The Brazilian state has consistently identified the territory of the Amazon basin as an expansive hinterland to be mapped, defended, and exploited for resources through the implementation of regional infrastructure. Riverine systems, telegraph lines, and highways were deployed to support economic development. During the colonial period, the Brazilian naturalist Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira mapped the fluvial routes of the Amazon River and its tributaries from 1783 to 1792. After the declaration of the First Brazilian Republic in 1889, the connection of the hinterland to coastal population centers became an urgent nationalist concern for protecting sovereign borders. In 1906, the Comissão Rondon was initiated by the Ministry of War with the Ministry of Agriculture, Industry, and Commerce. Led by Cândido Rondon, the objective of the nine-year project was the implementation of a telegraph line and a series of stations between the cities of Cuiabá in the state of Mato Grosso and Porto Velho in the state of Amazonas, thereby connecting the farthest reaches of the hinterland to the coast. During the developmentalist military dictatorship that began in 1966, the newly defined “Amazônia Legal” was considered an unfortunate “grande vazio demográfico.” In 1967, President Humberto Castelo Branco launched Operation Amazon, an effort to penetrate the forest with the Trans-Amazonian Highway. His successor, President Emílio Médici, initiated the National Integration Program in 1970, a plan to implement social and economic infrastructures in the Amazon region through the development of agricultural and grazing plantation projects. International corporations were encouraged to participate in this nationalist project. A significant shift in this developmentalist trajectory was marked by the testimony of noted landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx to the Federal Senate in 1976. Citing the rapacious deforestation practices of Volkswagen do Brasil at its experimental cattle ranch in the Amazon, a new nationalist movement in support of environmental protection was launched.