At the 1993 ground-breaking meeting, in Jackson Hole, the organizers vision was to design a conference to bring together anthropologists and researchers in allied fields whose work focuses on the Rocky Mountains of North America. A major emphasis for this was the tremendous amount of work that was occurring in the Rocky Mountains and the recognition that there was a significant Holocene occupation in these high elevation areas that needed to be explored within the regional setting of the Rocky Mountains.
The goal of the 1993 conference organizers was to create an informal setting for researchers to gather biennially and where participants could discuss common problems and issues, compare data, and share information and insights about this vast, varied, and fascinating region. While the basic philosophy of the conference has not changed, there has been growing interest in formalizing the conference into a non-profit organization. Part of the decision was based upon fiscal and legal considerations, but largely it was driven by a desire to allow greater flexibility in how the conference can support students and disseminate the results of our research to the larger professional community and the general public.