A Wilderness Called Grand Canyonby Stewart W. Aitchison
The Grand Canyon blends elements of color, contour, and immensity like no place on earth. A mile deep and 277 miles long, this immense "crack" in the ground encompasses over 1.7 billion years of geologic history. Each year, more than four million visitors come to be awed by its grandeur. Yet most leave unaware of the natural history and wilderness within its walls.
In A Wilderness Called Grand Canyon, Stewart Aitchison details the area's natural history, taking readers from the Sonoran-type desert at the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the alpine tundra at the summit of the nearby San Francisco Peaks. Along the way, Aitchison, who has explored the region for over twenty-five years, introduces readers to the variety of plant and animal communities that reside there: from forests of ponderosa and pinyon pine to juniper bushes, from bald eagles to feral burros.
Throughout his trek, Aitchison recounts his own first views, adventures, and misadventures within the Grand Canyon, as well as those of early explorers, scientists, artists, and musicians. He spells out past and present theories of the canyon's origin and the role played by the mighty Colorado River. The book also addresses serious environmental issues facing the Grand Canyon today: noise pollution from overhead air traffic, water and air pollution from the Navajo Generating Station, and the long-range effects of Glen Canyon Dam on the area's ecology and landscape evolution.
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