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The Promise of Pleasure and Prosperity in the Desert Landscape, 1958-1976: A Comparative Case Study of Lake Tahoe and the Salton Sea
In the early 1950s the Salton Sea was hailed as a desert paradise to rival Palm Springs and the Riviera. By 1976 it had become a blemish on the landscape of Southern California and little more than an agricultural sump. Lake Tahoe on the other hand has thrived as a tourist and recreational destination for over a century; even when its slopes had been denuded of much of its forests people were still eager to visit the area. A fundamental preference for a European landscape aesthetic explains the continued attraction of Lake Tahoe and the efforts that have been made on its behalf; while a rejection of the desert landscape aesthetic accounts for the neglect suffered by the Salton Sea’s reputation and environment.