold mines and the unquestionable strength of the militant Western Federation of Miners.
Elizabeth Jameson tells the entertaining story of Cripple Creek, the scene in 1894 of one of radical labor's most stunning victories and, in 1903 and 1904, of one of its most crushing defeats. Jameson draws on working-class oral histories, the Victor and Cripple Creek Daily Press published by 34 of the local labor unions, and the 1900 manuscript census. She connects unions with lodges and fraternal associations, ethnic identity, families, households, and partisan politics. Through these ties, she probes the differences in age, skill, gender, marital status, and ethnicity that strained working-class unity and contributed to the fall of labor in Cripple Creek.
Jameson's book will be required reading for western, ethnic, and working-class historians seeking an alternative interpretation of western mining struggles that emphasizes class, gender, and multiple sources of social identity.
Alone on the Colorado
Harold H. Leich University of Utah Press, 2019 Library of Congress F788 | Dewey Decimal 917.91304
Harold Leich set out on a westward journey in the summer of 1933. His travel narrative details his river trip down the Yellowstone River and the first descent by boat of the upper Colorado River from Grand Lake, Colorado, through Cataract Canyon, Utah. He was the first to push through this entire upper section, running rapids that had never known a paddle, rebuilding his kayak along the riverbanks, camping rough, and meeting ranchers and railroad workers in these remote regions. Leich’s sudden change of fortune in Cataract Canyon, in the most isolated part of Utah, and his soul searching as he worked his way out of a perilous situation, will speak to anyone who has ventured beyond roads and trails and faced potential tragedy alone.
Alone on the Colorado takes readers on the adventure of running rivers and riding the rails, while painting a unique and optimistic portrait of Depression-era America.
An American Provence
Thomas P. Huber University Press of Colorado, 2011 Library of Congress GF91.F73H84 2011 | Dewey Decimal 554.495
"I have talked about luscious wines and succulent fruit and exquisite dinners. But there may be no more evocative experience of the two valleys than the smell of new-mown hay in the fields at dusk. If a person were to close their eyes, they could not tell if they were in Provence or the North Fork Valley. That sweet, earthy odor is part of the beauty of these places."
-From An American Provence
In this poetic personal narrative, Thomas P. Huber reflects on two seemingly unrelated places-the North Fork Valley in western Colorado and the Coulon River Valley in Provence, France-and finds a shared landscape and sense of place. What began as a simple comparison of two like places in distant locations turned into a more complex, interesting, and personal task. Much is similar-the light, the valleys, the climate, the agriculture. And much is less so-the history, the geology, the physical makeup of villages. Using a geographer's eye and passion for the land and people, Huber examines the regions' similarities and differences to explore the common emotional impact of each region. Part intimate travelogue and part case study of geography in the real world, An American Provence illuminates the importance sense of place plays in who we are.
In Ancient Piñon-Juniper Woodlands, editor Lisa Floyd gathers together noted scientists and historians to celebrate the varied and unique woodland region surrounding Mesa Verde National Park. One of the most widespread habitat types in the West, piñon-juniper woodlands have faced extensive eradication, grazing pressures, and the encroachment of human developments, and, consequently, only a few mature stands have reached their full growth potential. Mesa Verde Country, with its deep canyons and high ridgetops, is the magnificent home of many of these ancient stands.
Impressively broad in scope, Floyd's volume thoroughly explores Mesa Verde Country's important and historic ecosystem. Covering such diverse topics as geologic evolution, natural history, human history, bats, and fungi, to name but a few, this volume will appeal to scientists, resource managers, conservationists, and the lay reader with an interest in this most western of ecosystems. Technical Editors: David D. Hanna, William H. Romme and Marilyn Colyer
The Archaeology of the Colorado Coalfield War Project has conducted archaeological investigations at the site of the Ludlow Massacre in Ludlow, Colorado, since 1996. With the help of the United Mine Workers of America and funds from the Colorado State Historical Society and the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities, the scholars involved have integrated archaeological finds with archival evidence to show how the everyday experiences of miners and their families shaped the strike and its outcome.The Archaeology of Class War weaves together material culture, documents, oral histories, landscapes, and photographs to reveal aspects of the strike and life in early twentieth-century Colorado coalfields unlike any standard documentary history. Excavations at the site of the massacre and the nearby town of Berwind exposed tent platforms, latrines, trash dumps, and the cellars in which families huddled during the attack. Myriad artifacts—from canning jars to a doll’s head—reveal the details of daily existence and bring the community to life.The Archaeology of Class War will be of interest to archaeologists, historians, and general readers interested in mining and labor history.
The diversion of water from Colorado’s Western Slope to meet the needs of the rest of the state has been a contentious issue throughout Colorado’s history. The source of Colorado’s water is in the snow that accumulates west of the Continental Divide, but the ever-growing population on the Front Range continues to require more municipal water. In As Precious as Blood, Steven C. Schulte examines the water wars between these two regions and how the western part of the state fits into Colorado’s overall water story, expanding the account of water politics he began in Wayne Aspinall and the Shaping of the American West.
Slow to build its necessary water infrastructure and suffering from a small population, little political power, and distance from sources of capital, the Western Slope of Colorado has struggled to maintain its water supply in the face of challenges from the Eastern Slope as well as from surrounding states. Schulte explains in detail the reasons, rationalizations, and resources involved in the multimillion-dollar dams and reclamation projects that divert much-needed water to the Front Range and elsewhere. He draws from archives, newspapers, and oral histories to show the interrelationships among twentieth-century Colorado water law, legislators from across the state, and powerful members of congress from the Western Slope, who have influenced water policy throughout the American West.
As Precious as Blood provides context for one of the most contentious legal, political, and economic periods in the state’s history. Schulte puts a human face on Colorado’s water wars by exploring their social and political dimensions alongside the technical and scientific perspectives.
Attitudes On Altitude
John T. Reeves University Press of Colorado, 2001 Library of Congress QP82.2.A4A88 2001 | Dewey Decimal 616.9893
John T Reeves and Robert F Grover have gathered together seven episodes narrating the exploits of innovative researchers that led to some extraordinary medical findings, altering the course of medicine in Colorado and throughout the world. From the summit