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A Place Called Grand Canyon: Contested Geographies (Society, Environment, and Place)

A Place Called Grand Canyon: Contested Geographies (Society, Environment, and Place) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Book News Annotation:

A geographical history of the Grand Canyon region detailing and division politics from 1870 through the present. Morehouse (geography, U. of Arizona) discusses the geographies of native populations and the effects of westward expansion on their lives and lands, as well as the land conflicts beginning in the 1880's. Ranchers, loggers, miners, recreationists, preservationists, and Native Americans have all claimed parts (or the whole piece) as their own. She concludes with a contemporary assessment of the efforts to redefine the region, emphasizing the historical reasons underpinning the present situations.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

About the Author

Barbara Morehouse has a long-standing interest in natural resource management and in the interplay of ideas and personalities that underpin the ways we understand and use those resources. She holds a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Arizona and has taught both there and at the University of Minnesota--Duluth.

Table of Contents

Physical and cultural background — Westward expansion : 1870 to 1908 — The National Park : 1909 to 1919 — Park consolidation and expansion : 1920 to 1927 — Park expansion versus a new national monument : 1927 to 1940 — Frustrated expansion efforts and a new national monument : 1940 to 1969 — Park and Havasupai Reservation expansion : 1970 to 1975 — Subsequent and ongoing boundary issues : 1976 to 1995 — Toward a (re)definition of Grand Canyon — Looking backward--and forward.

Product Details

Morehouse, Barbara J.
University of Arizona Press
Tucson :
United States - General
Natural Resources
Human Geography
Land use
Environmental conditions
Landscape changes
Grand Canyon Region (Ariz.) Environmental conditions.
Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon Region
Human geography - Arizona -
Land use - Arizona - Grand Canyon Region -
Geography, Environmental History
US History-General
Edition Description:
Society, Environment, and Place (Paperback)
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Geography » General
History and Social Science » US History » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment

A Place Called Grand Canyon: Contested Geographies (Society, Environment, and Place)
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Product details 202 pages University of Arizona Press - English 9780816516285 Reviews:
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