Landscape of Necessity

Westminster student Scout Invie and her faculty mentor, Hikmet Sidney Loe, have completed their research report. We at IMR are proud to have helped fund this important work, which will be shared at future conferences. Well done Scout and Hikmet! Thanks for letting us be a part of this.

Determining Connections Between the Cultural Significance of Utah’s Mountains and Great Salt Lake

What can we learn by examining Great Salt Lake’s bordering mountains so that we can gain a richer understanding of the lake’s cultural history? The boundaries of Great Salt Lake are constantly shifting due to the terminal nature of the lake; these boundaries are often defined by those interested in securing its resources. From the prehistoric Lake Bonneville (approximately 20,000 sq. mi of surface area within Utah, Idaho, and Nevada) to our current lake (ranging from 950 to 2,400 sq. mi of surface area) its boundaries — as defined by human interaction and mapping — have always been bordered by mountains. The question we posited for our investigation led to research on the lake’s cultural history found through a study of the way its bordering mountains have been utilized, ranging from the petroglyph and pictograph markings of the prehistoric Desert Archaic, Fremont, and Promontory Cultures to the pull and push as the recreation and tourism of the lake — so abundant from the 1850s through the 1930s — gave way to the newly developing recreation and tourism in regional mountains. Our research was conducted over the span of four months using primary sources
found in publications and documents. The entire final report is linked below.




A publication of the Institute for Mountain Research @ Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah

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Jeff Nichols

Jeff Nichols

Jeff teaches history at Westminster College.

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