The Arizona region came under Mexican control following the Mexican war of independence from Spain (1810-1821). However, at the end of the Mexican war (1846-1848), Mexico relinquished control of the area to the United States. Arizona’s minerals, valued even by prehistoric miners, attracted most of the early explorers. In 1863, Arizona was organized as a separate territory with its first temporary capital at Fort Whipple, which was later moved to Phoenix in 1889. In 1912, Arizona, still a frontier territory, attained statehood.
The state has a wide diversity of vegetation. Generally categorized as desert, Arizona’s terrain also includes mountains. The desert is known for many varieties of cacti, desert flowers, medicinal desert flora, such as the jojoba. The mountains are well timbered with varieties of spruce, fir, juniper, and oak. Rare plants, some of them endangered and threatened, include various cacti of commercial or souvenir value. Arizona’s fauna range from desert species of lizards and snakes, to the deer, elk, and antelope. Mountain lion, jaguar, black and brown bears, along with the gray fox, coyote and black-tailed jackrabbit, are also found in the state. Small mammals, rattlesnakes, reptiles and native birds like white pelican, cactus wren, thick-billed parrot, are abundant in the state. Forty-one animal species and nineteen plant species were listed as endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Arizona counts the desert tortoise and long-nosed bat, the bald eagle, quail, jaguar, black-footed ferret, and gray wolf among its threatened wildlife.
Arizona is very proactive on “living green”. The state has been actively conserving natural resources and living in a healthier way. There is an extensive recycling program in Phoenix. Plastic bottles, office and shredded paper, magazines, books, cardboard, cartons, cans, etc, all go in the recycle bin. They employ commingled recycling. Arizona Grand Resort is committed to environmental responsibility and sustainability, accepting responsibility for environmental best practices. They achieve this by establishing Green Task force to develop and execute earth-friendly practices, purchasing environmentally responsible and recycled materials, purchasing organic and sustainable local foods, using water saving options, florescent compact lighting, energy efficient digital thermostats, water harvesting technology, non-toxic/biodegradable concentrated liquid for laundered linens, organic fertilizers, and environmentally responsible, certified green cleaning products. Arizona State University, hotels, corporates and schools are all equally enthusiastic about ‘going green’ and have implemented measures in their own ways to ensure greener living in the state.