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    Author(s): Deborah M. Finch; Joseph A. Tainter
    Date: 1995
    Source: In: Finch, Deborah M.; Tainter, Joseph A., tech eds. Ecology, diversity, and sustainability of the Middle Rio Grande Basin. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-GTR-268. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. p. 1-11.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station
    PDF: View PDF  (1.01 MB)

    Description

    The Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Basin, which drains a 355,500 square mile area in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico (Fig. I), encompasses numerous land ownership boundaries, vegetation types, desert and woodland ecotones and edges, and urban and rural cultures, forming a complex array of interactive ecological systems. Historically known as the Southwest's "River of Life," the Rio Grande has lately become a subject of controversy over water resources and biological diversity. It earned the name in 1993 of "The Most Endangered River in North America" as proposed by the environmental organization American Rivers, Inc. Not only does the river form a geopolitical border between an industrialized country and a developing one, but human dependency on its waters, lands, and biotic resources reflects the traditions, economies, and social values of Hispanic, Anglo, and American Indian cultures. Sustainability of the Rio Grande's socioeconomic and ecological systems is a goal that has united diverse institutions, agencies, scientists, and private groups throughout the Southwest. This has resulted in numerous partnerships and initiatives designed to conserve the river and its way of life.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Finch, Deborah M.; Tainter, Joseph A. 1995. Introduction: Ecosystem research in a human context [chapter 1]. In: Finch, Deborah M.; Tainter, Joseph A., tech eds. Ecology, diversity, and sustainability of the Middle Rio Grande Basin. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-GTR-268. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. p. 1-11.

    Keywords

    Rio Grande, sustainability, riparian, environmental history, climate change, pinyon-juniper, desert grasslands, ecosystem restoration

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