October 24, 1988
Part 4 of The Reopening of the Western Frontier, a four-issue series exploring the West's changing economic and cultural landscape.
Until the early 1980s, southern Utah was a battleground between extraction and preservation. Now, Ray Wheeler writes in the conclusion of his four-part series, the struggle is between industrial tourism, typified by Lake Powell and its several million annual visitors, and the more modest home-grown tourism centered on the region's beauty and its small communities.
A combination of technological change and free market ideology has led the nation to abandon not just railroad and bus lines but its long-held commitment to universal transportation and communication. The article describes the Balkanization process and its consequences for the rural West.