5 million years ago the Colorado Plateau experienced a geologic event lifting and tilting the landscape by between 4,000 and 6,000 feet. Present day streams established their directional flow at this time and because they were lifted far above their base level began to aggressively cut into the landscape.
The Colorado Plateau spans more than 140,000 square miles in the four corners region of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona including areas drained by the Colorado River and its’ tributaries the Green, San Juan, and Little Colorado Rivers.
Sitting in the rain shadow of the Eastern Sierra Nevada range, the plateau maintains an arid climate which together with the region’s high relief creates a sparsely vegetated landscape easily eroded by fast moving streams, seasonal flooding, wind, and ice, all of which combine to create the dramatic scenery of this beautiful ERODED PLANET.
The lands of the Colorado Plateau continue to be threatened by modern development, State vs. Federal land management disputes, mineral and petroleum exploration proposals, toxic waste disposal plans, and even how to manage ever increasing tourism in a way that will preserve wilderness and limit human impact to these fragile and beautiful landscapes.
The ERODED PLANET PROJECT is focused on raising awareness for the preservation and responsible stewardship of our public lands through a photographic exploration of the landscape, monthly written essays, partnership with preservationist organizations, gallery exhibits, and social media promotion.