Review: Zion Canyon: A Storied Land

By Anderson, Byron | Electronic Green Journal, January 1, 2007 | Go to article overview

Review: Zion Canyon: A Storied Land


Anderson, Byron, Electronic Green Journal


Review: Zion Canyon: A Storied Land By Greer K. Chesher Reviewed by Byron Anderson Northern Illinois University, USA Greer K. Chesher and Michael Plyler (Photographer). Zion Canyon: A Storied Land. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 2007. 96 pp. ISBN: 978-0-8165-2487-7 (paperback); US$14.95. Printed on acid-free, archival quality paper.

This short narrative is a wonderful telling of the geology, geography, history, cultural aspects and descriptive beauty of Zion Canyon, a magnificent national park. Zion's steep, narrow canyon walls were shaped by water gouging against the Navaho sandstone, especially during Pleistocene era. Water continues to shape the canyon. Zion, a term from Hebrew, is known locally as "sanctuary." Indigenous natives, the Paiutes, called their homeland Tiwiinarivipi, the "Storied Land." Chesher, author and longtime national park ranger, believes that "each of us looks at Zion and sees a different story" (p. 19). She engages her experience and authority to tell a wonderful story which is complemented by numerous photos by Michael Phyler, director of the Zion Canyon Field Institute and resident of Zion, who renders his photography solely in black and white.

The park was originally established as the Mukuntuweap National Monument in 1909 by President William Howard Taft, who invoked the Antiquities Act. In 1918, the name was changed to Zion National Monument, and in 1919, the monument was expanded and protected as the national park by an act of Congress. …

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