Record Display for the EPA National Library Catalog


Main Title The lost frontier : water diversion in the growth and destruction of Owens Valley agriculture /
Author Sauder, Robert A.
Publisher University of Arizona Press,
Year Published 1994
OCLC Number 29358071
ISBN 0816513813; 9780816513819
Subjects Land settlement--California--Owens Valley--History ; Agricultural colonies--California--Owens Valley--History ; Water transfer--California--Owens Valley--History ; Owens River (Calif)--Water rights--History ; Water-supply--California--Los Angeles--History ; California--Owens River ; Siedlung ; Geschichte ; Bewässerungswirtschaft ; Wasserrecht ; Owens-River-Gebiet ; Owens-River-Tal
Library Call Number Additional Info Location Last
ERAM  HD1516.U7C27 1994 Region 9 Library/San Francisco,CA 01/17/2017
Collation xv, 208 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 191-199) and index.
Contents Notes
1. Colonizing an Arid Frontier -- 2. In the Shadow of the Sierra -- 3. Early Views of the Land -- 4. Thoroughfare to the Mines -- 5. The Process of Pioneer Settlement, 1860-1880 -- 6. Establishing a Working Economy, 1860-1880 -- 7. Economic Organization and Environmental Alteration, 1880-1905 -- 8. Federal Reclamation and Municipal Manipulation, 1900-1913 -- 9. The Intensification of Agriculture, 1900-1925 -- 10. The Lost Frontier -- 11. Water Transfers and Rural Preservation. When water from the Owens River spilled into the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, the lifeblood of the Owens Valley began to drain away. Much has been written about this diversion of water to quench the thirst of a rapidly growing metropolis, but little has been said about the patterns of rural livelihood and land use that had evolved in the Owens Valley over the decades prior to the diversion. This book examines details of the Owens Valley's overlooked past - where the early pioneers came from, how they farmed and survived in this isolated arid environment - in order to provide insights into the processes, the patterns, the hardships, and the adjustments associated with colonizing this arid frontier. Drawing on previously untouched sources regarding the settlement of the valley - federal land survey notes, tract book data, master title plat maps and historical indices, manuscript census schedules, and the valley's newspapers - Sauder not only puts the Owens Valley story in perspective but also sees it as a microcosm of broader processes and patterns that characterized much of the intermountain West. After experiencing more than sixty years of colonization efforts, the Owens Valley in the mid-1920s became a virtual colony of Los Angeles. As farmers left the valley, abandoned farmhouses were bulldozed by the city, and once-productive fields were invaded by desert scrub. The Owens Valley not only reveals much about the arid West's past, it also allows us to peer into, and perhaps influence, the region's future. The Lost Frontier now provides a yardstick against which recent environmental issues in the Owens Valley might be measured and offers insights into our options for protecting agriculture from urban growth.