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Weaving together ecology, grassroots politics, and public policy, Philip Garone offers the first comprehensive environmental history of California's Great Central Valley, where freshwater and tidal wetlands once provided critical habitat for tens of millions of migratory waterfowl. His book tells how California's extensive wetlands were nearly obliterated by vast irrigation and reclamation projects but have been brought back from the brink by the organized efforts of duck hunters, whistle-blowing scientists, and a broad coalition of conservationists.
Garone examines the many demands that have been made on the valley's natural resources, especially by large-scale agriculture, and traces the unforeseen ecological consequences of this unrestrained manipulation of nature. On a broader scale, he investigates changing public and scientific attitudes that are now ushering in an era of unprecedented protection for wildlife and wetlands in California and the nation.
List of Illustrations# Acknowledgments# Introduction# Part One. Wetlands and Waterfowl 1. The Nature of the Great Central Valley and the Pacific Flyway# Part Two. The Fall 2. From Native American Lands of Plenty to "Waste" Lands# 3. The San Joaquin Valley: A Tale of Two Basins# 4. Reclamation and Conservation in the Sacramento Valley# 5. The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the Central Valley Project's Origins# Part Three. The Rise 6. Turning the Tide: Federal and State Responses to the Waterfowl Crisis# 7. Battles for the Grasslands and the San Joaquin River# 8. Conflicting Agendas: New Refuges and Water Projects for the San Joaquin Valley# 9. Tragedy at Kesterson Reservoir# 10. Wetlands Resurgent: The Central Valley in the Twenty-First Century# Epilogue: Global Climate Change and the Wetlands of the Great Central Valley# Appendix. Animals and Plants of the Central Valley Discussed in the Text# Notes# Bibliography# Index
Philip Garone is Assistant Professor of History at California State University, Stanislaus.