We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Thinking Like a Watershed

Voices from the West

Jack Loeffler

Publication Year: 2012

Thinking Like a Watershed points our understanding of our relationship to the land in new directions. It is shaped by the bioregional visions of the great explorer John Wesley Powell, who articulated the notion that the arid American West should be seen as a mosaic of watersheds, and the pioneering ecologist Aldo Leopold, who put forward the concept of bringing conscience to bear within the realm of “the land ethic.”

Produced in conjunction with the documentary radio series entitled Watersheds as Commons, this book comprises essays and interviews from a diverse group of southwesterners including members of Tewa, Tohono O’odham, Hopi, Navajo, Hispano, and Anglo cultures. Their varied cultural perspectives are shaped by consciousness and resilience through having successfully endured the aridity and harshness of southwestern environments over time.

Published by: University of New Mexico Press

Front Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF (3.5 MB)

Title Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (35.8 KB)


pdf iconDownload PDF (23.1 KB)


pdf iconDownload PDF (53.1 KB)
pp. vii-viii

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (55.0 KB)
pp. ix-x

THE WATERSHEDS AS COMMONS PROJECT IS DIRECTLY DESCENDED FROM an earlier Lore of the Land project that included a fifteen-part documentary radio series entitled The Lore of the Land and a book entitled Survival Along the Continental Divide, published by the University of New Mexico Press in 2008, both funded by the Ford Foundation and the New Mexico Humanities Council. ...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (55.1 KB)
pp. xi-xii

THINKING LIKE A WATERSHED IS AN UNCOMMON BOOK, PERHAPS A UNIQUE book. It is an anthology of points of view expressed by people of distinct cultural backgrounds, all of whom are profoundly imbued with the spirit of place that dominates the American Southwest. The Southwest is the most arid region of North America wherein water is the rarest of the four elements. ...

read more

Thinking Like a Watershed: Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF (301.6 KB)
pp. 1-26

JACK LOEFFLER, LORE OF THE LAND BOARD MEMBER, IS A BIOREGIONAL aural historian, radio producer, writer, sound collage artist, and former musician. Since 1964, he has conducted field recordings west of the 100th meridian, founding the Peregrine Arts Sound Archive in 1967 to be the repository for his professional work, which he has donated to the New ...

read more

Pueblo Watersheds: Places, Cycles, and Life

pdf iconDownload PDF (247.0 KB)
pp. 27-44

RINA SWENTZELL WAS BORN INTO THE CELEBRATED NARANJO FAMILY IN the Tewa-speaking Santa Clara Pueblo. She earned her BA in education and her MA in architecture from New Mexico Highlands University. She earned her PhD in American studies in 1982 from the University of New Mexico. Swentzell writes and lectures on the philosophical and culturaL ...

read more

Connected by Earth: Metaphors from Hopi Tutskwa

pdf iconDownload PDF (233.9 KB)
pp. 45-66

LYLE BALENQUAH, HOPI, IS A MEMBER OF THE GREASEWOOD CLAN FROM the Village of Bacavi (Reed Springs) on Third Mesa. He has earned degrees (BA, 1999; MA, 2002) in cultural anthropology and southwestern archaeology from Northern Arizona University. For over ten years he has worked throughout Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah as an archaeologist documenting ...

read more

“Don’t You Let That Deal Go Down”: Navajo Water Rights and the Black Mesa Struggle

pdf iconDownload PDF (274.0 KB)
pp. 67-89

SONIA DICKEY GRADUATED IN MAY 2011 WITH HER PHD IN HISTORY. Her dissertation, “Sacrilege in Dinétah: Native Encounters with Glen Canyon Dam,” considers the Navajos’ role in developing the Colorado River. She has worked for the last ten years in the writing and publishing industry. ...

read more

Politics of the Colorado River with Stewart Udall

pdf iconDownload PDF (194.3 KB)
pp. 91-103

THE DEGREE TO WHICH WE ARE SHAPED BY CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES AND mores during the present super-speed continuum of cultural evolution is incalculable. The mind-set of octogenarians seems ponderous to today’s youth. Each of the five or so generations spawned in America since the death of John Wesley Powell in 1902 have labored within an exponentially increasingly ...

