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About this Region
Did you know that deserts are some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world? Four different desert habitats are what make the Southwest such a unique and enchanting setting. From the saguaro cacti found towering throughout the Sonoran desert to the gila monsters hiding in the shade of the Chihuahuan desert, the dry Southwest environment faces some of the greatest challenges of all the United States. With issues concerning water rights, the need for solar power, and the fear of droughts and flash-flooding, the Environmental Service Club in Albuquerque, New Mexico certainly has its hands full.
Despite it's ecological challenges, the Southwest is a haven for outdoor adventure. From the expanse of epic mountains to climb, canyon valleys to hike, caverns to explore, and river washes to traverse, the desert redefines the outdoors and adds a new extreme to wilderness. While there is reason to fear the dozens of rattlesnake species, tarantulas, and scorpions that crawl in the dry sands, the tranquility of cool desert nights is home to some the of the nation's best bird watching and star gazing. There is no wonder why the Southwest is the inspiration for the American environmental movement as it was adored by Edward Abbey, John Muir, and Aldo Leopold.