Water. In our desert environment, it is a precious resource that none of us can live without. It has significant values, both natural and cultural. A spring of cool, clear water is an oasis, a respite from the heat; it is seen as a place of healing; and many are drawn to it as a traditional, sacred site. Agua Caliente Spring in southern Arizona has been an important community attraction for millennia.
Over the last 150 years, owners, both private and public, have struggled to protect, and at the same time, to share this remarkable resource and its surrounding landscape. The challenge of balancing different, and sometimes conflicting, values is instructive for us today.
About the Lecturer:
Robin Pinto studies the evolution of cultural landscapes in Arizona and focuses on four issues of historic change: early settlement and homesteading, New Deal federal work programs, ranching on public lands, and development of our national parks. She has an MLA and a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. She writes landscape assessments for the National Park Service and works with the BLM to study landscape change at the Empire Ranch and Cienega Creek watershed in southern Arizona. She volunteers with several land trusts and preservation organizations. With three other historians, she recently published a book called “Cowboys and Cowgirls around Ajo, Arizona.”