A Conversation with Jedediah Rogers

24 Nov

Northwest Iowa Center for Regional Studies

A central argument of my work is that environmental conflicts in the West—and, for my purposes, the canyon country of southern Utah and northern Arizona—are deeply rooted in history and culture. When we think about the canyon country not just as a physical place but also as an imagined landscape, it becomes important to tease out the influences that shape one’s relationship to a particular place. It’s simply impossible to ignore the religious element at work in the small communities that ring the region’s outer edges. Bluff, Escalante, Kanab—these are all Mormon communities, settled under a deeply religious impulse to make “straight the crooked paths” and the desert “blossom as a rose.” But the larger point here is that religious ideologies informed a particular approach to economic development.

So comments environmental historian Jedediah Rogers, author of Roads in the Wilderness: Conflict in Canyon Country, in a fascinating conversation with…

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