Four Corners states under stress
The Four Corners states are the most rapidly changing region of the country. Resource exploitation, economic development, and population expansion are placing severe strains upon the region's vulnerable natural and social environment. This chapter will provide an overview of the physical and social facts and forces which are at work in the region and with which the public and policymakers must deal. We will also consider how the stress upon the region is reflected in voters' perceptions of the most important problems facing their states. Since similarity of agenda priorities of legislators and voters is among the bases of potential responsiveness, we will examine the extent to which legislators' assessments of the most important problems are similar to those of voters.
Daniel Webster addressed the U.S. Senate in the early 1800s about the Rocky Mountain West:
What do we want with this worthless area, this region... of shifting sands and whirlwinds of dust, of cactus and prairie dogs? To what use