The Natural West brings together essays reflecting the natural history of the American West as written by one of its most respected environmental historians. Developing a provocative theme, Dan Flores asserts that western environmental history cannot be explained by examining place, culture, or policy alone, but should be understood within the context of a universal human nature.
The Natural West entertains the notion that we all have a biological nature that helps explain some of our attitudes toward the environment. FLores also explains the ways in which various cultures—including the Comanches, New Mexico Hispanos, Mormons, Texans, and Montanans—interact with the environment of the West.
Gracefully moving between the personal and the objective, Flores intersperses his writings with literature, scientific theory, and personal reflection. The topics cover a wide range—from historical human nature regarding animals and exploration, to the environmental histories of particular western bioregions, and finally to western restoration as the great environmental theme of the twenty-first century.