This is a special Western Exposure report from the desert southwest of the US. My first venture to this area was back in '97 and in 10 short years there has been a world of change - human habitation of this arid ecosystem has skyrocketed. I read Desert Solitare after moving to the desert southwest in 1998 and was instantly smitten. For a geohead like myself the significance of anthropogenic scars on what was such an incredibly outcrop-rich geo-wonderland environment was heart-wrenching! After Desert Solitare, I moved on to The Monkey Wrench Gang and since then, my daydreams often involve small explosive devices at the base of those dreaded LCD billboards or legislation outlawing the creation of McMansions in greenfields when brownfields are in such dire blight or severe damage to any major place of commerce beginning with "Wal" and ending in "Mart".
I have said for years TMWG would make a great movie and LO and Behold! there is a such a film in production! I am very excited about this development and I so hope the film lives up to the book. My greater hope is that urban sprawl sticks to Vegas, Phoenix, SLC and others like it and that some of the most amazing landscapes and ecosystems that make up the desert SW survive until collectively we get smart enough to value them for the treasures that they are without condos or casinos.