William deBuys is a historian, conservationist, and writer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His books include Enchantment and Exploitation (University of New Mexico Press, 1989), River of Traps (University of New Mexico Press, 1996), and Salt Dreams (University of New Mexico Press, 1999).
John Wesley Powell (1834 – 1902) was a US soldier, geologist, explorer of the American West, and director of major scientific and cultural institutions. He is famous for the 1869 Powell Geographic Expedition, a three-month river trip down the Green and Colorado rivers that included the first known passage through the Grand Canyon.
In a new final chapter deBuys examines ongoing transformations in the mountains’ natural systems—including, most notably, developments related to wildfires—with significant implications for both the land and the people who depend on it. As the climate absorbs the effects of an industrial society, deBuys argues, we can no longer expect the environmental future to be a reiteration of the environmental past.