By William deBuys
This strange e-book is a whole account of the heavily associated average and human heritage of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico, a zone particular in its wealthy mixture of ecological and cultural variety.
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Extra info for Enchantment and exploitation: the life and hard times of a New Mexico mountain range
And what remarkable affairs they are. The history of New Mexico is as rich as it is long. Anyone who studies it is at pains to remember that New Mexico has been part of the United States for only a century and a quarter and that for nearly twice as long it belonged to Spain and Mexico. And before the coming of the Spanish, for much longer, it indisputably had belonged to native, village-dwelling agriculturalists. The mountains offer a good vantage from which to view the history of the region. They fill the triangle formed by the towns of Santa Fe, Taos, and Las Vegas, New Mexico.
The trappers and merchants who trekked across the Great Plains from St. Louis to New Mexico were men still looking for their country and still finding and stealing it. They were followed by ranchers and farmers, miners, lawyers, and thieves, soldiers, and tourists who came piling into New Mexico in wave after wave, and at least part of every wave broke against the mountains, leaving an indelible imprint. Book Two begins with a subtle shift in the tide of Anglo conquest. The presence in the mountains of parties of the Wheeler Survey, inventorying the natural resources of the region, presaged the rise of scientific and entrepreneurial approaches to land use, strongly aided and subsidized by the federal government.
Page 8 there these remarkable communities remain today, isolated, weatherbeaten, and, to most Anglo-Americans, quite foreign. My first introduction to the Sangres was as a research assistant to a social scientist writing a book on certain aspects of the region's cultures. I was given license to pursue my research however I desiredwhether in saloons or elementary schools did not matter, so long as I conveyed such findings as I made to my employer. Unfortunately, this altogether ideal arrangement ended in failure.