A vast expanse of rock formations, sand dunes, and sagebrush in central and southwest Wyoming, the little-known Red Desert is one of the last undeveloped landscapes in the United States, as well as one of the most endangered. It is a last refuge for many species of wildlife. Sitting atop one of North America's largest untapped reservoirs of natural gas, the Red Desert is a magnet for energy producers who are damaging its complex and fragile ecosystem in a headlong race to open a new domestic source of energy and reap the profits.
To capture and preserve what makes the Red Desert both valuable and scientifically and historically interesting, writer Annie Proulx and photographer Martin Stupich enlisted a team of scientists and scholars to join them in exploring the Red Desert through many disciplines—geology, hydrology, paleontology, ornithology, zoology, entomology, botany, climatology, anthropology, archaeology, sociology, and history. Their essays reveal many fascinating, often previously unknown facts about the Red Desert—everything from the rich pocket habitats that support an amazing diversity of life to engrossing stories of the transcontinental migrations that began in prehistory and continue today on I-80, which bisects the Red Desert.
Complemented by Martin Stupich's photo-essay, which portrays both the beauty and the devastation that characterize the region today, Red Desert bears eloquent witness to a unique landscape in its final years as a wild place.