During the fall of 1998, scientists from the Midcontinent Ecological Science Center (MESC) of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) a?? sent a survey by mail to residents in southwest Colorado and northwest New Mexico to better understand quality of life issues in this area of the Colorado Plateau. Collaborators in this study included the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service offices located in Durango, Colorado. The information was collected to determine:
*what elements of the community and surrounding landscapes contribute to the quality of like among resident populations, and
*what critical areas, elements, and special places are essential to retain quality of life.