I enjoyed reading your article. Having lived in W.AZ and then NM, I could relate so much of it. I am surrounded by trees in E. VA now but would rather be back in the high desert anytime.
One thing I noticed not mentioned in your article was the tendency of those traveling through, not to, the high desert, have a tendency to have thief dogs get “lost” or just plain let them loose to fend for themselves. Which leaves us with packs of wild dogs not afraid of humans, unlike healthy coyotes. That was one of the main reasons we used to go armed. Hell, the local authorities sometimes even [provided] the ammo we used on wild packs. It was that bad when the main roads weren’t that many miles away. I can only imagine how bad it is now, with the current economy, foreclosures, and job losses.