read more

Applying Navajo Tradition to the Modern World

pdf iconDownload PDF (296.7 KB)
pp. 105-131

ROY KADY, NAVAJO (DINÉ) FROM TEEC NOS POS CHAPTER, IS AN ACCOMPLISHED weaver and fiber artist who is breaking out of the traditional mold with new styles. He lives in his family home at Many Goat Springs above the community of Teec Nos Pos, where he maintains a large flock of rare Navajo-Churro sheep and angora goats, plus one llama. He teaches culture ...

read more

Tohono O’odham Culture: Embracing Traditional Wisdom

pdf iconDownload PDF (229.5 KB)
pp. 133-149

CAMILLUS LOPEZ IS A TRADITIONAL TOHONO O'ODHAM WHOSE CULTURE IS indigenous to the Sonoran Desert. He is a lore master and has devoted much of his life to collecting the stories and songs of his people. He has served as the chairman of the Gu Achi District of the Tohono O’odham Nation and has been a Lore of the Land scholar since its inception. Camillus and his wife ...

read more

La Cuenca y la Querencia: The Watershed and the Sense of Place in the Merced and Acequia Landscape

pdf iconDownload PDF (388.7 KB)
pp. 151-191

JUAN ESTEVAN ARELLANO IS A JOURNALIST, WRITER, RESEARCHER, GRADUATE of New Mexico State University, and a fellow of the Washington Journalism Center. He is now a visiting research scholar at the University of New Mexico’s School of Architecture. He has received an individual ...

read more

Ranching and the Practice of Watershed Conservation

pdf iconDownload PDF (260.0 KB)
pp. 193-213

SID GOODLOE HAILS FROM TEXAS AND MOVED INTO SOUTHERN NEW Mexico in the 1950s. He bought a cow-burnt ranch in 1956 and assiduously restored his land to a state of health similar to that which prevailed in the mid-nineteenth century before the southwestern landscape was overwhelmed by homesteading pioneers accustomed to the less harsh environments of the verdant eastern half of America. ...

read more

Roots of Hunger: The Quest for a Sustainable Food Culture

pdf iconDownload PDF (254.2 KB)
pp. 215-233

CELESTIA LOEFFLER, COPRODUCER OF WATERSHEDS AS COMMONS AND LORE of the Land board member, was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she quickly realized the magic of the region. She has since dedicated her life to the art of cultural and environmental preservation and has crafted a unique career as a producer, archivist, model, wordsmith, and yoga instructor. ...

read more

Restorying the Land

pdf iconDownload PDF (220.8 KB)
pp. 235-250

GARY PAUL NABHAN IS AN AGRICULTURAL ECOLOGIST, ETHNOBOTANIST, and writer whose work has focused primarily on the plants and cultures of the desert Southwest. He is considered a pioneer in the local food movement and the heirloom seed saving movement. ...

read more

Navigating the Rapids of the Future

pdf iconDownload PDF (240.3 KB)
pp. 252-258

WILLIAM DEBUYS IS A CELEBRATED AUTHOR AND A FORMER PROFESSOR of documentary studies. He serves as a private conservation consultant whose clients have included the Conservation Fund, the Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Biological Survey. ...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (78.1 KB)
pp. 259-266

AN UNFORTUNATE FUNDAMENT OF AMERICAN LAW IS TO LEGISLATE IN order to serve the wants and perceived needs of those who would privatize common natural resources for personal gain. This sets a cultural standard that apparently works until the population outgrows the carrying capacity of the common landscape. ...

Back Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.5 MB)

E-ISBN-13: 9780826352347
E-ISBN-10: 0826352340
Print-ISBN-13: 9780826352330
Print-ISBN-10: 0826352332

Page Count: 280
Illustrations: 12 halftones, 1 maps
Publication Year: 2012

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Human ecology -- West (U.S.).
  • Desert ecology -- West (U.S.).
  • Stream ecology -- West (U.S.).
  • Indigenous peoples -- Ecology -- West (U.S.).
  • West (U.S.) -- Environmental conditions.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access