|This section of the website proposes a new kind of land designation for the Southwest — a “frontier area.” Such an area will re-create a segment of the original nineteenth century western frontier. Rather than just preserving empty land, as a conventional national park would do, it will present the distinctive mix of settlement, wilderness, and earlier Indian cultures that marked the pioneer West. It will be built around a string of small nineteenth-century-style towns, using period technology, established at intervals in a scenic valley that is otherwise undeveloped and left in its natural state.
This frontier area will provide a unique window into the past. The towns will allow us to see the kerosene-lit, horse drawn world of a previous generation on a landscape-wide scale that is large enough to step into and experience as an entire alternative way of doing things. The towns will also support a wide variety of outdoor activities, as visitors can travel among them by foot or horse, or can use them as a base for exploring the surrounding wilderness, never too far from support services but at all times very far from the modern world.
Creating such an area will benefit the traditional wilderness community as well. The extensive land between and around the towns will be protected in various ways in order to retain the period feel of the valley, thus bringing land conservation measures to settled areas and valley floors where they are not readily available under current policies.
This distinctive combination of historic preservation and land conservation will create an entirely new kind of travel destination, existing nowhere else in the world. Visitation to that area will strengthen the local economy. The Bright Angel frontier valley will thereby benefit a wide variety of current stakeholder groups, and will create a new type of historic site for the benefit of all Americans.