The Fall and Rise of the Wetlands of California's Great Central Valley
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appeared on Earth during the early Cenozoic era, approximately fift y million years ago, many millions of years before the Central Valley emerged from the depths of the sea. Waterfowl are found on all continents and many isolated islands worldwide. They compose the family Anatidae, which includes ducks, geese, and swans, and they number approximately 150 species in at least 45 genera; one-third of these species occur in North America, and most can be found along the Pacific Flyway, including
studies, I found myself teaching at The Athenian School, a high school with a strong reputation for outdoor and environmental education. Influenced by that physically and intellectually stimulating environment, I soon began working summers as a ranger naturalist in Sequoia National Park, high in the Sierra Nevada but within view of the Central Valley lying far below. In a happy coincidence, Rick Higashi and Teresa Fan, researchers at UC Davis whom I had recently met, appeared unexpectedly in the
inexpensive substitute for artificial irrigation argued against improving the swamplands. Upon the commissioners’ own recommendation for increased efficiency, the board was reconstituted in 1863 with three, rather than five, commissioners and an office engineer. Nevertheless, progress remained halting for the next two years. In 1865 the board expressed frustration that the General Land Office still had not approved any of the state’s swampland segregations (and would not do so until 1866).
left blank Con t en ts List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Introduction ix xi 1 Part One. Wetlands and Waterfowl 1. The Nature of the Great Central Valley and the Pacific Flyway 19 Part Two. The Fall 2. From Native American Lands of Plenty to “Waste” Lands 47 3. The San Joaquin Valley: A Tale of Two Basins 65 4. Reclamation and Conservation in the Sacramento Valley 86 5. The Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta and the Central Valley Project’s Origins 110 Part Three. The Rise 6. Turning
Propagation, and Management, was a seminal study that marked the first major work on that broad subject in North America. The information on waterfowl food habits and plant propagation published by McAtee and his colleagues was essential to the intensive management of waterfowl on federal and state refuges as well as on private duck clubs. Armed with knowledge of the importance of various aquatic plants to waterfowl, biologists were able to assess the value of marshes for waterfowl and to