I’ve been a full-time California resident since 1965. I love this state! I attended two of our great California State Universities where I majored in history. While doing research for Striking Up Gold Mountain, I had many chances to update my understanding of how our Great State took form. ~ bz
In just two weeks Bay Area voters will decide whether or not to create a tax that will be used to clean up the San Francisco Bay. Throughout the West water quality has become a vital issue. San Francisco is one of America’s most visited places. We love the vistas, the beauty, and the history. This vote on June 7th will effect all of us…one way or another.
People all around this Earth love to learn about California’s Gold Rush history. Visitors and locals love hearing about the wild and woolly days of Early California. But often we forget to take notice of the huge environmental scars that plague us still today.
Before the Gold Rush the non-Native population of California was about 8,000. But by 1850, just two years after gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, CA, the non-Native residents swelled to 92,000! Yes, the world did come rushing in! One of humankind’s greatest and fastest mass migrations took place as Gold Fever struck and people from everywhere poured into California.
Along with those people came an environmental shift that changed the natural landscape of California. Mountains were washed away as folks searched for gold. Mud washed into pristine rivers, filled the marshes and deltas, and caused silt to fill much of the great San Francisco Bay.
What would our environment be like today if this devastating man-made event had not happened? What if the needs of the future had been on the minds of those gold seekers?
Now Bay Area voters have a chance to consider restoring much of our beautiful Bay, a world landmark. The rest of us will just have to wait until June 8th to hear the results of their election. What will our future be in the hands of Bay Area voters? I’m waiting.