A swift overview of the Region’s tribes include the O’odham, Yaqui, Yuman and Pai Tribes of Arizona’s low and mid deserts and Grand Canyon, and the Apache of the mid-deserts and mountain forests. The Hopi live on Arizona’s Colorado Plateau mesas. Nevada has many bands and tribes of Washoe, Shoshone and Paiute people. The many tribes and bands of Ute people are the inspiration for the name of the state of Utah.
The Region is as diverse in landscape as it is in Tribes. It covers the superheated Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts with their cactus, mesquite, creosote and myriad spiny plants. The towering ranges and vast valleys of the Great Basin are unmistakable geologic features in the region. The snow-capped high Uintah mountains on the Utah/Wyoming border are the northern and eastern reaches of the region.
The Colorado River and its tributaries are the life blood for much of the region. Within the Great Basin, the Truckee, Humboldt and Walker are the major rivers. Pyramid and Summit Lakes are the last remnants of the prehistoric lakes covering Nevada when the glaciers of the last ice-age melted.
Notable economic products of the region’s reservations are a wide variety of farmed crops including greens, many vegetables, corn and alfalfa. Timber, shrubs and grass are important renewable resource on some reservations as are cattle and horses. Mineral resources including sand, gravel, copper, gold, silver, oil, natural gas and other important materials are found on reservation lands.