Synopses & Reviews
Full-color images by renowned photographers Stephen Strom and Stephen Capra unite with text by prizewinning nature and geography writer Gregory McNamee to document the subtle landscape of 1.2 million acres of remote Chihuahuan Desert grassland in southern New Mexico. Home to many species of wildlife and native plants, Otero Mesa is a place of extraordinary beauty and ecological significance faced with the increasing threat of oil and gas development that has plagued the Rocky Mountain West.
"It is a strange and empty place, a place whose contours suggest that those who do not know it are best to leave it alone, as those who do know it will do in all events. And, as with all strange and empty places in this increasingly crowded, increasingly monocultural world, Otero Mesa is an important island in our geography of hope, a place that warrants concern and protection. Rightly, for it is very much under threat."--Gregory McNamee in Otero Mesa
"The Otero Mesa, in the heart of New Mexico, is one of the few pristine native grasslands remaining in the U.S. Unfortunately, this accidentally-preserved part of the Trans-Pecos is bisected from north to south by the New Mexico Rift, a series of sedimentary basins which are now the object of oil and gas development. Otero Mesa has already been designated as a Global 2000 Ecoregion by the World Wildlife Fund because of its remarkable species diversity, and Gov. Bill Richardson (who wrote the foreword) attempted in 2004 to designate it a National Conservation Area, a matter now being disputed in the courts. McNamee's lyrical text tells the story of the region, introduces the ecosystem's plants and animals, and recounts the efforts of old ranching families to fight industry development. The area's beauty and boundless skies are captured in brilliant photos by Strom and Capra, including dramatic images of mountains, storm clouds, open horizon and leaking storage tanks. Nature writing and photography that's both artistic and evocative, this is a rare armchair journey and a compelling appeal to action." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A powerful defense in words and photos of this unique grassland under increasing threat of oil and gas exploitation.
About the Author
Gregory McNamee is a widely published author, editor, and photographer who lives in Tucson, Arizona. His many books include Moveable Feasts: The History, Science, and Lore of Food. Stephen Strom has spent nearly forty years as a research astronomer, most recently serving on the staff of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson. His photographs have been widely exhibited, and he has collaborated on several books, including Tseyi (Deep in the Rock): Reflections on Canyon de Chelly, coauthored with Navajo poet Laura Tohe. Following a career in private industry and journalism, Stephen Capra has worked for wilderness conservation since 1988. He has been executive director of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance since 2004.