This project was my thesis for the Environmental Humanities program at the University of Utah. It was a year-long endeavor to better know the Oquirrh Mountains.
I finished the project six years ago, as I write this, meaning that the mountains have changed, and so have I. Yet some things remain the same:
I’m still grateful for the American West Center, at the University of Utah, who supported this project through monetary assistance. I’m profoundly grateful for the support and feedback of my thesis committee, who have continued to be cherished mentors and friends: Brett Clark, Terry Tempest Williams, and Stephen Goldsmith.
Still, the Oquirrhs continue to be mined—with Rio Tinto Kennecott having extended their operations to 2032.
Still, the Oquirrh Mountains are the unceded ancestral lands of the Goshute people, specifically the Skull Valley Band of Goshute—who are true stewards of the mountains.
And still, I acknowledge the Oquirrh Mountains, with the life they hold and carry, as an elder in my life. As a mentor once told me: The Oquirrhs gave you your voice. I’ll be forever grateful for their teachings.
-Alisha Anderson // alishaanderson.org