Saturday, February 21, 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
1992 : the riparian forest along the river is a thin strip. This was 40 years after Isabella Dam and vegetation dependent on seasonal flooding were hard hit. However, some trees with good tap roots survived, e.g. cottonwoods when the water table was 30 feet down.
2002: The Kern River Corridor Endowment had purchased this land in the late 1990s from ARCO but no significant revegetation efforts had yet begun as of 2002. Owning the land was the important thing; the Endowment was formed on the principle that this area would never be developed. The in-holding now known as River Ranches (the square in the upper right) was not part of ARCO's property and so not part of the Endowment's purchase; however, the formation of the Endowment and establishment of the preserve predates development of River Ranches.
By 1937, agricultural and dairy activities had moved into an area along the Beardsley Canal; farmers reached their property by driving along the canal. The riparian forest is noticeably less dense than it was in 1910, but the farms were in an area that had not been densely vegetated.
This very early view of the Kern Island Canal (on the left), the river (middle) and the oilfield (right) shows the thickness of the riparian forest shortly after the turn of the century.
(This is a detail from a panoramic view of the Kern River Oilfield in the digital photographic collection from the Library of Congress.)