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The diversity of life found along the Rockies' 2,000-mile range is so varied that the mountains are divided into three regions: the Northern, Central, and Southern Rocky Mountains. Elias discusses the unique features of each region looking at geology, important land forms, climatology, soils, water resources, and paleontology. Equally detailed chapters examine botany, invertebrate zoology, native fishes of the plains and mountains, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals. Elias also includes a history of the native peoples and a synthesis of activities since the Spanish colonial period in the Southern Rockies. The final section covers problems of overuse and overcrowding in national and state parks and Elias offers recommendations to alleviate these problems.