The Fall and Rise of the Wetlands of California's Great Central Valley
The Fall and Rise of the Wetlands of California's Great Central Valley. By Philip Garone. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011. xv + 422 pp. Figures, maps, notes, bibliography, and index. Cloth $39.95.
European settlers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries did not speak of wetlands. They saw swamps and malarial health hazards. They did not conduct much public discourse on biodiversity and the value of ecological services. Rather, they saw ducks and geese eat their crops and hunted waterfowl as commodities to be traded for cash. Wetland ecological consciousness came slowly. It would be 1956 before the US Fish and Wildlife Service introduced the term wetland to replace words like bog or marsh. It would be 1979 before the service would complete its task of identifying twenty wetland types.
Wetlands were severely impacted in negative ways across North America as settlers drained them for their agricultural and municipal pursuits....