The University of Arizona

The Pinaleño Mountains in the Twentieth Century

Atalanta Hoyt


The three main groups active in the Pinaleño Mountains in the twentieth century were recreational visitors, ecological scientists, and government managers. Of these three, tourist interests had the greatest role in shaping the development of the mountains: they compromised the majority of people in the mountains and motivated major government funded infrastructure projects. It was not until the last two decades of the twentieth century that the government exercised any major authority not directly aimed at increasing recreational access. Similarly, ecologists were intermittently present on the mountain throughout the century but did little to change how the mountain was managed. In contrast, tourists drove innovations on the mountain such as campsite creation, road building and media attention as well as destruction such as extinctions, pollution, and habitat degradation.

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