Management of land use conflicts in the United States Rocky Mountains
Mountain Research and Development
- J.S. Baron , D.M. Theobald , and D.B. Fagre
People have long been attracted to the beauty and grandeur of the Rocky Mountains. Until very recently, however, the Rocky Mountain region was sparsely populated and its use mostly extractive. Commodities removed in massive quantities included first beaver, then precious metals, timber, energy, and finally water. There has been a fundamental change in migration patterns since the 1980s. Populations are expanding not only in urban areas; many rural areas are also growing faster. In an affluent and mobile society, Americans are moving to the West for aesthetic reasons, often based on perceptions that have little to do with regional roots, family ties, or economic opportunities.
Wallace Stegner described the West into the 1980s as a colony for the rest of the nation. “It seems to be almost like a continuous repetitive act of God that the western resources should be mined …, that populations should rush in and have to rush out again, or trickle out again…. Get in, get rich, get out….Every boom and bust leaves the West physically a little poorer, a little worse damaged” (Stegner 1996).
In an article about actor and director Robert Redford, writer Richard Raynor talks about unexpected side effects Redford's movies have had on American behavior. “A River Runs Through It" dangerously swelled the banks of American rivers with novice fishermen. It seems likely that Redford's loving rendition of ranch life in The Horse Whisperer … will have a similar effect on western Montana, filling it with even more people in a nostalgic search for American rapture and simplicity” (1998).
Additional publication details
- Publication type:
- Publication Subtype:
- Journal Article
- Management of land use conflicts in the United States Rocky Mountains
- Series title:
- Mountain Research and Development
- Year Published:
- International Mountain Society and United Nations University
- Contributing office(s):
- Fort Collins Science Center
- 4 p.
- First page:
- Last page:
- United States
- Other Geospatial:
- Rocky Mountains
- Online Only (Y/N):
- Additional Online Files (Y/N):