Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Where Did All the Diversity of Life Go?

There is finally going to be a study of wetlands in the CA Central Valley. Too bad it is too late for the Tulare Lake Basin, which stretched in rainy years from Bakersfield to San Francisco, supported commercial fisheries, Native American tribes and a variety of wildlife. It was the largest lake west of the Mississippi and was drained to raise cotton (a small history to be found in the book The King of California.)

Granteed the central Valley is one of the largest agricultural areas in the US at this point, but I was saddened to see that the Kern River is often dry through Bakersfield, yet the irrigation ditches that parallel the river are full and once i tried to follow the King's River and it tends to end in irrigation ditches. They probably were once vibrant.

Sadly, you can't get back what was once there and has been destroyed for profit, at least not all of it. Hard to believe that there once was a huge wetland and not just an agricultural desert now subject to irrigation demands.


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