Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Arts in Anthropology



Major Advisor

Christopher L. Hill, Ph.D.


It has traditionally been held by historians that during the period of Euro-American emigration that preceded settlement of southwestern Idaho in 1863, environmental degradation stemming from emigrants undermined native lifeways and incited conflict between the two cultures. The quantitative nature of the emigration, potential ecological impacts, and the historical perspective all suggest that such claims cannot be substantiated. Overall, the negative effect upon native lifeways may have been significantly less than what is maintained by the current historical paradigm. Instead, conditions of mutual interdependence that existed during the fur trade (1811-1840 A.D.) likely persisted throughout the period of emigration. It was not until Euro-American agro-pastoralists settled within southwestern Idaho that their land-use practices precipitated widespread intercultural conflict.

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