Boom-and-Bust: (Hi)stories of Landscape Production and Consumption in California’s Sierra Nevada Foothills

Colleen C Myles, Trina R Filan


Marked by a series of boom-and-bust industries and economies over the course of nearly two centuries, the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range are simultaneously singular and multifaceted, a region of tumultuous dichotomies. The region serves as a quintessential rural-urban interface, a hybrid landscape of variable historical, economic, and political trajectories that mingle and merge with policy and infrastructural interventions implemented from a variety of scales. This paper examines the entangled, multi-scalar processes that have shaped, and continue to shape, the boom-and-bust landscape that defines the Sierra Nevada Foothills. We unpack the historical extractive impetus that has characterized and underpinned policy-making and economic development in the region in order to reflect on how to reframe and redirect the intra- and extra-regional human desires that continue to shape the Foothills.


boom-bust, landscape production/consumption, regional change, Sierra Nevada, California

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