A New Plateau
Sustaining the Lands and Peoples of Canyon Country
For at least ten thousand years, until the arrival of railroads in the 1880s, the people of the Colorado Plateau—Canyon Country—primarily derived their sustenance from the natural resources of the land they inhabited. People today find themselves in a vastly different situation. Now almost everything we eat, wear, and use comes from other places. This book chronicles the achievements of an inspired group of Canyon Country people who are countering this trend by asserting a new kind of citizenship—a citizenship that extends beyond the political realm to root itself in deep respect for, and reliance on, the nature of the region. They are tucked back in canyons, hidden on mesa tops, and set in cities and tiny towns alike—some of the world’s most interesting experiments in using wind and solar energy, harvesting food sustainably, building to fit a desert climate, and using the renewable by-products of forest restoration to meet human needs. This book, for the first time, tells the stories of the innovators and culture-bearers who are ensuring that diverse human communities can continue to live in harmony with the Southwest’s stunning natural and cultural landscapes.
“At a time when problems seem sooverwhelming, it’s deeply inspiring tosee that their solutions lie not in hugegrants and corporate works but in thehands of individuals who are focuseddeeply on their own life’s work, be itfarming, cooking, weaving, building, orwildcrafting. A New Plateau showshow, piece by piece and person byperson, sustainability is ultimatelyexpressed and obtained.”—Deborah Madison, author of LocalFlavors: Cooking and Eating fromAmerica’s Farmers’ Markets